« What is Germany's Intelligence Service Doing in Iraq? | Main | Saddam vs. Honecker: The Difference between the Iraqi and the German Legal System »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451c42969e200d8342de35453ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Focus: "US Kids are Fat and Lazy":

» Fat and Lazy from Moonbattery
Via Davids Medienkritik, yet another example of the petty anti-Americanism that saturates the European media: The title translates to "US Kids Are Fat and Lazy." Imagine picking up an American magazine and reading that European kids are ugly and stupid... [Read More]

» Germans Fat and Lazy from Blogmeister USA
Gosh, I thought only us big, bad Americans had a weight problem: Germany has laid claim to the dubious distinction of being the most obese country in Europe, the International Association for the Study of Obesity reports. The report said... [Read More]

» Germans are as fat as Americans from Atlantic Review
Ulrich Speck of Kosmoblog wrote a comment on our post Berliners are faster than New Yorkers. He doubts the survey's findings based on his experience in Berlin and Manhattan. Ulrich also points out that Germans are as fat as Americans. Let's co [Read More]

» Germans Are Fat and Lazy from Blogmeister USA
Gosh, I thought only us big, bad Americans had a weight problem: Germany has laid claim to the dubious distinction of being the most obese country in Europe, the International Association for the Study of Obesity reports. The report said... [Read More]

Comments

If you think the article is silly, just read the comments.

Armes Deutschland - poor Germany!

Ray,

how about these headlines, describing German and Austrian children, respectively:

Frech, fett und faul, i.e. 'insolent, fat and lazy'

and

Fett, faul, fernsehsüchtig, i.e. 'fat, lazy, addicted to TV'


This kind of reporting about children and adolescents of any nationality is standard in the German-language media, and the study they are quoting is giving them a pretext to do so yet again. Btw, here is an English-language article on the study.

The article itself is not actually that bad in my estimation. What bothers me is the shrill xenophobic headline and the fact that it's always articles that shed a negative light on the U.S. that get run by the German media. I suspect that the content of the article was simply translated from a U.S. article somewhere after being selected for its propaganda value.

I actually have to give the commenters more credit than the author of the article, as most of them simply observe that Germany is heading in the same direction. I guess the Focus readers aren't quite as rabid as the Spiegel and Stern junkies. There was one commenter, however, who blamed it all on Bush and Iraq of course. Probably a Spiegel subscriber. It never ceases to amaze me that some people in both Germany and the U.S. simply can't think or talk about anything else.

Compare how quickly Spiegel is to tar and feather the U.S. as a nation and a people for its alleged crimes and failings with this Thursday article about some recently discovered letters of Anne Frank's father, written as he tried to find a way to immigrate from the Netherlands to the US in 1941, when we were at that point still technically neutral.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/0%2C1518%2C462203%2C00.html

Germany, it seems, did not occupy the Netherlands. According to Spiegel, the Nazis did--the Nazis apparently being this shadowy group that managed to run Germany for 12 years without any significant support from the German people. And Anne Frank is described as dying of typhus, a common disease in that era. Why all the reticence with using terms such as "murder" and "genocide" when the killers are the Germany nation and the German people? They don't show a similar reticence to use strong language when people become victims of US military action, however inadverent.

And somehow the blaming of political parties doesn't enter the matter when a failing of the U.S. is discussed and bad things need to be said about liberal Democrats rather than Bushitler, The letters, Spiegel tells us raise, "uncomfortable questions about US immigration policy at the time." Why don't they apply a bit of parallelism and talk of FDR and New Deal Democrats? Serious histories of why persecuted Jews weren't allowed to immigrate to the US invariably point out that the policy was one carefully maintained by the FDR's New Deal administration. FDR, in fact, used his considerable political skills to keep down any public demand for a change in that foul policy. At the time Otto Frank was seeking asylum, voices in the US were urging FDR to allow people to immigrant from future quotas, since it was becoming obvious that the war would soon shut off all possibility of Jewish immigration. FDR did not listen.

This isn't merely self-serving propaganda, it's stupid and transparently one-sided propaganda. It's precisely the sort of thing Goebbels said you could get away with because people (here the Germans) are stupid. They'll believe any lie, however big.

--Mike Perry, Inkling Books, Seattle
Editor: Dachau Liberated

I know this is off-topic -
yesterday was a very enlightening day regarding the differences between the political reality in america and germany. While it seems to be perfectly normal in the USA that there are primary elections within a party itself for important positions, it is not here in Germany. A huge dispute in the state of Brandenburg for the leadership of CDU (the party of our chancellor in case you don´t know) was the only reason why there were actually two candidates! Within the CDU and the media this was considered to be a disastrous blow to the CDU´s closeness and ability to govern. So at the party congress, our chancellor arrived to calm the situation down. And what did she say as an advice for those who were entitled to vote?
"First comes the country, then comes the party, and then comes the person"
Would this argument work in america?

While Gerhard Schröder had the picture of his father in world war uniform on his desk, our current Chancellor has the picture of Catherine the Great on her desk. The Empress of Russia in the 18th century with german origin. I think that tells something about the respective persons :)

In fact the theory was that people would believe bigger lies sooner than smaller ones that are easier to verify. As for the article: I've seen worse in our media, this kind of "journalism" has become more the norm than the exception. Needless to say they won't get money from me.

@ Gunther:
First comes the country, then comes the party, and then comes the person"
Would this argument work in america?

Dunno about the US but it sure as hell does not work here in Germany. Profilierungssucht runs rampant.

@ QuagmiredInTheBRD

Well I guess that´s on of the reasons why politicians are so despised here.

@Gunter
"First comes the country, then comes the party, and then comes the person"
Would this argument work in america?
.

Not a chance.

Inkling -
FWIW: In my dad's senior year of high school - 1933 - in a little village in southwestern Pennsylvania - coal mining - they had a guest speaker whose name Dad could never remember. Except he remembered this man was Jewish. The speaker told his class about Hitler's plans for the Jews - and said much of the financing for the coming war was coming from aspirin (Bayer?). Dad told me there was a significant political effort to downplay what was happening to the Jews because the gov't didn't think the American people would support the war if they thought it was being fought on behalf of Jews.

Although the plane Dad flew didn't have the range to reach Poland, Germany, we had lots of great arguments about why the Allies didn't simply just bomb the camps. If we could wipe out Dresden, we could wipe out Auschwitz. Finally one day, he told me how he made his peace with that policy. One of his squadron mates was a Joseph Cohen. Cohen didn't want the camps bombed either. He wanted the evidence preserved. Some of the Polish guys he flew with in the early days with the RAF felt the same way.

What moral niceties thos guys had to deal with.

BTW, I got your book. Interesting stuff. Especially the mistress part.

;)

@ Pamela

I thought so. What kind of an effect would it have instead?

@Inkling

You have the German media game figured out. The poor oppressed German people were "liberated" from the "Nazis" by Americans who unncessarily committed war crimes in the process.


@Gunter
What kind of an effect would it have instead?

Ridicule. At best. I'm trying to think of anyone with that mindset that has actually been successful in public life here, and I'm coming up empty. Even our socialists (e.g., Bernie Sanders) are in it to protect individuals - from the gov't, corporations, etc.

Pamela, exactly how does a socialist protect people from the government??????

@ Pamela

You may have misunderstood this Gunter. I think he meant: First comes working for the people, then comes the party, then the personal career of the individual politician. I can honestly say I know no German politician who acts in regard to this idea. But in my opinion the description fits to some extent President Bush. After all, his approval rating was in unknown heights after 9/11 and the war against the Taliban. He would have easily won in '04, when he had stopped then and just hoped that no terrorist act would happen until the next election (like Clinton did). But he thought further and started the liberation of Iraq because he thought it was the best for the US, although this move clearly endangered his reelection. Still today, despite the hostile media and political opponents that have overcome any decency and fairness, he tries not to do what's popular, but what he thinks is right. (Yeah, I'm a German that strongly supports President Bush. Go figure. ;)

How true or not this article may be does not matter--the overwhelming fact of its headline is its sheer maliciousness.

During WW2, after the atrocities came out, I never remember seeing an American article entitled, say, 'Germans are Murderers', or even 'Bavarians are Fat' (when the common picture of fatness was a Bavarian in Lederhosen swilling his beer, or a Valkyrie). Similarly, we now have a lot of animosity towards the French, and many foolishly call them cowards, but I have never, even in tabloids, seen a headline 'The French Are Cowards'.

A century ago Germany was a byword for a cultured country....what vengeance God has taken, even unto the fifth generation, and I believe, it will so continue until they all become Turks.

Mir: "You may have misunderstood this Gunter. I think he meant: First comes working for the people, then comes the party, then the personal career of the individual politician."

I think Pamela understood. The problem here is that the two major political parties have HUGE differences concerning what is good for the country... and the people... and what is not. The Democrat tendency toward socialism is the biggest difference. We Republicans feel that help is frequently needed by individuals and should be given, but given by small private organizations who know the people they are helping. To create a government-sponsored Welfare State ultimately is detrimental to the people as a whole. Please note that inner-city crime went through the ceiling virtually the minute young men found themselves no longer being held responsible for the children they fathered. The mothers took payments from the government to support the children. The men no longer had a reason to work or to strive for anything better. Studies have been done demonstrating that this is a major cause of irresponsible behavior among young men.

The Welfare State is only ONE of the differences.

So while we might say that the country (or people) comes first, HOW the country comes first is the sticking point.

@Beimami

"What bothers me is the shrill xenophobic headline and the fact that it's always articles that shed a negative light on the U.S. that get run by the German media. I suspect that the content of the article was simply translated from a U.S. article somewhere after being selected for its propaganda value."

Exactly, and the MO is as common as dirt. They sift through the stories that appear in the US media until they find something suitably negative. Then, without attempting to provide background or context, they print it, often virtually verbatim, with a blaring headline tailor made to rake in the dough from the hate addicts. If you accuse them of bias, they react with an attitude of injured innocence, and reply, "why, that article was taken right out of the NYT."

With history, the same pattern repeats itself. They scour the past obsessively searching for something, anything, that can be portrayed in a suitably negative light. When they find something, they throw it in the bag with the rest, without balance, context, or any real knowledge of the history itself. Then they throw it out there any chance they get, shamelessly forgetting their own country's less than spotless history in the process. If one of their talking points is refuted, it doesn't matter. They just reach in the bag and pull out another one.

The reason for all this propaganda is to promote hatred of another people. You'd think, in view of the events of the 20th century, the Germans, of all people, would be wary of inciting hatred against anyone. You'd think their media, in particular, would have been innoculated for all times against ever employing the likes of Julius Streicher again. The editor of "Der Stürmer" would be pleased. Apparently all the German media actually learned was that one doesn't openly incite hatred against the Jews, but relies on surrogates in that exceptional case. In all other cases, and particularly in the case of America, there are no holds barred.

"They sift through the stories that appear in the US media until they find something suitably negative. Then, without attempting to provide background or context, they print it, often virtually verbatim, with a blaring headline tailor made to rake in the dough from the hate addicts."

I´m tempted to agree here. Yet I think there are different motives. Some might still dislike american capitalism or something else typically american. More and more though seem to dislike the USA since they often are in the way of european efforts.

"The reason for all this propaganda is to promote hatred of another people."

I´m not sure whether the ordinary journalist has such far reaching motives. At least equally important is the fact that it obviously sells perfectly, don´t you think? It may be true that in the german society there is a greater need for scapegoats to free itself from responsibility. Yet the americans have proven to be a target too tempting to miss in the recent years.

i often agree with this website, but i think the article is spot-on and the title is awesome. us kids (and college students, and adults) are indeed fat and lazy. as long as it's accurate, tell it like it is.

Yes, many American kids are fat and lazy with a huge sense of entitlement. Permissive parenting and all that (thanks Dr Spock) But they are our kids and we are miffed to see Europeans, who also have many fat lazy kids within their own society, print negative headlines about them. Take the mote out of your own eye, you hypocrits, before you point fingers.

@ Helian

"With history, the same pattern repeats itself. They scour the past obsessively searching for something, anything, that can be portrayed in a suitably negative light. When they find something, they throw it in the bag with the rest, without balance, context, or any real knowledge of the history itself. Then they throw it out there any chance they get, shamelessly forgetting their own country's less than spotless history in the process. If one of their talking points is refuted, it doesn't matter. They just reach in the bag and pull out another one."

Your comments are absolutely correct and apply broadly to the US media's (NY Times especially) reporting of Bush's foreign policy and the conduct of the war as well as some domestic activity such as listening in on foreign phone calls to some US residents. A steady drumbeat of negative reports with no attempt to balance context has been been very effective brainwashing, I might add when considering the out come of the recent election and the low support the President now enjoys.
Americans don't really know what is happening in Iraq. Yesterday, over 200 Iraqi insurgents were killed by the Iraqis but still will hear little about it or the indication that finally Mahliki has begun to fight back against the insurgents/militias killing machines. Sorry, I'm getting OT.

Maybe I'm tilting toward the 'climate change is due to manmade causes' in this debate, but as far as I can tell, there is a real problem with the overweight in the U.S. I'm not giving the benefit of the doubt to the percentages tho'. Every story you see about this shows some woman's backside that could reasonably be used for a tea table on the Titanic.

It is true that Americans don't get the physical excercise within the context of daily living we used to (walking to school, milking cows).

But it is also true we eat much more food with fructose.

That has tons of history regarding US agricultural policies and 'nutritionism'.

So, while I will agree that the incidence of overweight Americans is of concern, the character slur that the kids are lazy - well - Germans don't do anything but follow orders.

An assertion which has more credibility seeing as how everyone has to coordinate when they do their laudry, etc.

Oh, you don't?

Well, sorry I read it somewhere so it's true. And it makes me feel better to believe it so I guess you guys are just screwed.

And off topic for U.S. readers. Tonight, 9 pm EST on PBS, a new documentary about the Berlin Airlift.

Helian: "If you accuse them of bias, they react with an attitude of injured innocence, and reply, "why, that article was taken right out of the NYT." "

Of course, the correct reply to this one is, "See? That PROVES it! NO ONE hates the US as much as the NYT (Washington Post, CNN, etc)!" :D

Why don't we all agree that Germany is the most cultured, sophisticated, most educated, therefore smartest country on Earth? They are the Master race and th sooner we accept that, the sooner qe will live peacefully coexistant lives. We can run in the meadows and sing Kum-bay-ah and enjoy the fruits our masters have given us.
After all, Germany is showing everyone that they have dramayically changed. They now can take over all of Europe without firing a shot. Soon the rest of the world will bow before Germany and pledge to work for their masters so they can enjoy the fruits of their supremacy
I just felt a little sarcastic this evening. Sorry

@Helian

"They sift through the stories that appear in the US media until they find something suitably negative. ... The reason for all this propaganda is to promote hatred of another people."

I agree completely. That's what they do. That's what they're about. And they do it because they are so consumed with hatred of the U.S., and especially Bush, that they simply can't think, talk or write about anything else.

Btw,Pamela,

did you get my Email from a couple of months ago, concerning your bedpan comments? ;)

Have to call bs on that one. Self-Flagellation is a German "virtue" and too many Germans are fat and lazy and that is also reported frequently by German media. Just because American kids might probably be even fatter (close call) than German kids and someone is reporting it doesn't mean you have to become all paranoid about American-hating media. Try to see it positive: friends tell friends like it is if they are concerned about their well-being, no beating around the bush, no euphemisms and so on. Also, just because someone is fat doesn't mean that they are disliked. Again, this straightforward language is as often used by German media reporting about developments in Germany and it definitely has a negative and alarming undertone. Though a more positive spin here and there would suit the German media well it has nothing to do with hate for Americans. After all, the American media has been calling out the battle against obesity for years now and US experts are as worried as German experts about child obesity in their countries.

Hans,

You would be hard pressed to fine an article about this subject and in this tone about Germans in the US M$M.

And by the way there are more Americans than you might fail to realize that do not consdier Germans to be their friends.

Is Focus Online trying to trump Spiegel Online in anti-Americanism? This kind of superficial "journalism" makes me sick.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Our Mission

The Debate

Blog powered by Typepad

May 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31