The not so liberated Netherlands. In defence of Cornald Maas



The news of fabulous Dutch Eurovision commentator Cornald Maas being fired by the Broadcaster TROS just hit our holiday infected attention. Apparently Maas was fired over an ironic tweet saying the Dutch Eurovision participant this year, Sieneke was one of The Netherlands’ funny export products along with Joran von der Sloot and the PVV.

We are in shock, to say the least. When did The Netherlands become the country in Europe where the right to speak your mind isn’t appreciated? In our somewhat naïve minds, we actually thought The Netherlands was a very liberal country, where you could smoke your pot and do what others could not. Now it turns out you can’t even do what others can.

Some people have taken this occasion to point out that personal messages in media such as Twitter and Facebook are not as private as one might think. Oh really? We’d kinda like to see it the other way around. Maybe it isn’t really the private sphere that is becoming public, but the public sphere that is being privatized? What if it’s not the private persons that have to be careful about what views and opinions they share with the world in these so called social media channels, but instead the public that have to be careful about not letting it affect them? Do the people need social media training to make sure they don’t share their opinions with the wrong people or is it in fact the public that needs to get used to the private sphere being so much more accessible to them than before, without them having to access it all the time? We are moving away from a world where everything private was kept from the masses into a world in which the masses themselves have to decide what’s private and public, in our opinion. And where one has to deal with the fact that we are all people with minds and opinions of our own. It’s difficult for some, it seems. At least for the Dutch broadcasters. Maybe because it demands a little higher social intelligence?

Newsflash for you, TROS, social media is here to stay. It’s because people actually like to share their personal life and opinions and can handle others doing the same. We of course get the need to be professional and objective while on duty (except in GEE of course). But we cannot move into a world where journalists, PR people and their likings are shut out from what is rapidly becoming one of the most important social areas in society. Journalists are trusted with one of the most basic and important rights in a free society, the freedom of speech. This cannot only be applicable for their professional lives. Give them a break. At the moment it’s easier being a blogger than a journalist, and we are a bit unsure how healthy this is. But it does allow us bloggers to say this without anyone firing us: You are a couple of dickheads, TROS, and Sieneke’s song and performance was so crappy it deserves all the shit it can get, even from her own people. And of course, neither ourselves nor Cornald Maas intend to make this a personal attack on Sieneke, who while in Oslo appeared to be nothing but a sweet and likable girl next door.

So, following our rather long line of thought there, we guess our main point is this: Firing Cornald Maas was very, very stupid, TROS. Please take a minute to consider the damage done by keeping this cool, funny fellow away from the Dutch people. In the meantime, we think back on meeting this man in Oslo after hearing about him from our friend Lex. We wish to catch up with Cornald in Germany next year. If TROS doesn’t take him back, we would love to hire him for NRK. He sure is a lot better than the various boring fellows trying to do the same job in Norway.

We support you, Cornald. Don’t you worry about your old fashioned, puritan, calvinist ex-employer. Just put a flash light under your chin and say you’re son of sin. And since TROS like to play kings, here’s a little something we thought might suit the situation:

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