The cover of the new edition of the German weekly Stern would make Josef Goebbels proud:
"Method Wild West"
German Opel workers standing arranged in the form of the company logo destroyed by the hated symbol of U.S. world dominance (do we need to mention that these boots belong to... George W. Bush?) - now THAT'S a great propaganda trick. (Opel is a German automobile manufacturer owned by General Motors. The company recently announced thousands of job cutbacks in Germany and throughout Europe because of high production costs and low demand for their cars.)
No doubt, the Stern "journalists" listened carefully to the master:
Political propaganda in principle is active and revolutionary. It is aimed at the broad masses. It speaks the language of the people because it wants to be understood by the people. Its task is the highest creative art of putting sometimes complicated events and facts in a way simple enough to be understood by the man on the street. ...
Propaganda must be creative. It is by no means a matter for the bureaucracy or official administration, rather it is a matter of productive fantasy. The genuine propagandist must be a true artist. He must be a master of the popular soul, using it as an instrument to express the majesty of a genuine political will. ...
The effective propagandist must be a master of the art of speech, of writing, of journalism, of the poster and of the leaflet. He must have the gift to use the major methods of influencing public opinion such as the press, film and radio to serve his ideas and goals, above all in an age of advancing technology. ...
Today one can say without exaggeration that Germany is a model of propaganda for the entire world. We have made up for past failures and developed the art of mass influence to a degree that puts the efforts of other nations into the shadows. (Josef Goebbels, 1934)
Stern 2004 - Goebbels 1934. German anti-American propaganda, still going strong...
Update by Ray D.: Isn't this sadly typical? Instead of blaming the bad German economy, outrageous taxes, overblown bureaucracy, the failing Socialist-Green government of Schroeder and Fischer and their failing Socialist economic policies for the Opel job losses, it is once again the fault of the evil American cowboy, the source of all the world's problems according to Stern.
This is just more evidence disproving the myth that the United States or the President squandered America's good relations with "allies" like Germany. The German media has been on a non-stop campaign to demonize and defame America and Americans for nearly three years now. If Senator Kerry thinks he will actually get Germany (or France) to send troops to Iraq he is badly mistaken.
And why a cowboy boot anyway? Stern editor-in-chief Andreas Petzold complains repeatedly about Detroit's alleged mismanagement of Opel. Cowboy boots are hardly the footwear of choice in Detroit or anywhere within a thousand miles of Detroit. Could this have anything to do with the fact that Bush comes from Texas and that Stern loves to defame and stereotype all Americans as ignorant cowboys?
I used to shy away from comparing today's German media to the Nazis, but this cover really deserves the comparison. David is absolutely right. It wouldn't surprise me if Stern began to run the line "Die Amerikaner sind unser Unglück!" on each cover from now on. It would certainly reflect their style of journalism: Making America and Bush scapegoats and objects of hate for everyone. And, as Stern and its editor-in-chief Andreas Petzold clearly know: Hate sells.
Side note: Oh yeah, guess what: According to Stern Tony Blair is "under pressure" again. (laugh, is this the five-billionth time in the past couple years?) Yet, Gerhard Schroeder, whose government has been one unending economic disaster for Germany, is rarely "under pressure." Go figure.
+++VOTE HERE+++ on a poll being conducted by a stridently anti-American German website, SPIEGEL ONLINE. Simply click the link, be sure to scroll down, make your selection (Bush, Kerry, Nader, other, wouldn't vote) and click "Abstimmen."
(Hat tip Dave)