Anyone who slips in the Wetstraat or ends up in the rumor mill will sooner or later end up in this section.
More questions than answers
To the pointanchor and political journalist Pieterjan De Smedt wants to understand the world, not change it. “That urge is foreign to me,” he says Humo. ‘If I felt the need to fight Vlaams Belang or any other party, then I would have to go into politics. And I never see myself doing that: I am someone with more questions than answers, I have no crushing convictions.’ Many politicians can relate to those questions. De Smedt asks some questions again and again as his interviewees try to talk themselves out of it.
Vlaams Belang politician Barbara Pas was asked the same question ten times during an interview on Paleizenstraat, where refugees had found shelter in a squat. “’Where would you take those people?’ They could not go to their country of origin. I kept repeating the question, that’s just the way I am, but the answer came with great difficulty. We must apply this critical, journalistic approach to the right and the left and everything in between. At the VRT we must stand above the parties, above the commotion, as independent, unbiased spectators.’
De Smedt also extends his journalistic neutrality at home, when the microphone and camera are not present. ‘In 2024 I will give power of attorney to my wife and tell her: “Do something.” I can’t make that choice. It’s almost professional deformity, isn’t it? Even at family gatherings, I involve myself as little as possible in political discussions. I already find it uncomfortable when my almost 8-year-old son sees a politician on TV and asks: “Is that a good one or a bad one?” I can say that Putin is not a saint, but otherwise I prefer to answer: “Just ask mom.”
In the ropes
Francs Borains Chairman Georges-Louis Bouchez (MR) had hoped for a stunt in the battle for the Belgian Cup. The Hainaut club played against STVV in Stayen on Tuesday. “I’m a Genk fan, all the more reason to beat STVV,” said Bouchez, bursting with confidence in an interview with The Importance of Limburg. In the accompanying photo, Bouchez is holding on to the net, after the game his team was hanging on the ropes. Francs Borains held up well. Only in extra time were the Limburgers able to score, but then three times.
That does not alter the fact that Bouchez sees things big. ‘There are no limits. I also don’t see why we should impose it on ourselves. But we shouldn’t be pretentious either. We realize that we need more investors if we want to take the next step towards the Jupiler Pro League.’