VfGH: Filzmaier’s “Plemplem” -ager zu Stronach was allowed

VfGH: “Comprehensible basis” for statement

Stronach’s lawyer lodged a complaint with KommAustria. This decided in 2017 that the ORF had violated the objectivity requirement. The Federal Administrative Court (BVwG) also saw Filzmaier’s statement, from which the ORF did not distance itself, that the objectivity requirement was exceeded. The broadcaster then called the VfGH, which overturned the decision of the Federal Administrative Court.

Filzmaier’s opinion found “in the overall context of the topic of the interview and in the previous ‘summer talk’ which helped determine the topic a comprehensible basis”, is the reasoning of the highest judges in their finding delivered on Wednesday. The used phrase “plemplem” also true the limits of freedom of expression.

The emperor was evidently naked

Furthermore, the Constitutional Court stated literally: “If a politician gives rise to this through his behavior and his statements, it must also be possible, in the interests of the public discourse that protects the right to freedom of expression, to point out ‘that the emperor is naked’ . ” Nor did it violate the ORF law that the moderator had not distanced herself from the statement. A “serious disregard for the immediate personality and privacy” of Stronach, which at most would have required a reaction from the moderator, was not present.

The constitutional judges also found that when the BVwG – like KommAustria – saw a violation by ORF of the objectivity requirement, it violated the ORF’s freedom of expression and broadcasting.


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