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The German diplomats should be glad American media doesn't report much about Germany, because it would likely lead to a rise in anti-German sentiment.

Asking the Ambassadors if anti-Americanism is a problem, might well be like asking fish if water is a problem.

Furthermore it seems that amongst the German elite, “no problem” is the solution. Too many Muslims? No problem. Russians got your energy supplies by the short hairs? No problem? Economy stuck, Brain-drain ? No problem.

Anyways, the Ambassadors pay checks come in on time no matter what.

Joseph Goebbels would agree that there is no anti-Americanism in either the German media or among das Deutsche Volk. Aber natürlich.

Wait a second - how could you expect diplomats to change the position of the government in the first place? They are diplomats and not part of the government in Berlin. Their job is to explain the attitude of the government, not to change it.

I'm with ATMX. If Americans actually knew how Germans and other "Europeans" thought of Americans, the backlash would probably push the continental economies over the edge. And since the US economy probably keeps ten or fifteen percent of the Europeans going to work, it would not be a pretty sight. So it is best for European politicians to ignore anti-Americanism while on this side of the Atlantic, while stoking its fires at home. Tough game to play, but I guess that's why they make the big bucks.

"Ambassador Pleuger mentioned that the NY Post called Schroeder and Fischer "weasels.""

Ahem. If the shoe fits...

Actually, I think anyone would be on safe ground calling any politician a "weasel." 'Tis the nature of the beast.

Scott, that is absolutely insulting. To the innocent weasel, I mean.

What's wrong with you Scott? Do you not like politicians? I just can't believe it! They are all such fine, selfless individuals.

ACCH! I can't believe you didn't hang their asses on the difference in the network of ownership of media between Germany and the US.

OK, Ray D., if you read your post neutrally, it's hearsay. Did you take a recorder? Did you record it?
Videocam?

I'm not doubting you - but this post is a he said-he-said situation.

If you're going to nail their asses, nail them.

Not a criticism, a suggestion.

@ Pamela,

The Pleuger lecture was actually taped by someone at Georgetown. Otherwise you do have to take my word for it.

@Scout: According to this definition, it seems an appropriate comparison:

wea·sel

2. A person regarded as sneaky or treacherous.

http://www.answers.com/topic/weasel

But, hey, I'm open to suggestions as to another basis of comparison. I considered snake, but that's not the right analogy here. I also considered and rejected "criminal," too, since, although some of the things he did (you know, like allegedly blatant conflicts of interest) might (in my opinion) land him in the pokey in the US, they apparently aren't illegal in Germany.

Besides, Ambassador Pleuger brought it up, not me. If it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me. It would have been interesting getting Ambassador Pleuger's thoughts on what an appropriate analogy would have been, especially given the revelations about Schroeder that have come to light since he left office.

Don Miguel said: "They are all such fine, selfless individuals."

All? I'll take back what I said if you can name just one -- who's still alive. I know you're being facetious, but it would still be an interesting exercise to see if we can come up with at least one politician who wouldn't qualify as a "weasel."

Outrageous! I know, I shouldn't be surprised. I live in Germany, and most Germans I know don't seem to know how terrible their media system is. They think that what they're reading is the straight truth.

Insulting their media makes them very angry, as well. Why? Well, because they believe it.

I too have found that every German's first defense against criticism of the German media is to counterattack and say that American journalism is worse, which is exactly the tactic of Ambassador Plueger when he mentioned the New York Post and "weasels". I'm no defender of American journalism. American journalism is skewed to the Left, but German journalism is even further to the Left.

Of course, when they talk about American journalism, they're talking about conservative American journalism. While such a creature does it exist, conservative papers and news networks are the exception, not the rule. Nonetheless, every German seems to be an expert on the American media, which apparently consists only of Fox News, which they've heard is terrible brain-washing propoganda, but don't really know because they've never seen it.

What they don't know is that Fox News never runs stories called "How France lied to world" (as the German ran about the United States) or "John Kerry: Morally Bankrupt" (as the German media ran about George W. Bush) or "Germany:they couldn't give a damn about the rest of humanity" (as the German media ran about the United States).

But I don't even get into that argument with touchy Germans. Why? Because the existence of Fox News--biased or not--in no way exonerates German media. Why is it that they have such a hard time defending their own media? Why is their defense--"America is worse"--always the same? It's as if to say that because Fox News is biased, then Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, and Stern cannot be.

It reminds me of the time that Ray came to my school to give a presentation on the German media. I gave a flyer for the event to a German woman I know, and she asked me what it was about. "It's about anti-American bias in the German media," I said. The first words out of her mouth? "I don't think the German media is biased. I think Fox News is biased."

When Ray finally did come to speak, a number of perturbed Germans mounted the old "Fox News" defense. Ray hadn't mentioned a word about Fox News in his presentation, but somehow the dialougue in the room descended into old cliches about the Fox network. Ray didn't come to talk about Fox, but somehow the Germans in the audience felt it neccessary to attack the American media (which, I guess consists of that one television network, ans spews nothing but lies to a braindead American population), mostly because they couldn't defend their own media.

@Ben
somehow the Germans in the audience felt it neccessary to attack the American media

Well, allow me to go slightly off topic here and talk about the French media - they're hilarious. I watch Le Journal most evenings and of course 95% of the stories right now are about the CPE. However, they've been closing most shows with a quick review of how foreign media are covering the story - and it's nothing more than a chance to take shots at the U.S.

One evening's example: They speak to one foreign crew. "We're trying to get the story from people who are actually part of it." They were from Poland.

Then another crew, I think from Hungary and they didn't say anything I found worth remembering.

Then a third guy. "We're not like the Americans. We're here to tell the truth." He was from - wait for it - Al Jazeera."

Then it's 'Bon soir'.

Now we cut to the interregnum. These consist of one person sitting on a stage with a single spotlight, who says something intended to be profound, followed by a screen of text that quotes a fragment of the monologue that's just been delivered.

EVERY night they have a young American lady who has spent time in Spain. She goes on about the pleasures of siesta, and notes that many Americans don't even take lunch breaks. She thinks Americans would be much happier if they took siestas.

Text screen reads: Americans would be much happier if they took siestas.

Some nights they have a guy on identified as 'Persian American'. He talks about when he went to visit his family in Iran, everyone always spent a lot of time together. When that portion of the family moved to America, his grandmother complained that he didn't come see her after he went away to college. She told him "This not staying connected is very American."

Guess what the text screen on THAT segment read.

And my favorite is an American woman identified as 'a Francophile'. She talked about how uncomfortable she felt as an American in France. But after she had her first child, "I realized it's ok to be an American."

Three guesses.

This just cracks me up. I had my husband watch this farce with me one night just so he could see. He was sputtering with indignation but I've just got to the point where I think it's hilarious.

So, Ray, you should write about your excursion to Ben's school and other adventures into the German wilderness. That would be interesting.

I would like to say something about Fox.
First, about Bill O'reilly, whom I know quite well (not personally, of course), since I am a Factor premium member.
I thinks he gives Bush/republicans a fair treatment. Here's What he thinks about:
-war in Irak, is not going so good; knowing what we know now, maybe going there was not such a good idea
-environment: we have to become less dependant on the oil, less energy consumption is better (contrary to what many other conservatives think, namely that since it looks that global warming is not true, then we can do whatever we want)
-border controlling: he has been saying that all the way, that all the presidents starting with Reagan sold the americans out and that now it's paytime. Well, someone (Bush? The Congress?) is doing the right thing about it (hopefully)
-Bush being too arrogant (for failing to explain to the people his intentions in Iraq)
-Katrina: federal (and also local) authorities too slow
-death penalty: a very interesting argument: not killing someone, but forced labour (for these guys). And by no means gym/fitness room for these detainees
-Bush spending too much; well, here all conservatives agree

Well, I would call this a fair treatment (even if both Bush and O'Reilly are conservatives)

As about Fox News, I know for sure that there are liberal voices there. I cannot say whether it's 50-50 or not though, since I am not a regular Fox viewer. I am not sure, though, whether there are conservatives on NBC or ABC.

But even if Fox was completely conservative, that would still be ok. Because there are too many liberal sources in US (to name only the most important: ABC, NBC, CBS + the most influential newspaper in the world, NYT) and this would somehow outweigh them.

Funny how the German Media is selective about its news. This includes local coverage.

Fox announces the death of Nina Von Staufenberg, the widow of the guy who tried to kill Hitler in 1945.

Von Staufenberg has normally been presented to the world by the German media as proof, that during the war, there were brave Germans of conscience. Von Staufenberg was and his conspirators were brutally executed by the Nazis.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,190285,00.html

I don't see her obituary in either the SPON of Stern. Stern is bitching that the Brits "tortured" German communist during the occupation. Plus Stern is still mourning the 10th anniversary of Olaf Palmer

The thing that many critics seem to forget about FoxNews is that half of the shows are analysis, not news. Many can't tell the difference between news and analysis, especially due to years of watching networks and reading newspapers that have a problem differentiating between the two.

@neocon

I would hardly call Bill O'Reilly a conservative. He's a self-described "traditionalist" but I think populist is a more classic definition. He is conservative in many views, but his views on many other issues certainly keep him out of the conservative mainstream.

If you want to have some fun w/those who use FN like a using a cross to ward off a vampire --

Ask them what's the average viewership per night, then ask them how many people watch the big free 3 nightly.

Then ask what's America's population?

Just make sure you have the answers handy.

You'll find the answers via AC Nielson.

@ Don Miguel
That's true about news-analysis.
About being or not a conservative, this is what I think: you're for small government, low taxes, criminals should be punished => conservative. Quite a broad definition. So in my opinion, in the most important issues, he is one.
Maybe he is a populist, but why are you saying that? I am curious to see your arguments.
Which are the views where you can tell that he's not a conservative?

This is interesting to me because the statement "Anti-Americanism Not a Problem in German Media" can be taken two ways: (1) there is no anti-Americanism in German media, or (2) there is anti-Americanism in German media, but that doesn't constitute a problem. The interesting bit is that the ambassador that Ray questioned seems to be relying on *both* defenses -- but that's a self-contradictory position.

Taking the first defense: One of the intellectual bankruptices of Leftism is that it accords itself the privilege of being the kangaroo court of Truth. A leftist is privileged to determine when evidence is sufficient to prove a case, and may make this determination on an entirely arbitrary basis. So, if the Left decides that anti-Americanism does not exist in the German media, then no amount of evidence is sufficent to prove otherwise. And it appears that this standard has in fact been applied.

However, the second defense has also been invoked. In this defense, anti-Americanism exists, but so what? It's no big deal. In fact, this line of defense goes on to say that it is fully justified, given the supposed misdeeds of the American media. Note two things: (1) the leftist accusers need not provide evidence of any such misdeeds, and (2) said misdeeds need no consist of anti-Germanism or anti-Europeanisn; in fact, they need not have anything to do with Germany or Europe at all. This is in line with a common moral calculus of the Left: the Left's opposition is not 100% perfectly moral (because no one ever is); therefore, the Left need not adhere to any morals at all. One sin by the opposition justifies an infinite number of Leftism's sins. In our case, they need only "prove" (really just state) that Fox News is bad in some vague undefined manner, and that fully justifies everything that SPON, Stern, etc., have ever done.

Of course, the two defenses are contradictory because one states that the anti-Americanism doesn't exist, and the other begins by admitting that it does. But hey, if you're going to throw both morals and logic out the window right at the start, then you may as well go for the whole banana.

@neocon

A simple definition of Populism is that it is a political philosophy which says that the common person is oppressed by the elite in society, and that the apparatus of the state needs to taken out of the hands of the elite and used for the benefit of the people. Since O’Reilly spends his time going after the elites and going to the "regular folks" to discuss their social, economic and personal interests, I’d say that makes him a populist. For example, note his big push in every state for Jessica's law.

As for his non-conservative views, I'd have to think for a while of that (I just remember him saying things that didn't sound like your typical conservative). Offhand though, one thing he says a lot that I never hear coming from conservatives is the phrase "I don't care what you do in your own home" when talking about subjects such as drugs, drinking and sex. That’s quite Libertarian but not exactly part of the Republican platform. In any case, if the choice was only liberal or conservative, then I would definitely call him conservative.

"About being or not a conservative, this is what I think: you're for small government, low taxes, criminals should be punished => conservative. Quite a broad definition."

Yes, I would agree. But then Bush, a conservative, fails on two out of the three you mentioned. :)

@Don Miquel
Looks like i didn't actually know what populism was. Thanks for the info ;)
But then I guess there must be some overlapping between conservatism and populism. I think it could happen just as well that a conservative be tough on Jessica's law.
That's right, drugs, sex, etc, he's libertarian here.
Well, Bush gets some extra points for his stand on religion ;)

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