A television reporter in Germany has mud on her face, literally and figuratively! The reporter, Susanna Ohlen, was caught on video smearing mud on her face and clothes in Bad Münstereifel. She was trying to make it seem like she was helping the residents after bad flooding in the town. But a witness caught the entire thing and exposed the farce.
The video, which was captured by a bystander, was shared on Twitter and has gone viral. The faked muddy rescue got over 350,000 views!
This week’s intense flooding ravaged parts of Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Many towns were destroyed during the heavy rain and wind and nearly 205 people have died because of the disaster. The wind was so strong that it was able to blow over trees and destroy houses.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, has said that she will be increasing German efforts to combat climate change after seeing the destruction that was brought to her country. “It is shocking. I can almost say that the German language doesn’t have words for the destruction that’s been wreaked.”
European leaders collectively blame climate change for the widespread effect that the flooding had over the continent.
While she was upset about the destruction of her country, Merkel was happy with how the German people came together to help each other after the flood. The clean up and rescue still continues for much of Germany. Nearly 158 people are still missing in the area and despite rescue efforts, Europeans are worried that they won’t be found.
In a now deleted article published by the reporter’s news network (RTL), Susanna Ohlen was praised for helping with the flood efforts. She has since been suspended following the airing of her dirty deeds. She had been working for the company as a reporter since 2008. RTL issued the following statement.
“Our reporter’s approach clearly contradicts journalistic principles and our own standards. We therefore gave her leave of absence on Monday after we heard about it.”
Susanna Ohlen has apologized for her actions and called it a mistake. On her personal Instagram, she wrote, “After I had already helped privately in the region in previous days, I was ashamed to stand in front of the camera in clean clothes, in front of the other relief workers. As a result, without thinking twice, I smeared mud on my clothes.”
Many people aren’t buying her apology, however. Critics are saying it’s too late to apologize for the faked muddy rescue. Some believe the reporter only “came clean” after the incriminating video surfaced. One commenter wrote, “If you were really sorry, you would have apologized earlier. You’re only doing it now because the recordings are there.”
It is unclear what the future looks like for the lives destroyed by the flood and for Susanna Ohlen. The German broadcasting company has yet to comment on how it will move forward after this embarrassment.