The German Media in Agony: Bush and now Blair Re-Elected
Despite bogus speculation in the German media about a possible shock upset, Tony Blair and his Labour party coasted to an historic third election victory this Thursday. Blair's victory was not quite the overwhelming landslide of 2001, but the British Prime Minister more than held his own, easily retaining the majority in parliament, despite vehement opposition over the Iraq war on the part of a hostile media and left-wing fringe groups.
Hey German Media: Get ready for 4 more years of THIS!
PS: Are we still "under massive pressure" now?
Of course, the Blair victory, when taken together with the re-election of George W. Bush, is sure to deeply upset many in the German media. We expect them to downplay and negatively spin Blair's victory whenever and wherever they can.
Conservatives Also Make Significant Gains
Despite Blair's clear victory, British Conservatives were also happy with the election results. The Tories look set to pick up well over 30 seats and left the third-place Liberal Democrats far behind. But don't expect that news to brighten the German media's day much either...
Our friend DL in Heidelberg has provided us with this article on Blair's victory and what it means for the German media:
A Victory for Blair – A Disaster for Germany
You have to feel sorry for Germany’s media establishment lately. It’s getting harder for ARD news reader Anne Will to maintain her smirk and Peter Scholl-Latour, the left’s standard-bearer for anti-Americanism, is no longer a permanent fixture on late night talk shows. It seems reality has collided with the Schroeder/Fischer world-view and its main cheerleader, German state-funded media, needs a new strategy.
Consider the record: The German MSM cheered when Spain’s appeasement government pulled out of Iraq in response to the terrorist attacks in Madrid because the U.S. lost an ally where the German government fervently desires things go badly. But that victory was followed by a disastrous election in Afghanistan, a disastrous election in the United States, a disastrous election in Iraq, and now, although Prime Minister Blair returns to office with a reduced majority, it still represents an unprecedented disastrous third term for Labour in the United Kingdom. Why disastrous? Because Germans view each of these events as a referendum on the man they love to hate, George W. Bush. Even if democracy movements in Georgia, the Ukraine, and Lebanon are subtracted from the equation, a German article of faith has been irreparably damaged. There was slight cause for optimism when an Italian security agent was killed trying to smuggle a journalist out of Iraq but when Berlusconi stayed loyal to the U.S. and took steps to reconstitute his government the optimism was short lived. From the German perspective, things look bleak indeed. Iraq has formed a sovereign government, Afghanistan is preparing for what will likely be successful parliamentary elections in the fall, and there is even the potential for progress on the seemingly intractable problem of Israeli-Palestinian relations. So how do you keep your world-view intact if international events fail to support it?
If you’re German media you ignore the good news and redefine the problem. America has been recently discovered to be the cause of Germany’s crumbling economy. It started when GM had the nerve to announce what every German already knows. Opel, GM’s German subsidiary, makes cars no one wants to buy. It was as if eliminating ten thousand overpaid jobs and closing a factory was the moral equivalent of war. Rather than address the root cause of German non-competitiveness, German government officials immediately announced plans to travel to Detroit so their constituents would know who was to blame. IBM will surely be the next national villian. With its poll numbers falling inversely with the rise in unemployment Schroeder's Social Democrats are reverting to their roots. Not only has the SPD compared capitalists to locusts, it has also announced that publicly held companies have a moral obligation to serve the social good as defined by government. In other words, shareholder profits should be directed toward maintaining Germany's welfare state, and thereby assuring the re-election of the SPD. It’s been nearly sixteen years since the fall of the German Democratic Republic and private property is still not safe.
The SPD fails to understand that capital has no nationality, a sure sign that Schroeder’s government is unprepared to compete in an international market. Germany’s economy has survived this long only because of strong exports and U.S. willingness to be the consumer of last resort. When that arrangement is interrupted there will be serious trouble between these former allies that will last far longer than the tenure of either head of state.
DL's point is right on the money. The SPD is currently finding new/old scapegoats to blame its failures on, and DL has put his finger directly into the wound.
One of our commenters, Ian, alertly reminded us of John Howard's big victory in Australia not so long ago.
Three-Peat: George W. Bush - Tony Blair - John Howard
Indeed, the three-peat is now complete: Bush-Blair-Howard. How will the German media ever live this all down...