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Oh, I`m so bloody lucky I HAVE to pay for this
- excuse me - bullshit called ARTE...

he is missing a hitler mustache! :rolleyes:

That cartoon and an acid trip have much in common. I guess it makes sense if you watch it after consuming a certain amount of drugs.

As an expat living in Germany, I was shocked to discover that I have to pay about twenty dollars a month to finance the government-sponsored tripe they put out on German TV and radio. Actually, I wasn't completely shocked: I had heard this dreaded TV tax but had successfully managed to avoid paying it until a few days ago, when some government employee showed up at my door, reeking of cigarette smoke, invited himself in and proceeded to ask a series of obnoxious personal questions before charging me the aforementioned fee.

I still don't understand why....how....

I'd be concerned were these particular Germans more than gnats on the American windshield.

Disappointing video. I was expecting the Bush youth in formation. Take it back to the editing room!

Hi,

blogging at it's best: the clip is not from Arte, it's presented on Arte's website. The clip was created by two artist from NY: Jason Archer & Paul Beck.

Cheers,
Joe II.

In addition to what Joe II said, I fail to see the Anti-Americanism in this video.

In addition to what Joe II said, I fail to see the Anti-Americanism in this video.

Right. What seems to outrage "Transatlantic Intelligencer" is the mere fact that this videoclip makes fun of Bush.
And, of course, the fact that ARTE is GOVERNMENT-FINANCED. Is that supposed to imply that the French and German government should censor ARTE? If yes, this tells us a lot about what the author of this posting thinks about freedom of press. But if no (what I suspect) - where is his point?

Philo-sophist and Joe II. If it's on a private channel it's one thing. If you are forced to pay for drivel like this, it's another. The reason it's propaganda is because it conveniently deflects attention away from the problems at home. Out of a job? Blame Bush. Blame America. Don't look at the oppressive taxation. Nevermind the overregulation. Go now, look across the pond. There's the source of your troubles. Yeah, that's the ticket.

"Is that supposed to imply that the French and German government should censor ARTE?"

The French and German Government in fact PAID for the video with my extorted money.

Suppose ARTE bought a video from some German extremists depicting Fischer as a Communist - would we appreciate it as "art" and condemn any critic as censorship? would we be happy at how our tax Euros are being spent?

Apparently the idea of government sponsored political propaganda still doesn't bother a lot of Germans - what a shame

That's the concept of public TV channels: The government finances them, but it doesn't censor them. And therefore you must sometimes tolerate that you sometimes dislike what they produce.
In the same way, your tax Euros may be spent for (e.g.) scientific research you are not interested in.

Suppose ARTE bought a video from some German extremists depicting Fischer as a Communist - would we appreciate it as "art" and condemn any critic as censorship?

Well, in fact I found the "humor" in this videoclip to be pretty tired/childlike, and a video depicting Fischer as a communist would probably be as boring. But if you ask me wether I would be outraged about ARTE broadcasting such a satire: Definitely not.

@ aphilosopher

Now why would you consider the videos "boring"?

well, here it goes. you guys keep making the same mistakes your opponents do. Presenting ARTE as the author of this comic strip (which is a lie) makes me sad. You should know better. All your efforts to be onjective are in vein in the light of these comments on Arte. And what do you mean with: if it is done by a private channel, it would be ok???? Private channels are bound to be biased - they represent the mainstream oppinion to ensure funding. That is not the case with public channels: because they are government-funded they are able to present a broader picture on the world than narrow-minded private channels do. Arte is by far the best channel on german tv - and it often features stories that are critical of our government. Because that is their right and duty: to be critical. Thats what the american media has lost: to be critical of government action...

Obviously there is some misunderstanding: government-sponsored does NOT mean government-controlled.
Of course, it´s not so simple: ZDF e.g. is "controlled" by the Verwaltungsrat(financial) and the Fernsehrat("advises" on the program). The Fernsehrat is composed of 77 members: 16 for the state governments, 3 for the (what´s the word?) "German government", 12 for the parties. The other 46 for all other sorts of organizations like churches, unions...

Now why would you consider the videos "boring"?

Because it would be boring. But I agree with pure_bee: ARTE often brings good documentations and the quality of journalism in private German TV channels is normally rather low.

the problem is somehow almost all the state financed stations ( except Bavarian , Bayerischer Rundfunk ) are obviously left leaning if not strongly leftist biased. How all the Lefties got in there and STAY in there ( because they always are detrimental to a Conservative Government also, and should therefore be combated by them) I always wonder. Remember many years ago ther was something about " Kündigung des Staatsvertrages " which IIRC was Conservatives trying to dismantle the state paid TV stationry. They failed.
ARTE is especially bad. The thing is however, their programming is otherwise rather good, much better than the private TV ,which are PURE crap.
The solution therfore lies in a new attempt to do away with state financed TV or MUCH BETTER ... develope CONSERVATIVE TV a la ARTE. That means interesting , intelligent, decent programming without Leftist influence and brainwashing.

@Manfred
"The thing is however, their programming is otherwise rather good"

Ack. I'll bet you watch 3sat too :-).

Seriously, some of the posters claim the that the video ARTE showed was no big deal. Neither was any particular liter of water in the tsunami that swept over the south Pacific two months ago - it was the cumulative effect that killed 200,000 people. The European tsunami consists of mass hysteria, and it's coming our way.

Can you imagine ARTE running a similar video about Schroeder, Chirac or Zapatero - or even Castro or Arafat? I cannot. The fact that the clip was created by a couple of New Yorkers is irrelevant. ARTE ran the clip.

The nonsense about censorship is just that - nonsense. Freedom of speech is much more restricted in Germany and France than it is in the US. The German government wouldn't hesitate to snuff a similar clip about Schroeder. Heck, the media here can't even talk about Schoeder's hair.

@ pure_bee

I'm sorry, but that is intellectual and politically correct Bullshit.
Explain to me how portraying President Bush with horns and fangs is "being critical" of his policies or positions or anything. It it just plain instigating ridicule and hate.

And BTW, it seems very odd, that the "critical position" of German TV stations only seem to go on one direction. Where are the critical documentaries on Chirac, or even Castro, China, North Korea etc. etc. etc.?

"Private senders are biased, but public ones objective"? Where have you been living for the past decades? In Congo? Ever heard of PBS? Or the German ARD+ZDF for that matter?

Nice try, pure_bee.

There seems to be some confusion in some of the comments above.

Firstly: Of course, Arte is not the “author” of the clip. No one ever claimed this. Arte is a corporation. It is not an animator. Like other broadcasting corporations, Arte broadcasts many items for the creation of which it was not responsible (either directly in the sense of being the creative “author” or indirectly in the sense of being the “producer” that paid for the work’s creation). (It also broadcasts some items that it or its components – Arte Deutschland GmbH and Arte France – did produce.) But Arte chose to broadcast the clip – no it is not simply on the Arte site – and to broadcast it, moreover, introduced by a commentary that contains not-so-subtle expressions of sympathy with its anti-Bush message. This is hardly surprising since, as I have discussed at length in an earlier post on Trans-Int, anti-Bush and also anti-American…frankly, garbage is very much the norm in Arte’s programming. Since he seems to be a stickler for detail, Perhaps “JoeII” would like to translate the commentary for us? It is available in French and German on the Arte website pages I link in the post.

Secondly: It would no more have constituted “censorship” for Arte to have not broadcast the clip than it constitutes “censorship” for it not to have broadcast, say, the entirety of George W. Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address in its original version or any of the other innumerable items that it has not broadcast. What an odd idea of censorship, “aphilosopher” has. Arte, moreover, is itself a state institution and the state cannot censor itself. Quite simply, Arte is responsible for its programming. Just as, say, Fox is responsible for its programming. However, inasmuch as Arte is a joint venture of the French and German states, in the case of Arte this means that the French and German states are ultimately responsible for its programming. Not only is Arte fully financed by France and Germany, but the appointments to its administrative instances are political appointments. If you guys cannot understand the significance of the difference between a public and private broadcaster for the matter at hand, then, quite frankly, you are trolls and not interested in serious debate. The French and German governments can no more claim innocence with respect to anti-American content in Arte programming than, say, the Palestinian Authority can claim innocence with respect to anti-Israeli content in the programming of the PA’s media.

@ John

'If you guys cannot understand the significance of the difference between a public and private broadcaster for the matter at hand, then, quite frankly, you are trolls and not interested in serious debate'

I'm not quite sure you have understood the principle of public broadcasting. It might be financed by taxpayer money but that does not mean that the government can interfere with the programming. Check out the Arte website and you will see that the decision making on programming is not taken by any government but by a lots of groups of people who consider themselves important (funny: you have been to the Arte website but couldn't be bothered to look up how the channel is organised. Otherwise you wouldn't have written about the French and German states being responsible for programming).

http://www.arte-tv.com/de/service/alles-ueber-ARTE/der-sender/38976,CmC=38974.html


I am not here to defend the system of using taxpayer money for media outlets. But before you call lots of people trolls I urge you to be aware of the fundamental difference between public broadcasting institutions (such as ARTE, ARD, BBC etc.) and state controlled media channels as you might find them in totalitarian states. Luckily, the German government has not got the same control over media as the Palestinian Authority has. I for one don't like the idea of paying taxes for TV-channels but there could be something worse: Governments telling those channels what to broadcast and what not to show.

@john rosenthal
"in the case of Arte this means that the French and German states are ultimately responsible for its programming"
This is misleading, to put it carefully. Fact is, the German government has little to no influence on the programming of ARTE:
The main institution of control for ARTE is the members´ assembly (Mitgliederversammlung). The German members are ARD and ZDF. As I pointed out above, ZDF is controlled by the "Fernsehrat", where the German government has 3 representatives out of 77(!). So I guess you are right: "ultimately" they are responsible ;-).

Phil,

Still they do not go against their masters. They follow the standard line coming from paris and berlin.

Because the beede does not is why it is under the gun in the UK right now with its charter.

Now I am sure you are going to tell me this is not propanganda. Just another fair and balance M$M presentation to the massess. So be it.

Just as I am sure you are going to say editoral content and funding is all very transparent. I am sure it is to those like yourself.

Well like most things in europe it is about as transparent as mud. Which of course is perfectly fine with me.

This is your problem it is surely not mine.

Joe and Schakal have pretty much pegged this one. The crap about independence despite public funding is crap. NO state-funded television station is independent. That is simply ridiculous.

Joe, beimami,
both of you obviously have no clue whatsoever as to the organization of the German state-funded media.
Of course they are not "independent": ZDF e.g. is controlled by the "Fernsehrat" (TV council)... *sigh* why bother...

Your argumentation is: German media anti-Bush. Schröder anti-Bush. therefore: Schröder control German media.
Well, apparently the sly fellow also has control over CNN, BBC and Reuters. Just how does he do it?

fuchur,
don't be childish. Nobody said it is Schröder in person. You don't understand how it works and how they all work together.

The person in charge of the WAZ is a member of the SPD. Do you believe he is neutral?

fuchur, read this:


URL dieses Artikels: http://www.netzeitung.de/medien/285153.html

CDU greift «Frankfurter Rundschau» an
05. Mai 2004 17:27

Die «Frankfurter Rundschau» sei nach der Übernahme durch die DDVG nicht mehr unabhängig, meinen hessische Christdemokraten und fordern sie auf, sich nicht mehr so zu bezeichnen.

Vor einer «bewussten Täuschung» möchte die hessische CDU die Leser der «Frankfurter Rundschau» bewahren. Sie solle den Schriftzug «Unabhängige Tageszeitung» von ihrem Titel nehmen, fordert der CDU-Medienpolitiker Volker Hoff. Nach dem Einstieg der SPD-Medienholding DDVG sei die «FR» nicht mehr unabhängig: «Wo SPD drin ist, muss auch SPD drauf stehen.»

Die FR hatte nach dem Vertragsschluss mit der DDVG, die 90 Prozent übernommen hat, ihre Leser auf ihrer zweiten Seite ausführlich darüber informiert. Auch nach Ansicht von Medienwissenschaftlern gibt es keinen Hinweis darauf, dass die Holding in die Medien, an denen sie beteiligt ist, inhaltlich hineinregiert.

Die CDU-Mehrheit im hessischen Landtag will durchsetzen, dass Zeitungen, an denen politische Parteien beteiligt sind, künftig gekennzeichnet werden. Die Opposition im hessischen Landtag, SPD und Grüne, fordern im Gegenzug, dass Zeitungen grundsätzlich ihre Gesellschaftsverhältnisse aufdecken.

Christdemokraten und eher konservativ ausgerichtete Medien stellen schon seit langem die Medienbeteiligungen der SPD in Frage, die sich aus der Tradition der sozialdemokratischen Parteiblätter entwickelt hat. Die DDVG hat den Grundsatz, sich niemals als Mehrheitsgesellschafter zu engagieren, bei der »FR« aufgegeben, weil sich ein anderer Investor kurzfristig nicht gefunden hatte und die Zeitung vor dem Konkurs gerettet werden musste. Sie beteuert, dass sie niemals publizistisch Einfluss nehme, was Chefredakteure von Zeitungen, an denen die Holding beteiligt ist, bestätigen.

Trotz geringerer Parteispenden verfügt die SPD über mehr Geld als die CDU, weil sie unternehmerisch tätig ist. (nz)

@ Gabi,

WAZ and FR werdet nicht öffentlich finanziert und darum ging es.

'Do you believe he is neutral?'

Wie will man feststellen ob jemand neutral ist? Rupert Murdoch ist vielleicht nicht Mitglied in einer Partei. Heißt das er ist neutral? Oder die Chefredakteurin der TAZ? Letztendlich hat jede Zeitung eine gewisse politisch Ausrichtung.

I said that the German and French *states* are ultimately responsible for the content of Arte, not the governments – though the governments do have an important share in this responsibility. I only regret in this formula the use of the qualifier “ultimately”. The German and French states bear responsibility for the content of Arte. Period. Arte is a state institution. So this is by definition. There are all sorts of public services which may form part of the state sector, but which, needless to say, are not necessarily run directly by the government: public utilities, public transport, public broadcasting, etc. This is also the case in what “Phil” calls “totalitarian” states. So, the reference to such states in this context is merely a dodge.

To turn to the question of “government”, the governing instances of the state – not just the current “government” in the sense of the executive branch – are themselves ultimately responsible for these public services. Who else, after all? That’s why it’s called government.

I never said “the” government “runs” Arte and I certainly nowhere implied that the current French and German “governments” in the narrow sense do. Again, the would-be critics here are responding to claims that no one has made – which is a rather disreputable tactic, though common enough. But the “lots of groups of people who consider themselves important” – as Phil writes with such charming precision (Phil: I think David and Ray D. “consider themselves important” or at least they should – so why isn’t Medienkritik given a seat at the Arte table) – consist of political appointments. This does not just mean direct appointments by the respective executive branches. In the first place, the process is indirect and, in the second place, other governmental agencies are involved than just the executive branches. Fuchur, for example, points out that only three out of the 77 members of the ZDF Fernsehrat represent the current German “government” or Regierung. So what? 16 “represent” the provincial governments of the Länder and an additional 16 are appointed by the Länder governments. 12 represent the parties in the Bundestag, including 7 representing the SPD and Greens who form the current government. These are *all* governmental agencies. Other members represent institutions – such as the churches (yes, the churches) – that officially have the status of “public corporations” [Körperschaften des öffentlichen Lebens] in German law. They also, then, form part of the state, though not the government. If Fuchur cares to look into the procedures for appointment on the French side, I trust he would find it far less complicated.

But such details are in fact irrelevant. If Arte ran a documentary, say, praising the racial theories of Adolf Hitler and Alfred Rosenberg, I think at that point Fuchur and Phil and Co. might be able to appreciate what government responsibility implies in this context.

And, by the way, as the examples I just gave might remind you, Germany is a state that *does* practice censorship.

@fucher

Talk about a straw man. Nobody made the argumentation you are talking about. Who said Schroeder controls ARTE? That is ridiculous. But you know full well that ARTE's funding would suffer quickly if it started running similar clips about Schroeder, Chirac, Castro or Arafat. As with much anti-Americanism in Europe, it isn't so much what they do in isolated instances, it's the fact that do it again, and again, and again to Bush and America, but rarely if ever to anyone else.

Gee that is a huge strawman..

But OK.. I will bite

CNN is losing market share in the US. It will continue to do so.

The beede exists because it is funded by the British tax payer.

Rueters has been discredited time and time again for its leftist agenda. To depend on Rueters as a news source without cross checking is sitting oneself up to be manipulated by ommission and comission of facts.

So pay your taxes support the unsupportable and enjoy the world as it is presented to you.

Government sponsored TV channels simply are an European tradition just as government sponsored theaters and opera house are. One-sided content like this is new, though, we used to have many more pro-American TV journalists and seriously rightwing commentators. Of course, by now the rightwingers haev retired, and the TV stations are indeed mostly leftwing.

Ralf,

All forms of socialism and group think are european traditions.......LOL There is also a history of this tradition and where it leads.

Ralf,

Which is another way to say you are controlled by your elites. It is they who tell you what to do, how to do it, and use your money. The individual it either too stupid or to selfish to support such wonderful institutions.

Of course, you might be from a school who feels all money belongs to the state. Which then makes your comments to be more sinsible.

It is all for the common good. Equal outcomes is a wonderful concept. It is something both communism and socalism share.

@ Phil

I agree with you that no media is "independent", or even completely impartial, regardless of who owns it.

A problem is, some admit it openly, and some maliciously pretend to be 100% objective news. But the big problem is that many otherwise smart people actually fall for it and believe them!

I am sad to say that this is the case for most of our fellow Europeans.

Phil,

You want me to believe there is no state cenorship in German. Please! Are you too now part of the ever increasing group who is rewriting your own history.

Here is a silly example your chancellor's dyed hair.

Now that is just too silly but if such a silly thing as this causes the state to intervene, you want us all to believe that the state does and has not intervened before in real issues?

I find this to be amazing. I am glad this is the way media is run in your nation. I know it performs a useful function. With luck these organizations will get even more funding in the future. Consider this part of the "soft power" need to eliminate "root causes" and continue "stability".

@ Joe,

the state did NOT intervene in the case of the chancellors hair. He went to court as a private person and won. I wounder who is rewriting history here.

PS. that does not mean that I find the chancellor's behaviour acceptable in this case.

@john rosenthal
`I never said “the” government “runs” Arte'
I never said you said. I said that your comment was misleading. Especially your strange analogy to the Palestinean Authority:
"German government...Arte programming... Palestinian Authority...programming of the PA’s media. "
The problem is that "state", "government" can have different meanings. And it was not clear what you meant.
Your definition of "state" sounds somewhat odd to me. So the Catholic church of Germany is part of the German state? But ok, using this definition, I agree with you: "The German and French states bear responsibility for the content of Arte." Keep in mind, though, that there is a substantial difference between responsibility and control. Actually, I have some doubt whether a council of 77 members of all kind of different organizations has much power at all. It would seem that in practice, the journalists are pretty much free to do what they want...
You mention public transport. Not a really good choice, because this comparison just shows how the public TV stations are NOT organized: There is no "secretary of information" who sets the agenda.
Finally: What if ARTE decided to air Nazi-propaganda? Here you´re talking about "government responsibility" again. So let me clarify: The government couldn´t do anything about it. They´d have to go to the next judge and sue.

@ Schakal:
Explain to me how portraying President Bush with horns and fangs is "being critical" of his policies or positions or anything. It it just plain instigating ridicule and hate.

Nobody ever claimed that this is an objectiv critic of Bush's policy or position. It's a satire, though not a very good one.

@ john rosenthal:
To turn to the question of “government”, the governing instances of the state – not just the current “government” in the sense of the executive branch – are themselves ultimately responsible for these public services. Who else, after all? That’s why it’s called government.

OK, to make my point clearer: Imagine the German government would find this boring videoclip as scandalous as you - what could they do? They have certain control over public TV channels, but they have no right to censor them. Otherwise many reports critical of the German government would not be aired on German public TV.

Again, the would-be critics here are responding to claims that no one has made – which is a rather disreputable tactic, though common enough.

Well, either you want to claim that broadcasting this clip was a political decision (or at least not preventing its broadcasting) that shows the disrespect of the French and German government for the US or the posting on your blog is pointless.
You can blame the producer of "Tracks" and attack this person for her or his disrespect for Mr. Bush, but that would probably not have been a really big story.

@ beimami:
But you know full well that ARTE's funding would suffer quickly if it started running similar clips about Schroeder, Chirac, Castro or Arafat.

To my knowledge, the funding of ZDF didn't suffer after it aired this, this or this.
Just check it out.

@ Joe:
All forms of socialism and group think are european traditions.......LOL There is also a history of this tradition and where it leads.

Are you a libertarian? Or do you still not understand that the German public TV channels are NOT a propaganda instrument of the government? Some posters here may have labeled them "left-wing", but... question: Is Peter Hahne really a left-winger? I think rather not.

Phil,

Bit strange the chancellor's hair and freedom of the press. Of course, when you can ban political speech then why not ban discussions about the vanity of the dear chancellor.

All very reasonable for such a democratic nation, don't you agree?

aphilosopher,

You germans are just full of satire and humor too.

The one I particular like the best is "we share common values" and " germany is an ally of the US".

Now those are real satire.

@ Joe:
What has your posting to do with mine?

Fact is: a court decided that there should be no reports published about Schroeder's hair after Schroeder pressed charges as a private person. He didn't (and couldn't)use his constitutional powers to suppress free speech.
What is the case (not only in Germany but here in the UK as well), is that laws on publishing speculations and rumours are much tougher in Europe. That's why celebreties have a much higher chance of winning libel cases over here.

And yes: Germany is an ally of the US (allies don't have to agree all the time) and we share common values. It makes me happy that GWB talks along the same lines during his visit to Europe.

Sorry I have to bother you with my 'satire'. Just can't write posts that are as serious as yours :-)

@ philosopher,

Thanks for saving me a lot of time. Was planning to write a post along similar lines. Any suggestions that the government would decrease funding towards a public broadcaster in case of critical reports are simply ridiculous. Helmut Kohl would have stopped funding about 10 years ago.

Phil,

Once you get past the glossy words just what do we share in common?

That my friend is a very serious question. I would hope you will give some thought to that and you do not have to post it on this thread.

Just as I am working still on a reply to your question to me on why france is an enemy.

aphilosopher

"Nobody ever claimed that this is an objectiv critic of Bush's policy or position. It's a satire, though not a very good one" aphilosopher February 21, 2005 03:13 PM

You are right, I miss read the above. I also contributed the comment to you. Which now seems to also be wrong.

Please accept my apology, not enough coffee this morning.

Some of our German commentors try to create the impression of a politically non-partisan public broadcasting system in Germany.

As someone who has some personal experience with this system: it is definitely partisan, and the political parties - on the regional ("Laender") level - exhibit great influence. Some public broadcasting channels are right wing - Bayerischer Rundfunk comes to mind -, some are blatantly left-wing, such as WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk). The default orientation is left-wing. The extent of partisanship basically depends on who is governing the region, and for how long.

You'd be hard pressed to find a non-card-carrying member of a political party among the upper echolons of most public broadcasting channels.

As to ZDF, a national public broadcasting channel - the leadership is more or less evenly split between members of the christian democrats and the social democrats.

No government or party influence on the public broadcasting system in Germany? Give me a break...

1. There's a distinction between criticism and satire on the one hand, and villification and demonization, on the other. The former are fully appropriate in democratic politics. The latter are not. The Arte images of Bush as a demonic monster seem to fall more into the second category.
2. Some people have argued that the fact that Arte is state-supported is irrelevant because this only means that the state provides funding, and does not mean that it determines the content. This is part of the issue, but only part. Even on--perhaps especially on--publicly funded media, a certain degree of balance and fairness is expected. As an American, I wouldn't want public TV here to engage in this kind of demonization of a democratic politician in any case (see above), but if it does engage in this kind of depiction of some politicians, it should certainly not do in a one-sided way. Everyone should be eligible for the same treatment. So my question to Germans is: Can you imagine Arte depicting Schroeder and Fischer in a similar way? If not, doesn't that suggest something about what Arte's political goals are?

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