He is one of the most controversial thinkers in the German media public. From migration to the corona crisis to the war in Ukraine, Richard David Precht has taken a sometimes controversial position on many topics in recent years. If you believe the statements that the publicist and philosopher recently made in the “Hotel Matze” podcast, he doesn’t even aim to be present in the public debate.

When asked by podcast moderator Matze Hielscher whether he wasn’t drawn to a talk show at some point during longer phases of writing a book, Precht replied: “Don’t do it!” He only comments publicly on topics when he thinks it is “really important to do that”. Not being in the public eye is actually “the better state” for him – also because it often happens that opinions differ on him.

For this reason, he only goes “to very, very few talk shows” – not at all to political ones. “I talk about political things when I’m invited to ‘Markus Lanz’, but I no longer go to Illner or Will. And we don’t even want to talk about Plasberg!” His ARD talk “Hart aber fair” is the “worst talk show on German television”, Precht raved without being asked. “I haven’t been going there for ten years.”

What Precht dislikes about the Monday talk in the first? The concept of the show is simply “unworthy”. Moderator Frank Plasberg makes himself a “senior teacher”: “Everyone sits there and is taken. After you’ve said something, there’s a clip every time, and the editors determine in advance who wins and who loses.” This is due to the clips and the “way in which the entire show is scripted”. Plasberg never has a real discussion. “The teacher picks it up. I ask myself: What kind of interaction with guests is that?

He took part in the show twice. After that he decided: “Never again!”. “This is undignified, this event. I can only say that with this clarity.” Precht does not see himself alone with his negative attitude. It is striking how many personalities did not go to “hard but fair”. He himself knows a few people who think like he does, personally.

The fierce criticism is surprising, insofar as it can be considered a scolding of colleagues. The 57-year-old bestselling author has been moderating the philosophy talk on ZDF, simply entitled “Precht”, since 2012. With Markus Lanz, he has been producing his own podcast, which has received much attention, since 2021.

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*The contribution “Richard David Precht criticizes “Hart aber fair” as the “worst talk show”” is published by Teleschau. Contact the person responsible here.