Our friend DL from Heidelberg has sent us this piece, concerning a comment in Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung. The extent of anti-Americanism displayed is in my opinion typical for many regional newspapers.
My favorite provincial newspaper, Heidelberg’s Rhein-Neckar Zeitung, has once again exposed the dark side of Heidelberg’s split personality. In an editorial that appeared on 14 December it can’t seem to separate fact from fiction as it desperately seeks to find reasons to hate America. That seems kind of odd coming from a city that literally lives off tourism, especially American tourists. The only reason it can afford to write these kinds of editorials is because it believes Americans are too stupid to read German. The arrogance demonstrated by Mr. Fritz is astounding. During the Christmas season one can appropriately imagine his head color alternating between red and green as he wrote this; red with rage and green with envy. His main complaint seems to be that America is not Europe and my only comment is “thank God for that!”
Black – and Dead
By Manfred Fritz
Thou shalt not kill? The violent American society that has surrounded the war against terror in the aura of a holy war has by and large suspended the Fifth Commandment. For one thing, Hollywood has flooded the world with its fictional orgies of violence. And as it had to do with the educational value of letting redeemed murderers live, the Terminator himself who sits in the California’s governor’s chair couldn’t step out of character. Schwarzenegger frittered away a chance for his country that, when it comes to the death penalty, puts it in the category of despotic regimes like China or feudal religious states like Saudi Arabia. And that says nothing about the eighteen modern rules that are codified in human rights.
In the case of the Black Tookie Williams who fought against his execution for twenty-five years, who wrote books against gang violence and now has been given a lethal injection, it is an example of the inability to learn. It is also an example of the willing blindness to the violent causes that are rooted in crass social injustice. The majority of the prisoners on death row are black because they’ve never had a chance at a normal life.
But when it comes to America’s vain self-imageas a refuge of Christian values, it lost its mask last summer when the levees broke in New Orleans and the black slums drowned because they received hardly any assistance. (emphasis added)
Did you firm up your plans yet to visit Heidelberg next year?
Better think again...
Update: The e-mail address of Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung is firstname.lastname@example.org . And no, we don't have a link to the article presented above. It doesn't seem to be online.
The anti-American bias so prevalent in the German media is often particularly venomous among regional newspapers.
Our friend DL from Heidelberg has forwarded this comment from Rhein-Neckar Zeitung to us:
Dear David and Ray,
Your recent posting exposing Spiegel's myopic understanding of
unemployment in the U.S. is symptomatic of German media today. Not
only does Spiegel show a lack of knowledge about the United States, it
displays a propoganda-driven agenda desperate for evidence that Germany
is "right" and America is "wrong." (If they compared themselves to the
French they'd have much less work and much more good news to report.)
On its best day the relationship is love-hate as the below translation
Heidelberg's propaganda organ is the Rhein-Neckar Zeitung. It runs
a daily satire on the bottom right corner of the front page known,
appropriately enough, as "The Corner." It is unavailable on its web
site in the hope that anyone looking for it will be foolish enough
to pay for a subscription. I'll save you the trouble. Today's Corner is
in reference to the the U.S. cartoon campaign that uses an energy pig
to remind Americans to save energy.
Americans don't always have a sense of the big picture; like
understanding they're not the only ones on the planet. Or that the
world's oil reserves don't belong to them. But they're ahead of us when
it comes to directly expressing themselves. They've just learned from
their President that they can turn the lights out when they leave the
room! And that a car doesn't always have to be driven. They're
learning that they're environmental pigs. A group of cartoon pigs has
told them so. As well as we know the Americans we can expect they will
surprise us shortly with the sensational invention of cars that that
only need thirty liters. (Note: A saracstic reference to the fuel
effeciency of U.S. cars expressed as the number of liters it takes to
drive one hundred kilometers.) And when they're convinced, their
eagerness cannot be stopped. We could make them an attractive offer -
we'll give them Juergen Tritten with his deposit on beverage cans and
his environmental taxes.
6 October 2005
E-mail address of Rhein-Neckar Zeitung (forward to "Redaktion Politik")