Who is … Martin Krasnik?


He is a 41-year-old journalist, author and passionate debater. He is best known for the latter on DR’s current affairs programme Deadline.

Why? What has he done?

Well, in 2005 he invited the then PM, Ander Fogh Rasmussen, into the studio and put him under such intense pressure that he broke out into a visible sweat.

Any tough debates recently?

Only a few weeks ago he had the Islam critic and journalist Lars Hedegaard in the studio and absolutely grilled him. Hedegaard is the co-author of the book ‘Islam’s colonisation of the West’. In this, the authors claim that Muslims are trying to take over the world. Addressing Hedegaard, Krasnik, who is himself Jewish, compared this view to the one in ‘The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion’ in which it is described how the Jews will take over the world, even though that was an anti-Semitic hoax!

How did Hedegaard take it?

He was very offended and denied this accusation, though the debate continued, uncomfortably for Hedegaard.

Were there any repercussions?

DR’s supervisory board member, Katrine Winkel Holm, called Krasnik as soon as she saw the show and criticised him for it. Socialdemokraterne’s culture spokesman then advised DR to fire Holm. 

Intense … how did it end?

No-one got fired. But Krasnik was interviewed on his own show by TV2’s Poul Erik Skammelsen about the interview. Yes, very confusing: a journalist interviews a journalist about an interview he did with a journalist.

So how does Krasnik feel about Islam?

Not sure, although he did send an email to Hedegaard before the interview, stating that he admires him for his courage. While he is definitely not religious − he was brought up in a Jewish home and attended a Jewish school − his origins are important to him. When he goes to the synagogue to celebrate the holiday of ‘Yom Kippur’, he says, it is to honour the tradition.