(By Ray D.)
AP Poll: Americans Hopeful on 2nd Bush Term
According to a recent Associated Press poll: 60% of Americans are hopeful about a second Bush term, while 39% said they were not hopeful. Most describe themselves as neither angry nor excited about his final four years in office, which seems to contradict the "divided nation" assumption claiming that Americans either deeply love or deeply hate the US President. Almost two-thirds of Americans described President Bush as likable, strong and intelligent. A majority said he is dependable and honest and that they are "not worried" about the next four years.
Not surprisingly, this positive news on Bush has been almost entirely ignored by the German media. In effect, there is a de facto ban on positive news about George W. Bush in the German media. The major headlines of late have all been about the negative results of the poll. For example, it has been widely reported that Iraq will cast a long shadow over Bush's second term. The relentless stream of negative reporting about the United States and Bush continues unabated with no end in sight.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Critics Say Bush Should Cancel Inauguration
SPIEGEL ONLINE is already frothing at the mouth for a second Bush term. The latest gimmick is to call for the cancellation of the President's inauguration. The most recent installation in the SPON diatribe is an article entitled "Bush-Fest with Pomp and Weapons" which begins with the following:
"The most comprehensive security program of all times is supposed to protect the self-proclaimed "War President" Bush, when he is inaugurated for a second time on Thursday. The celebrations cost 40 million dollars. Critics say the money would be better spent on the troops in Iraq or the tsunami victims." (emphasis SPON's)
The story, written by SPON "Amerika Korrespondent and Ober Amerika Experte" Volker ter Haseborg, continues with the compelling and heartbreaking story of one Mike Yohannes. According to the article, Mr. Yohannes is yet another victim of the Bush administration's arrogance and overreach. His entire life has been thrown into turmoil by the President's insensitivity: He will have to move his hotdog stand two blocks to make way for the parade of gun-toting neocons and "militant Christians" marching down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration day. What a tragedy! What a brilliant triumph of journalism to expose this profound injustice! Chapeau Mr. Haseborg!
Bush Supporters Branded "Militant Christians"
And what article on the inauguration would be complete without mentioning the planned anti-Bush protests. Haseborg writes:
"And also in the sights of the security services: Demonstrators who, on the occasion of the inauguration, want to display their dislike of the US President. The members of the anti-Bush group "Turn your back on Bush" want to find their way to the route and turn their backs to Bush when he passes. Environmental activists from the organization "Critical mass" are planning a bicycle tour through the city to draw attention to the deficient environmental policy of the Bush government. However, pro-Bush demonstrators are also expected in Washington: The "Cristian Defense Coalition," a militant Christian group, wants to support their President and counter the Bush opponents." (Cristian is SPON's spelling, not ours)
This reference serves two purposes: The first is to further brand Bush as an extreme religious zealot. The second is to brand all Bush supporters and pro-Bush demonstrators as "militant Christians." The strange reference to "Weapons" in the article's title is also a part of the branding process. After all, in SPON's world, if a Bush supporter isn't a "militant Christian" then he has got to be a neocon gun nut.
And so we come full circle. The German media is desperately afraid of accurately presenting Bush and the majority of his supporters as mainstream, everyday, middle-of-the-road Americans. That is exactly why they are avoiding the positive poll numbers mentioned at the beginning of this article like the plague. If publications like SPON actually acknowledged reality and reported on the results of the recent AP poll, it would shatter their ability to further stereotype Bush as an extremist, stupid cowboy, religious fanatic, war-monger, arrogant unilateralist, environment destroying, socially unjust panderer to the rich. That is why they scratched their collective heads in disbelief after the election and published articles entitled "How Could That Happen?"
They just don't get it: The majority of ordinary Americans, including millions of Democrats, Independents, women and minorities voted for President Bush. And make no mistake: SPIEGEL ONLINE doesn't want to get it because Bush-bashing and anti-Americanism are far too lucrative in Germany. To quote a SPON writer, the magazine is using anti-American bias "to please our million readers."
Never mind the truth.