He goes on:
The liberal arguments won the fight in North Belgium and representatives of the extreme right started appearing regularly on the news, news shows, in election programmes, etc. Granting the extreme right a platform to disseminate their ideology proved to be a very slippery slope towards presenting them as legitimate political actors being good at their job of opposing the government. More and more representatives of the extreme right have gone through the same media training as democratic politicians and are quite savvy in grasping every opportunity to get their often vile messages across, in spite of über-critical interviewers.
In fact, representatives of extreme right parties often perform a sort of permanent underdog anti-politics that appeals to anti-establishment sentiments - an establishment to which the (liberally inclined) media elites are also considered part of.
I believe that extreme right parties should not be ignored altogether and the societal tensions and conflicts they are the symptom of, even less so. But the media should expose extreme right parties for what they really are and lay barren internal conflicts (just as with other parties) rather then give such parties and their representatives a platform to repeat their discourses of hate and exclusion.The phrase 'so open minded that your brains fall out' springs to mind here....
Journalists should furthermore be very aware of the dangers of legitimizing extreme right discourses when reporting on the extreme right and when interviewing their representatives.
Pluralism should be radical in a democracy, but for vibrant multi-cultural and ethnical democracies to be able to survive, a common ground relating to basic values such as equality, respect, solidarity, difference, etc. is crucial as well. Popper’s paradox of tolerance sums it up pretty neatly, up until what point can intolerance be tolerated before it destroys tolerance all together?