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I would like the same thing happen in Germany.

It's a good thing those "villagers" are just holding signs. They could have opted for pitchporks, a cauldron of tar, and torches.

I think that many of we medienkritik bloggers find Germany to be a particular phenomenon: many Germans aren't granted a great perspective on world events as they unravel. This is particularly ironic as Germans often consider themselves to be more worldly, sophisticated, travelled than their American equivalents. Strangely, the large public German MSM is largely financed with unavoidable taxes on TVs (GEZ): I often hear colleagues of mine speculating on conspiracy theories taking place in the Pentagon or White house but never of the power of their own well financed public broadcasting media.

This non-vigilant approach to easily accept printed material as the Truth, without being afforded proper perspective is undermining the population. The only ones who could possibly benefit from this would be those who control it and this has already happened in Germany's past.

... in that case mob would rule the media.
Do You prefer that?

It is time to storm the walls! Take them down stone by stone! No wait a minute wrong blog. No, the right blog, whew I was lost there for a second.

The MSM just doesn't get it. The world wants facts, objectivity and the truth. I, as a consumer don't want the speculation of a poorly educated journalist. I don't want to know the "what if" questions. I can ask them myself, and then it is still speculation on my part. Let the situation happen as it will, don't interfere with your cameras, your tape recorders and your microphones.

Let the situation happen and then tell the story based on the facts. The people in charge of the news agencies believe, that we will believe whatever they shovel to us. It is time to stand up, all of us, and say to the MSM, "We want truth, facts, and objectivity".

The bloggers who cover the media, like David and Ray, are the leaders and those of us who may or may not have a blog should support them. Challenge everything the MSM reports when it stinks of corruption. Make them prove what they say. Demand the truth! It is what we want, damn it all anyway! I am so sick and tired of the "war horse" on CNN asking What if... ? And then speculating like it is what has already happened.

They should name their sources so we know if that source is a kook or not. Not everyone in government is normal, we know who is and isn't, and when a source is named, then we will know whether to take the report seriously or not. For example; Today, a source in the government, Senator Barbara Boxer, said ... . Then we know that the report is probably nonsense. However, if the source is Condi Rice, well then we know that the report will be of a more serious nature.


My point is that a mob is already ruling the German media.


and say to the MSM, "We want truth, facts, and objectivity".

An educated man is a man who blames no one. In today's world, you must still educate yourself. This is becoming easier with the internet (media) and blogging. This site does help to provide a balanced perspectve which should serve as the background to any discussion.

Alas, you cannot expect to reason a man out of something that he wasn't reasoned into in the first place.

Germany desperately needs its own version of „Rathergate” to expose the state of the German mass media, and to motivate them to shape up.
That will be more difficult to achieve than in the US, because in Germany there are no major rivalries, like in the US with Fox News, which would eagerly pick up a story that exposes a fellow journalist, and because the blogosphere is still relatively small here in Germany.
But I think it’s only a matter of time, and I intend to do what little I can to speed it up a bit.

...because in Germany there are no major rivalries...

Correct. The MSM in Germany is a largely a state affair. There is little difference of opinion because it is not encouraged. Evidentially, the German state doesn't want the various state-run media institutions providing differing opinions. Private ones like Spiegel need only recycle themes established by the "benign" powers of the state.

Such institutional consolidation in German is know as "Gleichschaltung."

One must have agreement in a socalist state. There must be agreement in almost everything. Just look at your laws, your institutions, your businesses. It is a crime against the state for a corperation to want to make money by moving production to where it can.....

The goal is to narrow the difference, to limit debate.

I think the germans are doing just fine accomplishing this.

"... in that case mob would rule the media.
Do You prefer that?"

Oh, heavens no! That would be democracy!

The alternative to the mob is individuals making individual decisions over what they read. And where will they find a range of choice? If they it, and are willing to pay their own money for it, someone will find it for them.

If on the other hand they prefer the comfort and security of the herd, they will get Gleichschaltung. German culture seems by preference to be collectivist and puts a lot of credence in authority and proper certification, and for sound and valid reasons, too. It is hardly unique in the world that way. So how likely is it that someone doing news in Germany is even going to get a hearing unless he has goen through the right program, graduated from the right school with the right diploma verifying that he is now an approved expert. This is a soft form of authoritarianism, and it has been very good for Germany on the whole. But it doesn't produce many mavericks or lone wolf types critical of any kind of mainstream anything.

@ James

'Private ones like Spiegel need only recycle themes established by the "benign" powers of the state.'

I hate to defend the Spiegel here but it does not 'recycle themes'. Spiegel and Bild are, in my opinion, without a doubt the 'theme-creators'. What they report will shape public discussion. The most recent example is the 'Volmer-Scandal' which only really took off after the Spiegel came out last Monday. Also Spiegel and Bild are the only newspapers that rely heavily on investigative reporting. Look at the US or UK: every major media outlet has investigators on their payroll. That is where in there is a lack of competition in my opinion: Most outlets of the MSM here do not even try to get a look behind the scenes to get to the real fact of the matters.


And in some cases, German media, like Stern, often invent news. Recall the Hitler Diaries?

@ james,

Not quite old enough:-). Those kind of blunders seem to happen quite often in current times. Recall Rathergate or the fake torture photos in the Daily Mirror.


I also Dan Rather being put to pasture and Stern is in full recovery. Nes pas?

I hate to seem a curmudgeon, but this blog is supposed to be about fairness and accuracy.

"Gleichschaltung" was definitely a term used by the Nazi regime. It referred to the absorbtion of independent organizations into Nazi-sponsered and Nazi-led ones. Is it in fact a generally used term in modern Germany? Whether the term is verboten or not, are private organizations being forcibly taken over the SPD as they were in the 30's?


I hear the term "gleichschaltung" mentioned ABOUT the USA govt here in Germany quite often. It is deliberately exploited by German politicians who portray Bush as Hitler if they don't side with his policies. After all, conventional wisdom here within the German media Bush = Hitler. It's just accepted as a "natural law."

The Germans are rather sensitive with their own language. Take for instance the word Führer, which only means leader, but is accepted as a synonym for Hitler. Hypocritically, they are happy to use their own language when disparaging other non-Germans.

The German media is in a fever pitch about every issue that comes from our President: Kyoto, Iraq, Iran, Oil, Carl Rove, new/old Europe, Nato, etc, etc... Unless you live here in Germany, I don't think that you can appreciate the volume of media churning out this completely unbalanced biased-opinion. Meanwhile, the Syrians are STILL in Lebanon, China in Tibet, Radovan Karadic free, 80,000 dead in Chechnya, etc, etc...

Just as Joe mentioned above, "The goal is to narrow the difference, to limit debate." Under such a modern attempt by the left to mock our President, they also push their own pretentious "harmonising" agenda. They: re-write history, change the past, ignore facts, change their stories and all-the-while achieve very little.

As I mentioned above, considering the media in Germany is so largely influenced through state taxes, and debate suffers, I find the usage of the word gleichschaltung to be rather accurate. A pound of flesh, no more.

@ james

Thank you. I asked a question, and you answered.

I have admitted many times that I know very little of modern Germany. I am also suspicious of political discussions that imply others are Nazis (or Leninists.) As I read your answer, however, you are not doing that. Rather you are playing tit for tat in a case where the heavy hand of the state makes a particular analogy at least arguable.


I would summarize what you are saying as:

There is freedom of the press BUT there is no independent press.

This really does seem to be obvious to those not subjected to it. For those who are subjected to it, then it is their reality and view to and of the world.

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