(By Ray D.)
It just never seems to get old or hackneyed for Spiegel Online: Calling Great Britain and Tony Blair the loyal "vassal" of the United States and President George W. Bush. The latest installment came today in an article entitled, "G8 Summit: USA Supposedly Watered Down Climate Declaration. The first paragraphs read:
"Protecting the climate was supposed to be the big topic of the G8 summit in Scotland. Now it turns out that the declaration of the state and government leaders on the consequences of global warming will come out soft as wax - because of pressure from the USA.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced it loud and clear, and it seemed like the wish for the long overdue dividend of his loyal vassalage to the USA in the Iraq war: The G8 summit that takes place in July in Scotland and chaired by the British was to energetically address climate protection - and finally move President George W. Bush to compromise.
However nothing will come of that, if one believes reports from British and American media. According to them, the declaration, which is to be adopted by the state and government leaders of the seven largest industrial nations and Russia, no longer contains clear statements on the connection between the emission of green-house gases and the warming of the earth."
Tony Blair's loyal vassalage? How can any self-respecting journalist write a line like that? And how could any self-respecting editor allow such a phrase to be used over a dozen times in just the past two years? It sounds more like propaganda than news. Since when did the United Kingdom cease to be a sovereign nation with a sovereign, elected government? If I were British I would be deeply insulted. And does that mean Schroeder was Chirac's vassal or Putin's vassal? Does that make Spiegel Online the German left's vassal?
It is precisely this sort of repititive, over-the-top rhetoric that makes it extremely difficult to take Spiegel Online seriously as a fair and objective news source. You would think that this sort of petty, insulting language is beneath the dignity of such a large, widely-read news magazine. Apparently not.
And, of course, the article had the mandatory section about how Bush is a global menace:
"Bush is an International Threat"
Environmental activists showed concern and demanded that Blair oppose US President Bush on the climate question. "President Bush is an international threat," said Greenpeace Director Stephen Tindale. The earlier Presidential candidate John Kerry made similar statements. "The government is following a dangerous ostrich policy," he told the "Washington Post." "Head in the sand as if nothing was happening."
And oh yeah, this will surprise you: The article quotes Greenpeace and John Kerry, but the Bush administration's point of view is totally ignored. Just another day at the office for fair and balanced journalism in Germany. In fact, no one from the Bush administration is even quoted as to whether the allegations in the US and British media are true in the first place!
But wait! Spiegel Online closes the article with proof-positive that Bush is an oil-mad maniac out to destroy the environment for the sake of empire. The dots are all conveniently connected for the conspiracy-minded reader in the final paragraph:
"Just one week ago it became known that a high-ranking advisor to President Bush had altered government documents on scientific aspects of global warming - here also with the goal to downplay the role of carbon dioxide emissions caused by humans. According to a report from the "New York Times," Philip Cooney handed in his resignation as chief of staff of the Council on Environmental Quality - to take on a position at the oil concern Exxon Mobil in autumn."
Aha! Proof positive! It is all a vast conspiracy...oil for blood...blood for oil...death and destruction...Bush lied and people died...global warming...ahhhhhhhh....
OK-STOP: You may cease hyper-ventilating now. So how do we get out of this echo-chamber? Here are three simple suggestions for the staff of Spiegel Online:
- First, go back to journalism school.
- Second, read this CNN report on the same topic. CNN actually mentions both sides of the debate! What a novel concept! Maybe Bush is wrong, maybe Bush is right, but isn't the reader entitled to both sides of the story?
- Third, stop calling politicians you don't like or agree with vassals. It's pathetic, it sounds like biased propaganda and people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
And let's not kid ourselves: Spiegel Online is a really big vassal itself. A vassal to its America-hating, hard left, Eurosnob readership. And they need to be fed their regular portion of anti-American, anti-Bush red meat. We wouldn't want the natives to grow restless, now would we?