Another proof - as if we needed one - of the unbiased, unparalleled quality of the German media's reporting on American politics: the Patriot Act.
Dec. 14, 2005:
The House voted to renew a modified USA Patriot Act to combat terrorism on Wednesday and sent the bill to the Senate The vote in the House was 251-174, with 44 Democrats joining 207 Republicans. "Renewing the Patriot Act before it expires in December is literally a matter of life and death," said Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla.
Dec. 22, 2005:
A much-debated domestic surveillance law won a reprieve last night when senators agreed to continue it for six months to allow House and Senate negotiators to resume efforts next year to rewrite it for the longer term. ... House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wis., has shown little willingness to renegotiate the four-year extension his chamber had approved. "Any talk of a short-term extension is fruitless," his spokesman Jeff Lungren said several hours before the Senate deal was announced. "Chairman Sensenbrenner will not accept anything less than a four-year extension of the Patriot Act."Congress on Thursday approved a one-month extension of the Patriot Act and sent it to President Bush in a pre-Christmas scramble to prevent many of its anti-terrorism provisions from expiring Dec. 31.
The Senate, with only Sen. John Warner, R-Va., present, approved the Feb. 3 expiration date four hours after the House, with a nearly empty chamber, bowed to Rep. James Sensenbrenner's refusal to agree to a six-month extension. ...
Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the shorter extension would force swifter Senate action and had the support of the White House and Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. ...
"A six-month extension, in my opinion, would have simply allowed the Senate to duck the issue until the last week in June," the Wisconsin Republican told reporters.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Dec. 23, 2005:
The Next Low Hit for Bush
U.S. President George W. Bush again had to accept defeat in the House. The U.S. Parliament decided to approve only a one-month extension for the anti-terror laws.
News Agency AFP (Agence France Press), Dec. 23, 2005:
Bush Again Duped in Dispute Over Patriot Act
The House in Washington against the will of U.S. President George W. Bush has approved only a 5-week extension of the anti-terror laws of the Patriot Act. ... For the U.S. government, who initially wanted to extend the law indefinitely, the decision of the House means a heavy defeat.
News Agency dpa (German Press Agency), Dec. 24, 2005:
...again a heavy defeat for U.S. President Bush...only one-month extension of the Patriot Act...
To sum up things: The House rejected the Senate's proposal of a 6-month extension and approved just a one-month extension with the intention to force the Senate to accept a 4-year extension. So this was not a defeat for President Bush - rather, the House's decision gives his 4-year proposal a renewed chance.
The German media's reporting on the matter can safely be described as misleading, with a massive anti-Bush bias. On the other hand, one might argue that the German media are simply clueless about U.S. politics.
It's probably a 50/50 situation....
No surprises here.