There is a new standard for quality and niveau in the German media when it comes to reporting on the United States. Forget explaining the complex workings of American politics, forget trying to present diverse political viewpoints from within the world's only remaining superpower, forget serious discussion of the Bush administration's plans for UN reform. No...none of that really matters right now...put all that on hold...this is far more important...
SPIEGEL ONLINE Reports "When Bush Has to Go": More Professional, Serious, Intellectual Journalism...
What you ask? Well, less than four days before German national elections, SPIEGEL ONLINE is featuring a story on its homepage on a recent bathroom break taken by President George W. Bush. The report, entitled "Security Council: When Bush Has to Go," stems from a photo taken of Bush writing a note in the UN Security Council supposedly asking if it was an appropriate moment to excuse himself for a "bathroom break." SPIEGEL ONLINE writes of the incident:
"It is known that George W. Bush places great value in the opinion of Condoleezza Rice. Sometimes he even asks for her permission when it comes to important decisions - so too it was in the Security Council, when he was overcome by an extremely urgent need."
Profound. Why report on issues like Germany's massive unemployment problem or budget deficit at a time like this? Why discuss the impacts a new German government would have on transatlantic relations on a day like today? No! After all, this sort of potty-pause journalism simply proves (once again) that SPIEGEL ONLINE and its readers are a cut-above publications like BILD and TAZ in terms of professionalism, seriousness and intellect. Why can't we all just be that smart?
Update: Oh, by the way, this is what Bush really wrote on that note:
"Dear editors of SPIEGEL ONLINE:
I know that you will be deeply depressed on Sunday night when the German people vote your bosses out of office. So to make you feel better I will give you exclusive media access to my toilet for the remainder of my term in office.
With old-European greetings,
President George W. Bush"