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Some examples of pro-American news in the German media:

Die humanitäre Kraft der amerikanischen Macht
Demokratische Vorsehung?
Bashing statt Spenden
Ein Krieg gegen den Irak ist gerecht
Antiamerikanismus stiftet Europas Identität
Das steinerne Herz
Amerika stammt aus Europa

da habe ich aber tüchtig gelacht. 4 oder 5 Artikel waren in der bösen bösen Springerpresse DIE WELT. Gibst du David also Recht? Ich habe leider keine früheren Beiträge von dir gelesen, so weiß ich nicht, warum du gerade die rühmliche Ausnahme in Deutschland zitierst.

I'm amused to note that 5 out of 7 of those links are from Die Welt. :D

@Gabi, @Doug

I agree that 5 out of 7 of my links are from "Die Welt". How does that compare to 6 out of 6 links from "Stern"?

Mein Gott, in Deutschland gibt es pro-US Berichte. Wooow ! Danke, notforsale, danke. Das muss heissen die deutschen Medien sind, mit winzigen Ausnahmen, sachlich und profesionell, gell?

Feigeblätter koennen wohl sehr viel decken in Deutschland, gell, NotForSale?

@WhatDoIKnow, @Helian

Ever heard of the Hostile Media Effect?

@ NotForSale,

The reason I mention articles by Stern is because Stern is owned by Bertelsmann, and this article is fundamentally about Bertelsmann. Secondly, it is not our intent here to deny that some German media are fair in their reporting on the USA. Certainly Die Welt is one of the better publications in this regard. Focus is also not bad. Again, we are not here to claim that the entire German media is anti-American. Far from it. We are here to point out that a large and very influential sector of the German media is biased against the USA.

Ray - you should also add this fact - that there is no similar media bloc of ANY size in the US that is clearly and consistently biased against Germany and/or Europe

Sorry - not even Fox. They may be more prone to "French/Euro bashing" that the traditional MSM but to be honest they are so domestically focussed that they rarely cover European issues

We can bemoan this lack of international coverage if we want but it remains true that even Fox doesnt bash Germany or Europe with the consistency that huge segments of the German/Euro media do against the USA

They don't mention Germany at all for the most part :)

Surely that is the really important point to always bear in mind

Of course one can demonstrate some pro-American pieces - even in the usual suspects one imagines

What one cannot demonstrate is any significant alter-ego of this unfortunate tendency of German/euro media to bash the USA at every opportunity

AICGS director Jackson Janes is one of the few if not the only American who has explicitely endorsed Gerhard Schröders and Joschka Fischers mad proposal during the Jenin hoax to send German troops to the West Bank. Another job of AICGS is to resassure Americans that "there is no comparable German version of the popular political blogs in the United States found on both sides of the political spectrum." So don't waste any time searching for.

Just like it was said about the "Holy Roman Empire of German Nation" was neither Holy, nor Roman, nor an empire, the "American Institute of Contemporary German Studies" is neither American, nor an institute, nor does it study contemporary Germany. It is just a more or less pathetic name for a national lobby organization to Washington.

@Poque Mahone "...there is no similar media bloc of ANY size in the US that is clearly and consistently biased against Germany and/or Europe..."

I think you are off-track here, you are looking into the wrong direction. It's not about some German media being anti-American. It's about people being anti-Bush. The Internet is replete with sites like these. Try to find similar sites for any other democratically elected leader. You won't succeed.

You are wasting your time with German media. It's better to think why this is happening, not where, because it's happening around the world.


>>"I think you are off-track here, you are looking into the wrong direction. It's not about some German media being anti-American. It's about people being anti-Bush."

This argument is such a joke. It's been blown out of the water on this blog alone a few score times, but the NotForSales of the world have a short memory. What was your excuse during the Clinton Administration, NotForSale? Remember SPIEGEL's hysterical rants about the Echelon "scandal" the US "stealing" of German Panzer secrets in Spain, etc., etc. Just go back and read the archives. SPIEGEL's anti-Americanism was considerably more vicious and rabid then than it is now, because the editors believed no one was watching them. SPIEGEL showed that America bashing sells in Germany long before Bush started hanging his hat at the White House, and the rest of the German MSM caught on in a hurry. The whores at FOCUS dropped their "pro-American" stance pronto when they realized that hate still brings in the dough, and the rest followed suit.

>>"You are wasting your time with German media. It's better to think why this is happening, not where, because it's happening around the world."

You got that right, because the rest of the world is full of people just like you, hateful, envious, bitter that any country or any people is bigger, stronger, prouder, or happier than their own. It will continue happening around the world until we crawl into a hole and die, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you, NotForSale. We have no intention of appeasing the hate peddlers and their eager customers.

Are you surprised that a German department or "German Studies" center from an American university is just as left-wing and anti-American as the editors/publishers of Stern, Spiegel and SPON?
In the name of improving German-American relations, their goal is to make America more German (i.e. socialist nanny state) than it is to make Germany more American, or to use Schroeder's pejorative term, "Anglo-Saxon."

ErikEisel nails it with his last comment. AICGS can think of only one way that German-American relations could improve, and that is if Americans became more German.

Helian, I tend to agree, though I hope I would have been gentler. No, actually, I probably wouldn't. But we should be. Nonetheless, your points hold. Anti-Americanism in Germany long predates George Bush. I would say rather that Bush exemplifies what they have long disliked about us. In this thread, I notice that Notforsale changes the subject quickly, either because he does not follow the argument or because he finds it uncomfortable. This is part of a larger pattern on the Left in general, particularly in Europe, of attending to less than half the pertinent data. (Can we spell C-h-o-m-s-k-y?) Nearly any premise can be proved by that method. Certainly, there is never a danger of having one's stereotypes undermined.

Once in a while someone comes around on DMK and repeats a long expired claim: the German media is not anti-American. No sir, it's only anti-Bush.

Once Bush is gone, oh boy, nature will blossom again, the birds will sing again and the Germans will be able to again gleefully manifest their deep love and appreciation for the US. By the way, could we also bring Dear Leader back to life ?

I have no doubt there are Germans who simply just dislike Bush, not the US. The thing is that their dislike is more than 90% media-induced and is therefore mostly irrational. The German media (most of it) having a leftist/socialist mindset has been beating the anti-American drum for a long time.

I remember seing a few documentaries on ARTE in 1994, dealing with... surprise, surprise... crime in the US. While crime in the US (and elsewhere) is an undeniable fact, the presentation of this fact on ARTE was anything but balanced. Only a fully ideologically blinded person can not identify this repetetive pattern in the German media. A possible lull in anti-American presentation shouldn't be mistaken for lack of anti-Americanism. The German media has infected a large part of the public with a pathetic and morbid fascination for real and imagined American failures.

Angry about "Abu Ghraib" but not about the 14 dead people at the Spanish border in Africa from last week?
Angry about the Iraqi War because it was without the UN but not angry about the Kososvo War?
Then you are here at the right place. Stay and read more.


Yeah, I´ve heard the "They have always hated us!" line a couple of times, too. Usually, this is underpinned with some story of how some German was very unpolite at some time. Or with a simple "Take my word for it. "

Well, no, I won´t. And sorry, I don´t have the time to look through 20 years of German media archives and start an extensive research on every article in order to find out whether it expresses legitimate criticism or bias against America.

But how about some simple numbers (from a PEW report cited on this site a while ago): 99/00 about 77% of Germans claimed to have a "positive view" of the US. After 2001, this figure dropped down to about 40% (now, who/what could be the reason for that?).

IMHO, the "There has always been anti-Americanism in Germany"-argument is a big strawman. Even with an incredible 90% approval rating, it would still hold!
In reality, 77% apparently is very good, compared to other nations.


>>”Yeah, I´ve heard the "They have always hated us!" line a couple of times, too. Usually, this is underpinned with some story of how some German was very unpolite at some time. Or with a simple ‘Take my word for it.’ "

Don’t put words in my mouth, Furchur. I’ve never claimed, “They have always hated us.” When I lived in Germany in the 70’s, the situation was quite different. Then Germans depended on us to protect them from the Soviet bloc, whose conventional forces outnumbered ours by a large margin. Then we were not perceived as a “hegemon,” or “the world’s one true superpower.” The political and psychological situation changed entirely with the collapse of Communism and dissolution of the Soviet Union in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Indulge me in some philosophical musings. Human beings, like most higher mammals and many other animal species, have a predisposition to perceive others of their species as belonging to an in-group or an out-group. I believe the German ethologist Konrad Lorenz referred to it as the amity-enmity complex. This predisposition is as natural as sex, and the distinctions we make between in-groups and out-groups can be quite arbitrary, as long as the psychological need for such a divide is satisfied. The long history of the blues and greens of the circus in the Byzantine empire is a good example. More recently, the Jews have been a convenient out-group in predominantly Moslem and Christian societies. After WWII, of course, the Jews were out-of-bounds as an out-group for the Germans. There were strong social inhibitions against open anti-Semitism. A new out-group was needed. Once Communism fell, and the U.S. became “the world’s only superpower,” it became a most worthy and admirable enemy, and fit the bill perfectly. Of course, the new world situation didn’t apply only in Germany. The US became the “out-group” of choice, not only in Germany, but in the rest of the world. A psychological predisposition to anti-Americanism will continue, in Germany as elsewhere, as long as we are perceived by others as “number 1,” regardless of who is President, and regardless of how benign our foreign policy becomes. As long as we appear to be the most powerful, we will be hated. The need for an enemy is just as human as the need for food, water, and sex.

SPIEGEL may not have been the first, but it was certainly one of the first to exploit what was, in the early 1990’s, a population not yet anti-American, but, because of the changed political situation, ripe for anti-American propaganda. SPIEGEL, of course, has always been spiteful, cynical, and derisive in its coverage of other countries in general. In the early 1990’s its editors noticed that this spite and derision directed at the US set off a sort of harmonic vibration in the minds of its readers. The rich vein of anti-Americanism was ripe for mining. SPIEGEL proceeded to mine with gusto. This isn’t hard to see for anyone with an open mind. No weary hours of searching through archives is necessary. Just go back and read a few issues of SPIEGEL from any period from, say, 1995 to 2000. You’ll see all the bitterness and spite we’re still familiar with combined with an ever-growing, single-minded obsession with the evils of the US.

According to Furcher, “But how about some simple numbers (from a PEW report cited on this site a while ago): 99/00 about 77% of Germans claimed to have a "positive view" of the US. After 2001, this figure dropped down to about 40% (now, who/what could be the reason for that?).”

Apparently he expects us to conclude that, as we’ve heard so often before, “it’s all because of Bush,” because a significant increase in anti-Americanism coincides with his presidency. In fact, Bush is a symptom, not a cause. I submit that the fact that virtually the entire German mass media was pouring out anti-American poison by the bucketful during the period referred to by Furchur, combined with the receptiveness of the German population for this propaganda for the reasons cited above, was more likely the cause for the rapid metastasis of hate directed at America. The fact that anti-Americanism was already rampant and growing rapidly before Bush was elected should be sufficiently strong evidence to convince anyone with an open mind that he is not the cause, but the fig leaf of anti-Americanism. As for those who are in denial about the hate that afflicts the German people, I can only suggest they wait and see. Anti-Americanism will continue, as strong and destructive as ever, when Bush is gone, regardless of who takes his place. Unfortunately, those who can blind themselves to the facts now will probably blind themselves to the facts then. It will suddenly be discovered that whoever takes Bush’s place is just as “evil” as him, and he/she will become the next convenient scapegoat.

What is to be done? I suppose we must lean on the thin reed of human reason. Racism can be successfully resisted. I have seen it resisted, not with perfect, but with very considerable success, in the US (and, in fact, in my own mind) in my lifetime. I believe quasi-racist anti-American hate in Germany can be successfully resisted, too, not least because of Germany’s historical past. David’s blog is certainly in the vanguard of the resistance to German racism. Many more like him are necessary to shine the light of truth on the propagandists of hate, and we see many voices emerging now, still weak, but growing. Let us hope for the best.

Voice of support for Helian.

I don't deny the point that approval for the US dropped coincident with the Bush presidency, and even more so after the US began to take action after 9/11. It is not very different from our home-grown left's own reaction. Bill Clinton was seen as a turning point, an expression of America's moving from its old benighted ways to join the other civilized nations of the world. The children of the 60's had finally elected their president, a harbinger of their increasing control over the institutions of power in the US. The Bush election was seen as a repudiation of that, and people felt that they had been robbed of their forward movement and progress.

For Germans to take the attitude "We will like you Americans again once you come to your senses," is their right, of course, but it is not a pro-American or even neutral stance. It is self-approval, and approving of us only insofar as we resemble you.

Bush is not an accident or temporary insanity of American politics. I would even maintain that without the ongoing significant boost that the MSM gives the left, elections would not be particularly close in America. I think we'd win 65-35 in a fair fight. The manipulation of the media in 1) downplaying the corruption of one side and emphasizing that of the other; 2) downplaying the data supporting conservative policies and highlighting data supporting liberal policies; 3) declining to press questions against the left; and 4) treating middle-left views as fashionable creates an artificial inflation in electoral and poll numbers. Put simply, if they couldn't lie, they couldn't win.

I am hopeful that reality will be a powerful teacher. Having misconceptions about America will hurt Germany's trade and diplomacy with us, and those businesses and countries that catch on to the reality will have an advantage. Smart people will figure out that something is wrong. And now that the internet allows those Germans who actually want to learn what is happening in other countries, rather than have their Cold War embarrassment stroked, some Europeans will begin to catch on. The will find that they cannot afford inaccurate information.

Those small mammals are going to be stealing the eggs of your dinosaurs.

For what it's worth, this is what Jimmy Carter wrote in his memoir "Keeping Faith" on pages 537-8. (The book was published in 1982):

"Helmut Schmidt seemed to be torn between the conflicting political forces in his country. In private conversations he was very tough in dealing with the Soviet threat, often the leader among Europeans in proposing strong action. But in German political debates, he emphasized the opposite facet of the same question and seemed reluctant to do anything which might be interpreted as anti-Soviet. At times this conflict made it difficult for Americans to understand him and was the reason for some of our problems. There were many reports from news reporters and others in Europe and in the United States concerning his critical comments about me, Secretaries Vance and Muskie, Dr. Brzezinski, and other officials in our government. These persistent criticisms, often highly publicized, helped to legitimize anti-American sentiments in Germany. Perhaps to compensate for these reports, Schmidt would publicly deplore any negative comments from others in Germany about the United States or its leaders."

Sorry to disappoint all of you who believed that George W. Bush invented anti-Americanism in Germany, but it just isn't so. Learn your history. By the way, the "Der Spiegel" cover currently displayed on our sidebar with the boots on the globe was published during the Clinton administration.

Sorry for OT

"Frankfurter Buchmesse, Antisemitism and Iran" by Matthias Küntzel

Frankfurter Buchmesse, Antisemitism and Iran" by Matthias Küntzel

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