Mr Wilders said on Saturday it was “a disgusting cartoon. It must be removed from that website immediately, or the PVV will not attend the VARA provincial elections debate scheduled for next Wednesday." Mr Wilders spoke of “sick minds” at the VARA.
The Joop.nl website is funded by VARA, but has full editorial independence. Francisco van Jole, the website’s editor-in-chief, said Mr Wilders remarks were tantamount to blackmail and that the programme which the Freedom Party was scheduled to attend had nothing to do with Joop.nl. He said he would not remove the cartoon: “This is the opinion of an opinion maker who we are offering a platform. This does not mean we necessarily always share his opinion. It is simply intended to spark debate.''
Mr van Jole said he found it odd that a politician would seek to ban this cartoon. “I understand he is upset … but it forms part of the social debate.” He said Mr Wilders was trying to smother the debate. A VARA spokesperson said the organisation did not necessarily share the opinions presented on Joop.nl and would very much like the Freedom Party to attend Wednesday’s provincial elections debate, but had no intention of ordering Joop.nl to remove the cartoon.
Radio Netherlands Worldwide
Here’s another cartoon that Mr Wilders won’t be so happy about.