The new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) is bringing a new spokesman into the house: ARD journalist Michael Stempfle will be head of the information work department, the ministry announced on Monday in Berlin. Stempfle replaces the former ARD journalist Christian Thiels, who worked as spokesman for both Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) and her predecessor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU).
However, on January 17, shortly before Pistorius was appointed defense minister, Stempfle praised Lower Saxony on "tagesschau.de" as a "full-blooded politician who gets down to business" - "with a sure instinct for issues and for pragmatic solutions". His move to the ministry was announced six days later. This raises questions: When the text was published, did Stempfle already have the offer from the Federal Ministry of Defense? And when did ARD know about the upcoming change? The CDU member of the Bundestag Matthias Hauer also asks the same thing on Twitter: "Recently still exuberant Boris
Under the tweet, other users are also wondering if everything went correctly. It is not unusual for journalists to switch from editorial offices to the press offices of companies, authorities or ministries. Stempfle's predecessor was also a journalist for ARD before he became press spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Defense. What is unusual in the Stempfle case, however, is the short time between the two activities. The stern sent inquiries to the ARD and the Federal Ministry of Defense about the timing, but received no more answers on Monday evening.
The "Tagesschau" has meanwhile written the note under the Stempfle text: "Editor's note: At the time this text was published (January 17, 2023), Michael Stempfle was a correspondent in the ARD capital studio. It has been known since January 23, 2023, that he will become a spokesman for the Department of Defense."