Far-right leader Baudet incites hatred against Moroccans
Right-wing populist politician Thierry Baudet has caused outrage in the Netherlands, claiming on Twitter that four Moroccans had harrassed two women he knew on a train and calling on the Dutch to 'save the country'. However, the train company put the facts straight: the women had refused to show ticket inspectors their tickets. Commentators criticise Baudet for his half-hearted admission of having made a mistake.
De Volkskrant demands political consequences: After [right-wing populist] Geert Wilders, Baudet is the second party leader with a blatantly racist agenda. What exposes him is the zeal with which he was prepared to project an alleged incident onto an entire population group. ... As long as the party leader humbly withdraws only a few facts but not the actual intention behind his tweet, each faction should have to state clearly whether it would cooperate with [Baudet's party] Forum for Democracy after the next elections without reservations.
Feelings instead of facts
Baudet's reaction was symptomatic, NRC Handelsblad comments:
“He has often opted for silence, above all when the outrage is playing out on social media. There the party is in control, and Baudet can communicate with his supporters without the intervention of newspapers, the radio or television. ... The message is: the facts might not have been right, but the feelings were. ... To spread his message, Baudet prefers to seek an audience through other channels than the traditional media.”