As the US ambassador to the Netherlands has discovered, the country’s journalists take their roles has hard-nosed hacks very seriously.
Peter Hoekstra, the US’s new ambassador to the Netherlands, was welcomed to the country with a swift lesson on how the Dutch press corps operates.
A Donald Trump pick, he’s famous in the Netherlands for having once falsely claimed that Islamist extremists were burning cars (and even politicians) in the country.
He’s since denied making the claims but during his first press conference in his new residence in The Hague this week, journalists held his feet to the fire.
After he dodged the first question about his false statement, the next journalist called on a similar question. And the one after that.
As one reporter put it, “This is the Netherlands: you have to answer questions.” Though Hoekstra didn’t retract his claims, the display of persistent solidarity should serve as a potent lesson to the Washington press corps facing similar evasion from the White House.