ORF presenter withdraws after message from Kickl

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ORF host Patrick Budgen actually wanted to tease an interview for the “Vienna Today” program on the short news platform X (formerly Twitter). But his thoughts on the general health of FPÖ leader Herbert Kickl have caused a major shitstorm. A little later, Budgen explained that he now wanted to take a “break” from X.

The unauthorized biography about the blue frontman, published this week, is on everyone’s lips. There was an initial uproar because the two authors Robert Treichler and Gernot Bauer had made a few research mistakes, but now a real shitstorm has arisen.

In announcing his show on Saturday evening, Budgen quoted from the book “Kickl and the Destruction of Europe”: “We know that Herbert Kickl is ill relatively often. He often apologizes and disappears for 1-2 days. I’m curious whether he even has the robustness to be at the top.”

“Health is something very personal”
In this passage, Treichler and Bauer discuss Kickl’s ambitions as chancellor and question the liberal’s suitability. There was enormous outrage and the suggestion that health was a private matter.

For example, “Standard” journalist Colette Schmidt wrote: “I think health is something very personal, even for politicians – unless it interferes with the fulfillment of their duties. But what I would actually like to advise everyone: give conventional medicine a chance! I mean human medicine, not horse dewormers.” Lawyer Sascha Flatz said: “That’s really deep, unbelievable…”

For Budgen, the tone on X became “increasingly aggressive and destructive” that he soon decided to take “an X break.”

In ‘Vienna Today’, Budgen interviewed Kickl biographer Gernot Bauer and confronted him with the research errors, about which the party leader had published a six-minute video in which he tore up the contents of the book and described it as ’embarrassing’. Bauer defended the work, saying that at 250 pages, just two paragraphs of errors was “really not much.”

Source: Krone

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