Reader's Digest published a surprisingly insightful passage on European media in a recent article by Carl M. Cannon entitled "How the World Sees Us". It discusses factors leading to Obama's overwhelming popularity in much of Western Europe:
"Other factors are at play as well. For starters, the media elite, especially in Europe, tends to be liberal, and its news coverage of the U.S. election reflects this slant. The upshot is that the ordinary Dutchman or Englishwoman -- or Indonesian, for that matter -- receives a steady diet of positive Obama coverage. Also, in fairness to the GOP nominee, the Republican party is organized around a set of conservative attitudes and principles that are distinctly American in nature. These range from support for gun rights and low taxes to antipathy to legal abortion and centralized government control."
Some might argue that the above statement tends towards generalization. But the bottom line is that Mr. Cannon hits an important nail squarely on the head and expresses a fundamental truth that explains one aspect of why Europeans see the United States as they do.
It is also useful to look at the flip-side of of one of Mr. Cannon's statements: If Democrats, liberals (and Obama in particular) tend to receive largely positive coverage in the European press - it is also true that Republicans, conservatives and those not a part of the American left are typically treated with disdain and disfavor in European media and rarely given a fair chance to express their views unfiltered.
Though this state of affairs is nothing new under the sun - it is encouraging that some in the wider media in the United States are willing to acknowledge it.