Today James Lewis of "American Thinker" published a bare-knuckled account of German media that is harsh and takes no prisoners. Excerpts:
"Germany's Anti-American Neurosis
A neurotic obsession is like a bone stuck in your throat. You can't swallow it and you can't spit it out. That is how the German media are hooked on America. It doesn't look quite sane. For Americans, the best web guide to the German media is davids medienkritik. (David's media critique).
What you find out on this passionately written site, devoted to fighting anti-American hatred, is that something very weird is going on between the Lowlands and Poland. Something neurotic, in tens of millions of minds. And while we know that you can't always generalize from media madness to ordinary people, we also know that the media swing a huge weight of influence. So when the German Organs of Propaganda go weird and hateful, get ready to worry. Really.The examples of obsessive anti-Americanism are all over big German news magazines like Spiegel and Stern. For instance,
1. The Statue of Liberty with a death's head instead of the Romantic goddess of liberty.
2. A close-up of the American flag covered with "BLUT FÜR ÖL".
3. George Bush in front of a giant black cross, "A MISSION FROM GOD."
4. A horrible Abu Ghraib figure in black garb, headlined "THE TORTURERS OF BAGHDAD."
5. A sadistic-looking Rambo muscle man on the cover, emblazoned "OPERATION RAMBO --- The Secret Troops of the USA."
This is the mainstream press in Germany. In other words, what the American Leftist nutroots make up as paranoid fantasies becomes the dominant narrative in Germany. And their endless refrain is that American soldiers are no better than Nazis.
This is more than just steam-out-of-the-ears dislike of the United States. I mean, if you don't like France or Bosnia, why not ignore those places? Just take your vacations in Hawaii. Judging by Davids medienkritik, the Germans just can't let go of us in their collective minds. They are hooked on anti-Americanism, and they can't turn it off. They can't just stop buying Der Spiegel, with its repetetive anti-American slander campaigns. It's the bone in their throats.
The European media go for the really nutso tales. The most recent headlines shout out that there's a whole new "trend" in America: Apparently our teens are going out at night to kill homeless people. It used to be Elvis and hip-hop, and now it's murdering street people for fun. How's that for nuts? It's like being stalked by some obsessional maniac because your shoes squeak too loud.
That's another oddity. There are things to criticize about every country in the world. Nobody in the United States is completely satisfied, and Americans always look for ways to improve ourselves, to solve problems and make progress. Nobody is happy with our crime rate, but we are always trying to fix it (with considerable success). That's rational.
The German neurosis isn't like that. They're not saying, "we like this about America, but we don't like that." They just keep pushing outrageous slanders that have no basis in reality, and then get übermad about us as moral defectives; the next week they come back and repeat the process. Then they do it again. And again. They can't swallow their anti-American fishbone, and they can't spit it out. (...)"
Wow. The unsettling part of reading this is that it is that it is difficult to say whether Mr. Lewis is being too general or not about Germans in this piece. It would be nice to say he is being to general - but is he? We know that not all Germans are like this, but it is hard to say that what he has written is entirely untrue - much of it rings of harsh, unpleasant truth. Read the whole thing and decide for yourself.
This comments section is going to be absolutely fascinating... (Article posted by Ray)
UPDATE: Author James Lewis has posted this direct response to our comments on his article. Click here. He graciously admits his translation errors and has now corrected them in the original. We disagree with him on Schroeder - we doubt that Gmaelin's comments were somehow "arranged" in advance or that Schroeder made such a comparison, which Mr. Lewis seems to imply. With all due respect, that sounds like a baseless theory. As Mr. Lewis politely suggests, we will have to agree to disagree on that. In our opinion, the ex-Justice Minister spontaneously uttered her true thoughts out loud in the midst of an intense campaign - which is bad enough.
Otherwise, Mr. Lewis' article provides an interesting starting point for a necessary conversation - he expresses provocative and interesting thoughts that need to be addressed - his "bone stuck in the throat" analogy is particularly noteworthy - we thank him for his prompt response and open willingness to take responsibility for errors and look forward to more interesting comments...