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Top Pet Issues for German Media Coverage of the United States

Here is a list of the German media's favorite "pet issues" in their coverage of the United States:

  1. Perceived American religiosity and/or prudishness.
  2. Perceived American obsession with guns and violence.
  3. The death penalty.
  4. The perceived excess and superficiality of American capitalism and (non)culture (i.e. fat people, the super rich, SUVs, fast-food, M-TV/hip-hop culture, Hollywood, corporate scandals, buy-outs and "excessive" profits.)
  5. Perceived social inequality in the United States (i.e. amerikanische Verhaeltnisse, poor Americans are starving and freezing to death or at least struggling with 2-3 jobs and no health insurance while the rich live it up. Perception that America has no social safety net or a woefully inadequate social safety net.)
  6. Perceived American unilateralism/exceptionalism (i.e. Iraq, Kyoto, ICC, Guantanamo)
  7. Perceived American "hurrah" patriotism or "hyper" patriotism (i.e. flag-waving).
  8. Perceived American paranoia/overreaction about terror and obsession with security and the "war" on terror and the perceived willingness of Americans to sacrifice key civil liberties (the Patriot Act has become a favored target) and take extrajudicial actions involving torture, renditions, etc.
  9. The perception that the Bush administration controls (or at least dominates) the media and can somehow intimidate media into following the party line. The perceived view that there is a lack of diversity of opinion in US media and that FoxNews, talk radio and blogs are the menacing conservative vanguard of what all US media are becoming or have already become. (i.e. US media are "gleichgeschaltet" or in lock-step.)
  10. Anything that casts a negative light on the US military (i.e. Abu Ghraib, trials of US troops, bombings or killings of civilians real or imagined).
  11. Anything that casts a negative light on the Bush administration.
  12. Iraq is a disaster-quagmire-catastrophe-debacle perhaps unparalleled in human history. Iraq = Vietnam = defeat and humiliation for America, the US military and Bush.
  13. The perception of the US as an imperial hegemon out to expand its global power and military-industrial complex while using democracy as a convenient (yet false) excuse to do so. Oil = blood = Halliburton = war.

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