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Ich denke, Spiegel TV hat gerade vor wenigen Minuten einen neuen Höhe- bzw. Tiefpunkt in Geschmacklosigkeit und Einseitigkeit der Irak-Berichterstattung erreicht. Nach der Anmoderation, in der Maria Gresz klarstellte, daß es für die Menschen im Irak keinen Friede gebe, weil George Bush geglaubt habe, sich selbst zum Freiheitsapostel küren zu müssen und nun eindeutig alles schlimmer sei als je zuvor und deshalb 'die Iraker' zunehmend gegen 'die Besatzer' kämpften, zeigte man Beiträge eines französischen (!) Journalisten, der 'embedded' bei den 'Widerstandskämpfern' gewesen sei. Diese netten, wenn auch notgedrungen maskierten, jungen Leute präsentierten dann stolz ihre Waffen und erklärten, wie sie damit u. a. in größere Menschenmengen zielen oder einen Panzer aus 4 km Entfernung treffen könnten. U. a. prahlte man mit der Tötung dreier Soldaten und hielt seine Papiere in die Kamera. Auch bei einem Anschlag durfte der Journalist zur Krönung dabei sein. Und warum begeben sich diese mutigen Menschen in eine solche Gefahr? Tja, sagten sie im Interview, es gehe ihnen doch nur darum, die Amerikaner und alle anderen, die nur da seien, um amerikanischen Interessen zu dienen, aus dem Land zu vertreiben. Denn ansonsten seien sie brave Patrioten (respektive bei einer Gruppe aus Falludscha gläubige Muslime). Und zu Osama bin Laden stehe man leider nicht in Kontakt, aber er wisse das bestimmt auch zu würdigen, was man tue.
Völlig unausgewogen war der Bericht dann allerdings doch nicht: Immerhin wurden die Anschläge und die darauf folgende Suche der Amerikaner nach den Tätern als 'Katz-und-Maus-Spiel auf Leben und Tod' bezeichnet, was die amerikanischen Soldaten dann doch immerhin noch auf eine Stufe mit den Terroristen stellt... 'Nicht enden wollende Spirale von Gewalt und Gegengewalt', ick hör' dir trapsen...

Die Abwesenheit der Trennung von Meinung und Nachrichten ist ein klassisches Feature des deutsches Journalismus, das witzigerweise auch von jedem deutschen Journalistikstudenten immer verteidigt wird. Die Argumente gehen ueblicherweise in die Richtung: man weiss doch, "Objektivitaet" ist nur eine Illusion, und jede Nachricht ist ohnehin "subjektiv" gefaerbt.

Im Resultat plappern Millionen Deutsche die Meinung irgendeines Ex-Maoisten nach, der jetzt fuer den Spiegel schreibt, und denken dabei, sie waeren objektiv informiert.

So funktioniert das.

Two questions: were the journalists wrong to be so pessimistic during the rubble years?
While things turned out very well in the long run, I fail to see how a journalist can be held accountable for failing to predict a "miracle". There was little evidence to suggest to anyone, including the occupation authorities, that things would improve so quickly.
What role did the journalists play in creating a change in Allied policy? Was not the Marshall Plan, which played so large a part in the recovery, at least in part implemented because America realized that it might "lose the peace"?
That is to say, the journalists were wrong in their predictions because their reporting helped change the conditions that would have led to their prophecies being realized.

David, don't you think that the negative reporting by the German press is just plain and simple anti-Americanism, and that this is in fact what most Germans want to hear?

Are you a voice crying out in the wilderness of Old Europe? Shouldn't we in America be looking at Germany and France as flat-out enemies? It truly appears that the people really do hate us and their governments are acting as if they are carrying out the will of the people.

Thank you though, and keep up the good work.

Mark, the German people don't hate the Americans, they hate or learned to hate Bush and his administration and the political decisions. I think, they don't want to see the truth that there is a thread to the world peace - the radical terrorists who misuse the name of Allah for their attacks. It is easier to hate Bush and to think, he is wrong. The truth would hurt.

Gabi, the majority (wouldn't say most by any stretch) of Americans are pretty close to Bush in sentiment regarding Iraq. I think hate of Bush is a convenient way to not speak the real generalization, hate of America. I believe the polls that say the majority of people in France and Germany are against what we're doing there (in Iraq)and are happy about their governments' work to actively oppose us. Since we are the ones putting our lives on the line for this cause, either ourselves or our loved ones, I do take it as a personal attack. I don't love Bush by any means, but in this endevour, working against us, being against us, is being an enemy in a very real sense. It makes our job there that much harder, and puts our boys and the people of Iraq in greater danger. Aiding and abetting our enemies.

Sorry, a little incoherent.

Not one to ever pass up a chance to berete Europeans for anti-Americanism, I notice that we seem to have the same problems here in the United States regarding the quality of journalism. The general, one-size-fits-all explanation has been "corporate journalism", but I think the issue is one of class that effect both countries...

Journalists, all throughout the world, used to come from varied and variagated classes. It wasn't a well paid job, and you'd often find people coming from working class families and aristocrats and academics edging into the field, much to the enrichment of the journalistic culture.

As of late, the range of cultures that fit journalism have narrowed to the middle class and a bit of the upper middle classes, both in the US and in Germany. Gone are the sons of Detroit metal workers or the scions of German aristocrats with the prefix "Von" in their name.

This has made things poorer because there are no clever German working class union members with worried class consciousness trying to be extra specially accurate and proud of his work among other educated folk, nor are there the compulsively educated New Englanders with the comfort and self-confidence to build a special craft.

I have noticed one difference though, extending from the closeness of government with the European press: the english-writing German press is incredibly submissive and conformist. I don't think there is an American "Just Do It" attitude so much as a sense of individual independence (not nationalistic, individualistic: Europeans confuse that in Americans. The French and Scandanavians in particular).

The particular decline of the German press (which I have to take your word on: I've never seen it as competant or accurate, but then I'm not German and so I have no previous experience) I think is also the result of the general press decline. Because the German press is now the purview of the educated middle classes, it retains their very specific anti-Americanism.
As Americans have known for a long time, and Europeans such as Jean-François Revel are now understanding, anti-Americanism is 98% psychology, only 2% argument. We are dealing with a particular classes pschological projection, not journalism as it is properly known.

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