“What’s going on in that?” Reichelt said, looking at a photo of a musician wearing lederhosen and a high-and-tight haircut. Reichelt was munching on chocolate now. I had been told that Bild editorial meetings could be rough going, but this one was running smoothly.

“That’s the folk singer Andreas Gabalier,” said another man at the table. “He going to be awarded the Karl Valentin prize in Munich, but apparently he’s some kind of rightwing hardliner.”

“What’s he doing in the photo?” Reichelt asked.

“Apparently he’s contorted his body into the form of a swastika,” the man replied.

“I don’t quite see it,” Reichelt said.

“Couldn’t it just be a walk-like-an-Egyptian dance move there?”

“Yes, it’s all a bit unclear.”

“All right, we’ll just say that some people interpret it as a swastika.”

“OK, got it.”

Bild, Merkel and the culture wars: the inside story of Germany’s biggest tabloid