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Markus Lanz (ZDF): A presenter looks back – it's not a pleasure

In Markus Lanz’s ZDF annual review, one tough topic follows the next. The country has more than earned a quiet Christmas. The TV review.

Markus Lanz had hoped for a relaxed review of the year, now he found himself – at least at the beginning of his program “Das Jahr 2021” – in a kind of ZDF special on the corona crisis. But other topics also shaped this epidemic year, which hardly anyone regrets a tear.

Topic Corona, guest Lauterbach, that was often said this year, and that was also the case in Markus Lanz’s annual review on ZDF. The new health minister seemed exhausted from the burden of the situation: at the beginning of the year the situation looked good, but the lead was lost. As early as July, the RKI warned of dramatically high numbers, but politics was in the election campaign, nobody wanted to utter words of warning, we now have to live with the result.

Markus Lanz – The year 2021 (ZDF): Once again Karl Lauterbach is a guest

Additional, new, but also known problem: Too little vaccine. Immediately after taking office, Karl Lauterbach took an inventory and found that the corona vaccine would be scarce in the next few weeks. At the moment Germany is boosting like a world champion, up to 1.1 million vaccinations per day are a good way to break the fourth wave and to prevent the danger of the new Omikron variant from arising in the first place. But it won’t go on like this, at least if Lauterbach doesn’t somehow manage to get hold of more cans.

„Markus Lanz - Das Jahr 2021“  - Natürlich mit Karl Lauterbach.

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“Markus Lanz – The year 2021”: with Karl Lauterbach, of course. (Screenshot)

Alena Buyx, Chair of the Ethics Council, pointed out the particular danger posed by the Omikron variant, which is particularly contagious and can undermine vaccination protection, especially in people who have not yet been boosted. Buyx also tried Markus Lanz’s popular picture of the marmot on ZDF and so it went on with the Corona issue: Ralf Berning was a guest, intensive care nurse in Bielefeld, who had already reported on the difficult situation in the intensive care units at Lanz and addressed this permanent problem again. CSU boss Markus Söder could replace Lauterbach as Lanzsch’s favorite guest next year and emphasized, as always, what wonderful politics Bavaria operates, what bonus payments have been made, what an excellent statesman he is.

Markus Lanz – The year 2021 (ZDF): Markus Söder predicts cracks in the traffic lights

It is well known that Söder was not enough to become Federal Chancellor, because that also happened this year: Angela Merkel resigned, a successor was sought, the Union decided on Armin Laschet, and Markus Söder was “the candidate of hearts” as he was CSU General Secretary called. However, Söder does not know regret, at least he claimed that with Markus Lanz on ZDF, of course he did not let himself be lured from the reserve and tempted to say that the Union would still be in power with him. Even if Söder was not in the mood for opposition, he finds himself right there, even without a Bavarian in the federal candidate. But Söder looks ahead and prophesied to the traffic light that it will soon show cracks and will look more like a light organ.

Markus Lanz – The year 2021 (15.12.2021) Guests of the show
Karl Lauterbach Federal Minister of Health
Alena Buyx Chair of the Ethics Council
Ralf Berning Intensive care nurse
Markus Söder Chairman of the CSU
Elmar Theveßen Washington correspondent for ZDF
Michael Fanone Police officer in Washington, DC
Gerald Asamoah former national soccer player
Carlotta Nwajide Oarswoman
Lars Klingbeil Co-chairman of the SPD
Zarifa Ghafari Afghan women’s rights activist
Jens Arlt Brigadier General in the Bundeswehr
Tankred Stöbe Doctors Without Borders
Herbert Reul Interior Minister North Rhine-Westphalia
Cornelia Weigand Mayor of Altenahr
Dirk Steffens Science journalist

It then went across the pond at the beginning of the year, on January 6th, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC in the erroneous, downright insane expectation of overturning the perfectly correct election of Joe Biden. The police officer Michael Fanone was close at hand, who opposed the violent demonstrators and was knocked unconscious and suffered a heart attack. Now, together with Elmar Theveßen, ZDF correspondent in Washington, he was a guest at Markus Lanz on ZDF and described how the far too few police officers were overrun by the demonstrators. Various conspiracy theories are circulating about this police failure, the processing is still ongoing, the first trials have already taken place. Fanone also confirmed the impression that at least parts of the protests were more organized than it seems at first glance, given the chaos. Theveßen claimed that the White House attack on the Capitol was controlled by Trump himself, a thesis that is hotly debated in America. If it could be proven, it would also prevent Donald Trump from running again in the next presidential election, which otherwise seems very likely.

Markus Lanz – The year 2021 (ZDF): Racism in sport and disaster in Afghanistan

There was also sport. Instead of 2020, 2021 was a big sporting year with the Olympic Games and the European Football Championship, which from a German perspective one would most like to forget. More important than sport, however, was racism, which continues to strike against dark-skinned players. Gerald Asamoah, former national soccer player, was able to report from his own experience at Markus Lanz on ZDF. He knew how the three English players were doing, who missed penalties in the European Championship final and thus cost England the long-awaited title. They were three People of Color and in the following days they were racially insulted. The rower Carlotta Nwajide has also experienced racism, but she did not want to talk about her own experiences, but rather about the fixed racist structures that are always there and sometimes show themselves in very ugly ways.

Then we went to Afghanistan, where the West had been chasing the mistaken belief that it could democratize the country for 20 years. The newly elected US President Joe Biden ended the disaster, but the hasty withdrawal of international troops turned into one of the most embarrassing moments in NATO history. Even after the troops had withdrawn, Tankred Stöbe from the NGO “Doctors Without Borders” was on site and tried to help. At Markus Lanz on ZDF, he tried to describe the catastrophic situation, the suffering of the civilian population, the German helpers who were left behind and fell defenseless into the hands of the Taliban.

Markus Lanz – The year 2021

December 15, 20.15-22.20 on ZDF and available in the ZDF media library

The Afghan local politician and women’s rights activist Zarifa Ghafari also had to leave the country; she and her family could be flown out by the Bundeswehr. Only just under 5000 people were flown out by the Bundeswehr, why this was by no means a failure, said Brigadier General Jens Arlt, who received the call at a family celebration and flew into the chaos of Kabul days later, in certain calm words. Of men who tried to gain entry into the security zone using stolen children – and then threw the children away, Arlt reported. A terrible situation that is becoming more and more dramatic for the local people, but the world’s attention has long been elsewhere. Definitely a credit to Markus Lanz ZDF broadcast, to remind us of Afghanistan for at least a few minutes.

Markus Lanz – The year 2021 (ZDF): No balancing moments in the annual review

That was not necessary with the last topic, the devastating floods on the Ahr. Here, too, the question arose as to why politicians reacted so slowly, in fact much worse: ignored the announced danger of a flood. “You cannot predict disasters,” said NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul, a sentence that he did not want to take back from Markus Lanz on ZDF. It was clear that there would be a flood, but not where and how strong, Reul tried to explain. Cornelia Weigand, the mayor of Altenahr, could hardly put the catastrophe that destroyed her homeland into words. More than three times as high as the last “flood of the century” a few years ago, the level rose this time, over 180 people died, thousands of houses and livelihoods destroyed.

After two hours of reviewing the year with Markus Lanz on ZDF, one had to state: This year was not a pleasure, that became more than clear in these two hours, especially since there were no balancing, shallow, human moments, such as Günther Jauch likes to do in his annual reviews built in. One tough topic followed the next, Corona, the crisis in American politics, racism, Afghanistan. It was a tough year, so the country has now more than earned a few quiet Christmas days. (Michael Meyns)

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