(By Ray D.)
Medien Tenor: Arab broadcasters report more positively on Iraq election than German broadcasters
Quote from a Medien Tenor press release:
The German public television news are spreading, with their news selection, a climate that the parliamentary elections in Iraq could not fulfill their function. With that, they stand in contradiction to the position of the UN that Kofi Annan presented on the basis of UN election observers as well as in contradiction to their colleagues at Arab TV broadcasters from Al Jazeera to Al Arabia. That is shown by the current study of the media research institute Medien Tenor. The Bonn scientists found out that “heute journal” and “Tagesthemen” reported negatively nearly 80 percent of the time when the validity of the election was spoken about in cases evaluated in the time period that the study was carried out (17-26 January 2005). Marietta Slomka (heute journal anchorwoman, 19 January): “How should free, equal and general elections be held under these conditions?” ZDF correspondent Luc Walpot even doubted that the election was a decision on political goals: “In light of the daily threats, kidnappings, bombs and murders, the interest in the election programs is tiny. (…) The placards will not set the tone, fear will be decisive.” The “Tagesthemen” also expressed themselves very critically: The bombing terror threatens the election process, reported Joerg Armbruster.
A completely different picture was given to the viewers of the leading Arab TV broadcasters Al Jazeera, Al Manar, Al Arabia, etc. on the situation in Iraq. They chose different news from Iraq and, on the same day (19 January,) spread a positive estimate of the election’s legitimacy among their viewers in 100% of the cases. “The trend of the reports from ARD and ZDF (the two main state funded stations) correspond to the extremely one-sided pattern of reporting that we have observed in the public state-funded broadcasters since Schroeder’s political change of course towards the US in the end phase of the 2002 German national elections,” according to Roland Schatz, the Editor-in-Chief of Media Tenor International. “The German public is being presented a situation in Iraq twice as negatively portrayed as it was under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. Do dead Iraqis count for Tagesthemen and heute journal first then when Saddam Hussein isn’t responsible for them?” The long term analysis of the Bonn media researcher shows that since 1994, those responsible for the main news reports at ARD and ZDF, in their presentation of elections, for example in Russia or China, dealt far less intensively with issues of the guarantee of democratic standards. “As long as the same daily fare is offered from Baghdad, the viewers cannot come to an independent judgment about what has been achieved in Iraq in the first place,” so Schatz. Viewers would be closer to that point if both a wider variety of information was researched and if different regions were given more attention.
Beyond and above that, Medien Tenor compared the current reporting on the Iraq election in leading German, British, French, Spanish and Italian media with that of the presentation in the leading Arab media. There too, the analysis shows similar differences in the evaluation of the legitimacy. While the Arab media delivers a view already mentioned above, the Western European media have far more strongly questioned the legal legitimacy of the elections.
At Medien Tenor in Bonn over 140 analysts research on a daily basis the Arab, German, English, French and Italian news programs piece by piece for which topics, people, institutions and countries are presented.
Further information at: http://www.medientenor.de
That settles it, Luc Walpot of ZDF wins this years "Idiot Prediction of the Year" award. Here again is his statement: “In light of the daily threats,
kidnappings, bombs and murders, the interest in the election programs is tiny." The interest is tiny? How bout them apples Mr. Walpot: Over 70% of Iraqis vote. The election is an enormous success. Freedom triumphed over fear. You may go back to drinking the Kool-Aid with Ms. Slomka now Mr. Crackpot...er Mr. Walpot.
(Correction: Voter turnout was around 58%. Still a remarkably high number in light of the threats, terror and dire predictions of pessimism by Mr. Walpot, Ms. Slomka and the rest of the German media crowd.)
This is stunning folks. The German media has an 80% negative quotient for reporting on elections that are an undeniable and historic triumph for democracy in the Middle East. They are either completely out of touch with reality, completely biased or both. I think the following statements from Mr. Schatz are particularly telling:
"The trend of the reports from ARD and ZDF (the two main state funded stations) correspond to the extremely one-sided pattern of reporting that we have observed in the public state-funded broadcasters since Schroeder’s political change of course towards the US in the end phase of the 2002 German national elections. (...)
The German public is being presented a situation in Iraq twice as negatively portrayed as it was under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. Do dead Iraqis count for Tagesthemen and heute journal first then when Saddam Hussein isn’t responsible for them?"
And then the same anti-American, left-wing cranks who run these profoundly biased German media institutions and who believe every word that comes out of them have the gall and the temerity to attack media networks like Fox News as biased!? This is not only hypocritical, it is disgusting.
In any case, it will be interesting to see how networks like ARD and ZDF reconcile the enormous success of the Iraqi election with their dire predictions of doom and failure. Will they ignore the success, talk up the terror or shrug it off as an anomaly? One thing is certain: They will never admit they were wrong.
(This piece published in German at Medien Tenor, special thanks and hattips to Michael Miersch and Stefan H.)
Let the Countdown Begin! Tomorrow, February 1 at 6 PM Berlin time, 12 Noon EST: Davids Medienkritik will introduce a powerful new German-language blog: