In the past two years, EUR 200,000 in tax money from the Vienna Business Agency went to the online platform of Peter Pilz, the founder of Liste Now. The ex-Greens, who failed as a politician, is trying to find donors with his web blog in order to continue to criticize mainly ÖVP politicians or entrepreneurs close to the ÖVP or to expose them to ridicule with crude caricatures.
Even after many months of existence of this online platform, the success is modest: Since Pilz does not have its user numbers reported by the ÖWA (which the eXXpress will do shortly), the numbers of monthly interactions on social media platforms are the only guideline for the performance of this site. And things don’t look too good for the ex-Greens: Despite all his efforts, his aggro website had almost 126,000 interactions (shares & likes) in March, which would be no more than 4200 on a daily average…
Nevertheless, the red-pink governed city of Vienna is supporting the strange project with €200,000 in tax money, reports “Die Presse” now: Through funding from the Vienna Business Agency, a fund of the City of Vienna, Pilz collects the money for “community journalism” and once for journalistic information about Austrian content in Turkish.
“The fact that Red Vienna supports a party-political medium may be understandable from party-political motives, but the amount of funding actually makes a mockery of quality journalism. The SPÖ is thus complicit in the brutalization of political culture,” criticized Laura Sachslehner, the ÖVP General Secretary, of the funding campaign.
Curiously, Peter Pilz could also use part of the money to finance the legal fees for the numerous media lawsuits against his blog – this begs the question of whether Viennese taxpayers really want lawyers for left-leaning and aggressive blog writers to be used with their money get paid.