(By Ray D.)
SPIEGEL ONLINE further bolstered its reputation for journalistic "objectivity" this week by publishing a front-page article entitled "Bush Sicks his Dogs on Clarke." The Bush Administration’s recent attempts to defend itself against Clarke’s allegations (that the President did not take the threat of terrorism seriously enough) are characterized as "an unparalleled propaganda offensive" by the online magazine.
Apparently SPIEGEL ONLINE believes that Bush was supposed to sit back and allow his reputation to be destroyed without as much as a peep. The article’s author, Alwin Schroeder, also makes virtually no attempt to question Clarke’s potential motives: For example, why did Clarke wait until the election campaign to level his charges? Is it really just a coincidence that Clarke dropped this bombshell just as his book was being released? Are Clarke’s statements before the US Congress entirely consistent with those he made earlier on the Bush Administration’s handling of terrorism? Does Clarke have a personal axe to grind?
But why ask difficult questions, Schroeder’s article fits the SPIEGEL pattern very well, and that’s what counts. Once again, the Bush Administration is portrayed as a gang of incompetent, conniving, callous cronies at the controls of a massive propaganda machine which they are manipulating to fool the American people into supporting their secret conspiracy to control the world’s oil. And as usual, anyone opposing Bush, no matter how questionable his or her motives might be, is portrayed as a heroic whistle-blower.
In fact, SPIEGEL ONLINE could have rightfully labeled its own reporting over the past few years on the Bush administration an "unparalleled propaganda offensive." The President has been portrayed as everything from a war-mongering action hero to an ignorant cowboy to a self-righteous religious fanatic. Little, if any attempt is made to present arguments of non-leftists on a consistent, balanced basis. And if such arguments are presented, it is in the form of a rare token article intended to give the magazine the facade of objectivity. How the magazine’s writers and editors can see their work as professional, balanced journalism remains a mystery to us.
Sadly, SPIEGEL ONLINE continues to deepen the growing canyon of misunderstanding between the German and American peoples. Through its biased, one-sided, trash journalism presented to readers wrapped in a thin veneer of pseudo-intellectualism, the magazine is doing a disservice to us all.
(Here's SPIEGEL ONLINE's e-mail address. We referenced this article in the "re" field.)