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Hilarious to always see FOX news trotted out as the counter to all the constant Ameri(KKK)a bashing going on 24/7 in EVERY Euro media outlet

And FOX has what - 1M viewers - compared to 7-10M for any of the big 3 networks - and what about CNN - you know - owned by Ted Turner

Amazing how terrifying one single news source that deviates from the script has thrown so many Euro's into a tizzy

If I can make one request - please, euro denial addicts - stop responding to the torrent of examples from the euro media about the bias against the US with the monosylabic response "FOX!"

Geez - I watch FOX news and to tell you the truth I can't even remember them mentioning Germany or German politics for the past year or more

@ Mike & Jenny,

Great posts! Thanks.


I like your posts too. You rant the best. You wouldn't happen to be the woman who sang with the Velvet Underground on their first album?

@ Wolf in SC,

Nothing finer than Carolina!

While Gerd makes an apparently persuasive argument, it doesn't withstand much scrutiny. She attempts a clintonian "everybody does it" so "no one is really guilty," when the fact of the matter is not everyone does it.
I have challenged all of my german friends for over a year now and no one has come up with examples of the "American's are doing it too," parallel.
There are simply no examples from America of; the Bush-Merkle Mainz float in the Rose Parade, of these types of articles in nominally respectable mainstream publications like Time or Newsweek, the generally sophomoric, boorish obssession about how "Germans really are!" (fat, stupid, religious, gun toting, blahblahblah ...)
The only example of a somewhat similar charactur-izing anyone could find was of the old SNL "Hans and Franz" and "Sprockets" skits, which were performed on a comedy show, not passed off as "objective observation" in the mainstream media. (And was posted by jabba, an American.)

So while she attempts to obfuscate the focus of the article, as "anti-conservative, not anti-American" I think it is both, but mostly it is anti-intellectual, as dealing in stereotypes always is. Then, not being able to leave well enough alone, Gerd trots out the tired old "FOX" example. . . surprisingly, without any examples. I guess since "everybody knows" (in her circles) about that dreaded right-wing FOX news no examples of it's bias are necessary.

There may well be a large "cultural gap" between most Germans and conservative Americans but it is not to be so facily glossed over.
This "culture gap" for Germans results in . . . the kinds of behaviors, comments and articles one sees continuously in the German medias, as David posts here.
The gap for Americans results in the same general lack of knowledge about Germany, but without the banal obsessive speculation on evil motives, intents, or outcomes.(and this is the point when the Europeans accuse the Americans of being "stupid" about the world.)

My favorite anecdote on the difference between Europeans and Americans is;
An American comes to Europe, looks around at all the differences and says, "Wow ! Cool !"
A European comes to America, looks around at all the difference and says, "Wow, let me tell you what's wrong with this/you!"


screw the germans, pull the bases, protection and money out of germany and kick the UN off our soil.

worthless f''ks the lot of em.


@ Mike & Jenny,

Great posts! Thanks.

Mike did respond to me in the meantime.

Fact remains, Turkey wasn't bribed or coerced into blocking the 4ID, it was the Turkish opposition itself which wanted to do that.

I am surprised how recklessly Germans have disposed of their old (only?) ally. The current thinking is probably based on the assumption that since the cold war is over, they will not need American support anymore. That could turn out to be a tragic miscalculation. For the moment we can enjoy the comical aspect of this development, but in my estimation, there is a fairly good chance that Germans will come to regret this mistake very soon.


I'd like to say that the German voices in this blog somehow were not representative of Germany. But they are, and believe me, mainstream Germany is much, much worse than that. G-d, what a shitty country this one has become.

Niko, no offense, but I really have to ask you to kiss my ass.

I am surprised how recklessly Germans have disposed of their old (only?) ally. The current thinking is probably based on the assumption that since the cold war is over, they will not need American support anymore. That could turn out to be a tragic miscalculation. For the moment we can enjoy the comical aspect of this development, but in my estimation, there is a fairly good chance that Germans will come to regret this mistake very soon.

We are still aliies, like it or not. This is about necessity, not affection.

His ideas, however, are very relevant. The theme of his work[snip]

Intriguing analysis, thanks for it.

Why do you make it sound like Stern speaks for the entire country of Germany?

Maybe because wherever we encounter Germans, they very frequently sound just like Stern.

lighten up, will you? The signs in the protests some idiots wield have nothing to do with the rest of us.

I could, but that would diminish my charm. ;) When the Justice Minister's comment was brought up, you said that you didn't know why someone would think Germans were proud of it. All I did was give you your answer - when one sees gatherings of thousands of Germans, many of whom bear signage adorned with that exact same sentiment, this is precisely where someone would get such an idea. Of course, routinely hearing it echo from other Germans in day-to-day doings certainly doesn't hurt - perpetual endorsement is not exactly a hallmark of shame.

I've figured out by now that the more likely someone is to make that sort of comment, the less likely they are to know their ass from their elbow, but that's still a substantial number of people.

I watch FOX news and to tell you the truth I can't even remember them mentioning Germany or German politics for the past year or more.

You've been tuning out during the business segments. Germany isn't a daily, or probably even weekly, subject there, but it pops up with some regularity.

> IMO, many of these photos show just how great America is in providing opportunity and freedom to her people. Just maybe some of the more openminded Stern readers will also get this impression.

Great comment, Wolf, I couldn't agree more, especially with page 4 :-)

After reading the online version of the Stern article (http://www.stern.de/politik/ausland/?id=531016) I have to change my opinion slightly: the author certainly has is left-leaning, but the article is even less anti-american than I thought before. It shows a clear attempt to explain to German readers the current division within the US society and I think it doesn't do a bad job at all. I accept that other people have a different perception and might see it as anti-american. I don't agree.

Now, of course, we can endlessly debate who is right and who is wrong in their perception, but it is very unlikely we will ever agree, precisely because people here have such different backgrounds, experiences and political views.

A point on the side:

I find it amusing that a blog dedicated to pointing out the biases of the German press is endorsed by and links to Denis Boyles, a writer for the National Review, who uses stereotypes and insults to hammer various European countries and politicians (in particular France). Of course this is my perception of his writing. You may judge for yourself at http://www.nationalreview.com/europress/europress-archive.asp.

That brings me to my point again, namely that it is more useful to try to understand where these differences in perception come from and that it is not helpful to assume that everyone who has a different opinion from you has a hidden agenda or is meanspirited. This is true for this particular Stern article as well as for Denis Boyles' writings.

But if you take the time to consider George Kennan's policy of containment versus Eisenhower's "New Look", supposedly focusing on rollback and increased aggression, one willl notice that theyare remarkably similar, perhaps with the latter showing a greater indication of unilateral action.

@ Gerd:

"I find it amusing that a blog dedicated to pointing out the biases of the German press is endorsed by and links to Denis Boyles, a writer for the National Review, who uses stereotypes and insults to hammer various European countries and politicians (in particular France). Of course this is my perception of his writing. You may judge for yourself at http://www.nationalreview.com/europress/europress-archive.asp."

Riiiight...the old guilt by association ploy. So now we can't post someone's praise for us on our website unless we completely agree with them about everything they think and write. It is interesting that you failed to mention Andrew Sullivan, whose praise we quote at the very top of our testimonials, and who is anything but right-wing. I guess that wouldn't have fit into your critique of our site though.

By the way Gerd, what are the "root causes" and "cultural causations" for the German media's reporting on the Iraqi elections being more negative than Al-Jazeerra? I'm really tryin to understand your diverse cultural perspectives here dude, so why don't you give me some examples of how the US media and public are biased against present day Germans like the hundreds of examples we list here every single day from the German media...I'm still waiting...

As far as the article you mention goes, it is not the subject of the post. The 10 page photo gallery is the subject of the post. So let's not compare apples and oranges.

Just wanted to clear that up.

---Ray D.

Bin Ich auch eine Systemanalyteker im St Charles Illinois!!

If a blog that wants to expose bias in the media is proud to be associated with someone who routinely displays extreme bias, then this is a contradiction. Is it not?
There is nothing wrong with bias - we all are - we just need to accept it goes both ways.

Bias can be unintentional – it might be difficult for us to detect and acknowledge our own preconceptions.
Bias can also be intentional – used as a tool to smear someone.

I do not detect any intentional bias in the Stern article – in contrast I detect a lot of intentional bias in Denis Boyles’ articles. What is worse?

BTW: Articles by Denis Boyles provide plenty of the examples you are constantly asking for.

The photo essay accompanies the article, so the article is exactly what we are talking about.

@ Gerd:

Denis Boyles is one columnist for a magazine that is hardly one of the top sellers in America. And if Denis pisses you off that much, why don't you go start a blog about it. That is like saying the German media is pro-US because of Henryk Broder. The fact is that what one columnist writes is no reflection of the general overall trend in a nation's media.

It is the general trend in the German media that we are interested in here on this website, not the opinions or biases of any one individual or small group of individuals. We welcome differing points of view and healthy debate on the part of individuals as long as they are respectful. The problem arises when one point-of-view begins to dominate over all others as has sadly been happening in the German media for the past 3 years or so. This trend has badly damaged German-American relations and strongly influenced how the German people as a whole view the United States and its people. That is what we are working against here. So again, let's stop comparing apples and oranges, shall we?

BTW, we are proud to be associated with both Denis Boyles and Andrew Sullivan despite the fact that they have very different points of view politically. We see no contradiction in that. Andrew Sullivan is hardly a Bush fan and is not exactly known as a big conservative. Do we always agree with Mr. Boyles and Mr. Sullivan and everything they write? No. Do we associate ourselves with all of their ideas? No. Do we have a problem accepting their praise? No.

Just wanted to clear that up (again).

---Ray D.

@ Gerd:

"The photo essay accompanies the article, so the article is exactly what we are talking about."

Gerd. Wrong.

Look at my article again: It is just about the 10 page gallery, I linked directly to it twice. The gallery does not accompany only the article you linked, it also accompanies this artice and may accompany others as well. Besides, I am not going to argue with you about this because I KNOW what I wrote about.

I think you are having a major problem accepting obvious reality Gerd. If we can't even agree on what the article (I wrote) is really about when it is so plain and obvious and I link directly to the gallery twice, then that is pretty sad. Frankly, it is an insult to the intelligence of the other readers on this site for you to try to tell me what my own article was about. Again, I KNOW what my article was about Gerd.

Nice try though.

---Ray D.

germans are responsible for killing over 100 million people in two different world wars! my family came to the u.s. from solingen germany in the seventeen hundreds and i am proud of that. you people seem to forget the u.s. saved you from the russians and from yourselves! as far as i am concerned europe owes the u.s. a debt of gratitude they can never repay! if you really want to know the truth americans could give a shit less what europeans think of us!

Gerd wrote - "I do not detect any intentional bias in the Stern article – in contrast I detect a lot of intentional bias in Denis Boyles’ articles. What is worse?"

Oh - I see - YOU can't detect any bias in that series of pictures and the captions provided by Stern

So we are past denigrating Stern as an inconsequential glossy magazine of little importance ( selling 1M copies a week in Germany! ) - and now it moves on to denial of the anti-conservative US stereotyping being done by Stern

Well, as has been famously said - to paraphrase - "we all know our 'good' American - and we say 'this one is a fine fellow - of course the rest are swine' - but we must steel ourselves to understand what america is all about"

Gerd posts:
"Again, I can only recommend Robert Kagan’s book because it manages to point out the source of some of the misunderstandings between the two countries especially wrt to Iraq."

I read it Gerd. One of my primary take aways is that when Europe was militarily powerful she wrecked her havoc upon the peoples of the world, without any concern, for 500 years. And now that she is not she seeks to self-servingly redefine the meaning of words.
For example, who drew the "borders" of Iraq, that were in no way related to the local tribes or traditions, but were instead based upon splitting the potential wealth to be realised by various imperial European regimes?

Europe is obviously still deeply tied to her old understandings and definitions so when she looks at the U.S.A. she draws from her own well to understand why things are the way they seem to be.
Europe assumes the U.S.A. is powerful as she was powerful, therefore the U.S.A. must be harboring the same thoughts and desires Europe had when she ran roughshod, raping, pillaging and committing genocide the world over.

And since things don't really add up as Europe wishes and attempts to explain it . . . she simply makes it up.
- Bush is "stupid!" inspite of being degreed from both Yale and Harvard.
- Americans are "obese" and "sedentary" ~ inspite of usually winning more Olympic medals than any other countries.
- Americans are "stupid" inspite of the numbers of Nobel prizes.
- McDonalds is proof of the inane "McCultural imperialism" of the U.S. ~ inspite of it being the most franchised fast food business in the world. (you know how clever those franchisers are... opening outlets where nobody wants them and all.)
- U.S. movies are another example of "cultural imperialism" (once again proving the fact of a large group of extreme rightwing Americans are traveling the world in the dark of night to ensure American movie ticket sales are astronomical and all McDonalds turn a profit! The dastardly bastards.)
- The U.S. is a "conquering" power!" Thus, the U.S. invaded Kuwait to "control the oil" it now pays $50+ a barrel for on the open market;
- The U.S. "invaded" Afghanistan to build a mystery pipeline no one has yet found.
- The U.S. "invaded" Iraq also to "control the oil!" The oil that is still legally under contract to the French and Russians, both who signed multi-billion dollar contracts with the criminal Hussein regime.
- The U.S. "arrogantly" refuses to sign the Kyoto Accord and help save the world ~ even though no major European power has met the goals
prescribed in the treaty.
. . . blah blah blah blah blah blah . . . .

And on and on and on it goes! With the more
"complex" and "sophisticated" European understanding of the world. Like most points of the looney progressive liberal left . . .
It all makes perfect sense ~ as long as you don't think too much about it. And it is so much easier to blame somebody else, although that is a dangerous road they have already been down a time or two.

Gerd you keep saying it is necessary to understand the cultural foundations that cause the difference of opinion . . . bullshit! 50 million people have hope, and possibilities, can dream of a better life, perhaps for the first time in their lives . . . who cares why or how it happened.
This is something that mattered to Europeans once, back when it was them being liberated.


PS: Now it is simply . . . inconvenient!

Yes, I can't detect any bias in that series of pictures and the captions provided by Stern.
Yes, you can detect bias in that series of pictures and the captions provided by Stern.

What is the difference?

Your opinion counts more? ;-)

This is the problem when you base your entire argument on your own subjective opinion - this is exactly one of the points I have been trying to make.

This is also the problem with this blog in general which consists of a lot of highly subjective opinions without much analysis - unlike for example Andrew Sullivan who is interested in understanding other people's opinion before he argues against them.

Note from David: Gerd, I felt tempted to delete your comment but out of courtesy I leave it here - for now. Please stop your endless philosophical musings about subjective judgements and the problems you have with this blog. That's not what our comment sections are for. We don't want to collect your opinion to our postings. For details please check our comment policy (right column).
As I said countless times before to folks like you - if this blog doesn't fit your taste, start your own blog. We definitely will not adapt to your standards.

Can we move on now?

@Tyranno -

Does that sum up as "Europe doesn't understand that we're not Europe"?

The difference is that your opinion is not a accurate interpetation of the photo series Gerd

Any uninformed person viewing those photo's and the accompanying text will come away with a sense of compassion and respect for the images on the right ( the proletariet - the involved? ) and contempt is encouraged for those on the right by the images chosen and the text

Look at the last 2 pictures - the very fat old man is the representation of Devoted to God while the vibrant and pretty young woman is the representation of the Critical ( of Bush ) part of the country

Could they find a fat old man who was critical of Bush and show him? And a vibrant young woman who was devoted to God?

Of course they could - but this is not the message being sent Gerd

If it was one or two pictures - thats chance

Its its every single one - thats propaganda

And that you can't see it doesn't make that your opinion - it makes it your inability to recognize an obvious case of media manipulation

This is your blog, so you can do whatever you want.

However, threatening to delete my post while
- I respond to specific comments directed at me
- and others are allowed to respond to my posts
looks like arbitrary senseless censorship.

All my posts were directly related to Ray's original post.

And this in a blog dedicated to exposing failings of the press… ;-)

Personally I find it even more informative that we have Gerd here who cannot even detect the bias in the posted photo essay

I mean - if you can't see the bias in those chosen pictures and captions surely you are in dire need of the Mediakritik :)

I have to have one of these! I never figured out how I could prevent Fox from intruding my living room ;-)
Now how do I stop those pesky blog sites from popping up on my computer screen?

Gerd can't see any bias at all in Stern and he also probably believes that the German media in general isn't really biased, it is only "culturally" different... All that Gerd does is repeating himself - "there is no bias" - and criticizing the people who criticize the media.

Considering those things, I really don't understand Gerd's desire to return to this blog. His contribution is nil and his defense of the media makes him at least ridiculous. Had Gerd lived during WWII he probably would have claimed that Goebbels media is simply mirroring the German reality. Since he missed those glorious times when nobody was criticizing the party/media line, he tries to make up for this loss today, and on this blog. That's unfortunate (for us) and I hope he will soon find other places to spread his "wisdom".

Come on, gang. Gerd and Ralf serve a very useful purpose. After all with their help, this thread has reached a staggering 188 comments. Without dissension there is no discussion.

Note from David: Jane, we have all kinds of German "Oberlehrer" types trying to leave their fingerprints in our comment sections. Ralf and Gerd are just a small sample. They don't like the blog, they resent sarcasm because they don't grasp it, they try to "educate" our readers on the many merits of the German media world, they want you to know that German-American relations were never better than now, and so on. I just happen to believe that we have an obligation to not let them take over this blog.
Also, we don't aim at maximizing comment stats. It's quality that counts, not quantity.
Ralf and Gerd had ample opportunity to state their case. And now we move on.

@jane m

While I agree that most of the time you can have a discussion with Ralf, having a discussion with Gerd is impossible. The words "Gerd" and "discussion" are mutually exclusive.

the images are stereotype, for sure. But shouldn't we think about how we perceive them rather than what they ment to tell us? Liberalism is to truly understand the ongoing war between (old) Europe and the United States: both sides reinforce strongly and by any means the negative images of the other in order to win the battle for economic power, foreign investemnt polarity, energy resources (including water: look at the European strategies!). It's going to be impossible to have two strong powers dominating the rest of the world. All the efforts made by European Union and its entities to grow up to the strenght of the United States are shadowed and influenced by the big brother. The same happens on the other continent: through a so-called liberal and post-conservative communication governments try to disguise their tough fight for capital and security. What do you think? Will there ever be a common way? Think of all the neighbors (Africa, India, Pakistan, China, South America), probably going to knock first on Europe then on the US's doors between today and 50 years ahead. UNESCO pursues and interesting definition of poverty: not having access to decision!

What about us modern democracies? If we have it, what retrains us from making having access to decisions?

a few more thoughts:
I have noticed that some people are actually (unknowingly) critisizing the boundaries of systems. Look at the political infrastructure in Germany and how its exploitad, how the government tries to deal with it.

Second point: Stereotypes are important and are part of values, history and cultural identity. I gues it is not so much disturbing to see Lederhosen, Sandalen, or French baguette, vin - that's good for tourism. It would be booring to traval to another place and not to discover diversity.

@ Ray and David

As you say it is your blog. And I am not a long time reader, a few months.

I shall give you my opinion about your comment section, which of course you are free to ignore.

You are very tolerant of permitting adverse points of view. I frequently think you are TOO tolerant of fairly extreme anti-German stereotyping, but perhaps you view those as helping to prove your point that German-American relations are heading for the rocks. They worry me, however, because if I were a German, they would likely cause me to ignore your blog.

Ralf does not bother me at all. Yes he has a different point of view from yours, but the US and Germany could have a decent relationship if his view were the dominant one in Germany. I have not seen anti-Americanism or moonbatism in it.

Gerd does not bother me, just bores me. Of course there are cultural differences between the US and Germany. And of course those cultural differences will give rise to differences in political and economic views from time to time. But the issues are whether a) those cultural differences are being manipulated for political purposes, and if so, by whom, and whether b) American policy is rational and morally informed. If someone, for example, wanted to talk about how American public diplomacy could do a better job of addressing the Weltanschaung of modern Germany, I'd be all ears. As it is, I have no idea whether Gerd is reluctant to discuss the real issues or simply wants the US to give Germany a free pass for a foreign policy that is essentially obstructive and hostile to US interests while the US is at war. I learned about culture over 40 years ago in Anthropolgy 101, and that is not the topic of this blog.

I agree with Niko. Very often I have noticed here that German lefties are not aware of many facts that their American lefties-comrades don't even dispute. The bar IS to high on this blog for many German lefties simply because the German media feeds them amazingly filtered and biased news. I don't believe that those German commentators are somehow "unable" to perceive the facts. The thing is that they must realize and then overcome the fact the German media lied and disinformed in many instances. Most of them are not able to admit this(I know some very moderate Germans who can't conceive the simple idea that their media might not be right at least 90% of the time). Thus you have once in a while extremely boring and even stupid postings disguised as point of views.

@ WHatDoIKnow,

"The thing is that they must realize and then overcome the fact the German media lied and disinformed in many instances."
Exactly. Many Germans are just like Americans would be if they got their news only from the New York Times and CBS. The bad part, of course, is that they don't even realize it and think Americans are not getting the "whole picture". Even if they did it wouldn't be easy for them to get the rest of the story, considering the dearth of non-left news sources in Germany. For Germans unfortunately the news spectrum mostly runs from left to further left to oops-where'd-they-go.

Thanks Niko - thats hits the nail on the head

It is for exactly that reason that I do not accept any form of "its just my opinion V your opinion" answers

Well, when your opinion is founded on nonsense ( like Bush is more of a danger than Putin, or F911 was accurate ) then I cannot accept this kind of intellectual relatavism

If your facts are wrong - and I demonstrate this to be so - you can't worm out of it that way ;)

Since not many people here seem to appreciate a dissenting voice, this will be my last post.

Let me just make a final comment to Ray and some observations:

You cannot discuss this photo essay while ignoring the original Stern article. The photo essay originally ran together with this article and the article quotes some of the people shown in the photos. In order to figure out if the essay is anti-American you need to read what Stern actually writes about the people.

Some final observations about our discussion here:
- it is an important task to expose media bias wherever it occurs. In this respect this blog serves a useful purpose
- However, in order to have a useful discussion both sides need to be willing to at least consider the possibility that there is more than one valid opinion. Most posters here do not seem to accept this basic premise
- I have been very careful to be polite and to the point and not to criticize people on a personal level. In return I got shouted at and experienced a lot of name calling and profanities - unfortunately also from the owners of this blog. Why is there so much anger just because someone expresses a different point of view?
- Finally, this blog purports to prove that anti-Americanism is rampant in the German media. However, if you look careful through the postings you will find that this blog points to a relatively small number of original German press articles that actually deal with the US (I went through a half years worth of archives). Even more, most supposed Anti-American statements are from just two magazines, namely Spiegel or Stern. A lot if not most of the posts on this blogs refer to opinions about the German media by other people, quote American articles or comments on internal German politics. This hardly makes a strong case for wide-spread media bias.

If someone claims that there is only a small number of original German press articles that actually deal with the US and that there is no wide-spread media bias, he is ideologically irremediably blind.

Funny how moonbats and idiots consider themselves some sort of legitimate dissenting voice... Not a bad opinion of themselves, eh? No matter what, I appreciate it was the last post. At least some spark of rationality in the very last moment.

My experience is from the UK and not Germany and what I found was that the anti-american media bias on the BBC and Sky TV - and in every newspaper - was rampant

Only the Telegraph has less of it -

So what you are saying above is that the anti-american media bias in Germany is much less than it is in the UK

After all - the UK is the United States closest ally - the country that polls a more favorable opinion of the US and Americans than either Germany or France does - a nation with a common language and history
Yet the UK media is more biased against the US than the German media?

Now why is it that I find this implausible?

@ Gerd,

We have been listening to your different point of view for 200 comments now, what do you expect? If we didn't want to hear different points of view, we would not have a comments section at all. In fact, many large bloggers have no comments section, see Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan. But like everything, there are limits.

As far as personal attacks and profanity, I don't remember using profanity and anything personal was meant as a joke and not intended to be harmful on my part. If anyone can point out the profanity or particularly bad personal attacks in the comments section, I'll be happy to remove it. We do make an exception for Pato-esque comments that are clearly intended to be funny tirades/rants.

Regarding SPIEGEL and Stern, they are (along with Focus) the largest, most widely read weekly news magazines in Germany and have a very large circulation and influence in Germany. You could compare them to Time and Newsweek in the US in that respect. It is true that a great number of our articles focus on bias in these publications because of the fact that they are so widely read and influential. That said, we have written many articles about other media outlets other than Spiegel and Stern. But please, don't expect us to write very many articles about the Nuernberger Nachrichten or other small papers or magazines with little circulation and influence.

As far as our postings go, they always provide a link to the article or subject matter in question, so I think our readers can see that.

Anyway, this thread has gotten a bit long for me, so I will see you all in more recent postings.

---Ray D.

I want to say, as an American, that these captions aren't inaccurate. People actually think this way, that's a fact. I'm absolutely shocked that a blog like this proports to be about changing the German media. People who exhibit similar levels of anti-American bias are completely ignored in the United States. You guys must be some really disgruntled American expats or something if you really do live in Germany. I'm going to say what I would to any foreigner who would make similar statements about the USA while they lived here. If you're so dissatisfied, why not come home?

Note from David: Nameless, I'm German, and I live in Germany. I'm already at home.
I'm sorry that we "absolutely shocked" you...

I agree that the photos are stagey and create caricatures - but isn't that the point? This is a feature meant to entertain Germans. Part of the humor, I'd say, is that they got their American subjects to go along with the poses. In light of that, your "(must be evil)" labels strike me as really crude. Consider that the images of leftists and outsiders are diverse and not exactly flattering - not something that would make a leftist swell with pride. Or did you assume that they would? For that matter, the images of the cowboy and the woman soldier are anything but "evil." They probably appealed to many German readers; the cowboy photo is straight out of Wild West myth, and the "aktionistische" soldier is far more admirable than the apathetic beach bunny.

So I appreciated your collecting the photos, and your translations of the captions were good. But your commentary is surprisingly defensive. Sure, this is not a nuanced piece of reporting about American society, but neither is it the bipolar slam job you make it out to be. Compared with what I remember reading two years ago from prominent syndicated columnists about the Germans, while Joschka Fischer was leading the anti-war charge at the U.N., this photo feature is downright affectionate.

So my advice is, as the Germans say, "take it easy."

You couldn't be more wrong Rob - it is exactly the kind of propaganda that is a big problem in the German media today

You select a couple of paired photo's and say "whats the problem" -

Here's the problem - the overall impression is clearly that the conservative Bush voters are either rich elitists ( plane in the backyard - "war is good for the economy" - subtle ) or awful looking bible thumpers or gun shop rednecks

The elitist lawn bowlers v the downtrodden immigrants ( do they do another section on turkish immigrants in the same way? )

Clearly we are led to sympathise and agree with those on the Left - the chosen pictures and descriptions make that clear

Unfortunately, too many Germans are only fed a steady diet of caricatures of America and Americans. It is a sick thought that so many believe what they read because they have no experience to compare it against. If not for Dave and Ray, hope would be lost.

If you think that the shown leftists in the article are more appealing and therefore lead readers to sympathise with them you´re only showing a very bad taste in women, my friend.

My wife is German (from Hamburg) and I think I have a pretty good read on the Germans and their stereotypes. If you want to to make the point:

Take two stereotype. The first is the Bavarian yokel in Liederhosen with a beer stein and the second is the neo-Nazi skinhead of East Germany. Now claim that these stereotypes represent all Germans and then duck. The point will be made though.

I really enjoyed this whole debate.. and being an American rightwinger (Old Right but Neo Friendly) and a pol sci PhD, who has been teaching in Warsaw Poland now since 99.. I know the truth of what you say about German media and its infulence upon the preceptions of America by all too many Germans. I especially have a great deal of comment with German youths who come here on Socrates-Erasmus [mspld?] scholarships and am often shock how ingorant of even their own history they are. For some reason Western Europeans, who have been allowed to be free riders enjoying their welfare state perks, while Joe US taxpayer paid the cost of their security as their children risked their lives in the US military protecting them. Like Olaf Gersemann has all too well has shown that Europe is full of free riders and perhaps they should be tossed off the bus. :)

Pure propaganda!!! I am a Belgian who has lived in the States. Typically European to publish this kind of rubbish depicting Americans this way. Never believe anything you read in the media here in Europe, which is full of half-truths and/or lies. The countries in Europe (ESPECIALLY GERMANY) should stop bad-mouthing America and focus on their own problems, which are many. Europe is fast becoming Eurbia. The immigrant Muslims have already begun to take over Europe (as the young Muslims in France are already doing) with the recent anti-white race riots there.

Those same people who bash America and George W. Bush would probably jump at the chance to live and work in the States.

There will be major terrorist attacks here in Europe at some point, and I hope America refuses to come to the aid of Europe as they did during WWI and WWII. Europe has no backbone...they never did, and this is what makes America shine and causes the socialists here in Europe to stick their heads in the sand.

I am looking 4 a report on the last world cup, please can u help me , I beleive that u did a coverage of the ad of addidas with famous footballers in 2002, footballitos was it was called. THANKS D.SCARFE

" find it amusing that a blog dedicated to pointing out the biases of the German press is endorsed by and links to Denis Boyles, a writer for the National Review, who uses stereotypes and insults to hammer various European countries and politicians (in particular France). Of course this is my perception of his writing. You may judge for yourself at http://www.nationalreview.com/europress/europress-archive.asp.

I don't think this an unfair comparison at all. Boyle's stuff is pretty low level, and I'm surprised that National Review prints it. While I agree that German stereotyping of (conservative) Americans is indeed out of control, we should note the crude caricatures of Europeans when they do crop up here.

One other note: I am an American who works for a large German multinational corporation, and occasionally travel to Germany on business. In interacting with Germans both in business and randomly, I have met very little overt anti-Americanism (though to be sure I've spent more time in, say, Frankfurt and Nurnberg than Berlin). One of the few times I've been openly challenged on Bush, and America's policies, was by an engineer in Nurnberg. His colleagues had clearly heard all of this before, and seemed to treat him with an amused tolerance. Certainly I've encountered more reverence for multilateral institutions like the UN than is realistic or healthy, but this is hardly grounds to declare (cultural) war.

While I sympathise with the complaints of reflexive anti-Americanism and its attendant smug anti-intellectualism, I have to wonder about the motivations of those here apparently willing to give up on any meaningful dialogue with our German counterparts. At what point does defensiveness over anti-Americanism bloom into full fledged Know-Nothingism? I would hate to see more of my fellow conservatives cooperating in any way with the economically illiteracy of anti-Globalism: which is arguably prime moving force behind anti-Americanism itself.


Hey, I know all those people!!!

...They are all over the place here in the US. To be honest, there is nothing unordinary about these people. We are a pretty "black and white" group of people and the quotations that go with the pictures above can easily be heard in our media and on the street.

I'm an American from the southern state of Tennessee. I don't live there anymore but, I assure you, one can easily find each and every one of these persona-types depicted above where I grew up. I'm in DC now. I'm just glad they didn't put the Washingtonians in the mix... : )

Are these photos stereotypes? Maybe. In any case they are quite typical of what you will find in the USA. We are not, and do not claim to be, a nuanced people. In fact, many people will go as far as putting stickers on their cars and wearing t-shirts with slogans to make sure others don't misinterpret "who they are." I therefore have no problem with publication of these images and their accompanying quotes.

Does it feed the European's negative view of Americans? Sure, if they don't like or agree with what these images represent. But, in many ways, this is who Americans are. From the democrats, republicans, LaRouche fanatics on many of American campuses, to the bible-thumping born-again churchgoers, to the ultra-liberal free-market proponents, the pro-lifers, the hipsters... you can find them all here in their rather extreme glory.

If a European comes to the US, rents a car, and goes to the wal-marts, gun shops, country clubs, and prisons in search of America, he is bound to find these characters along his war. How could he not?

Of course the people in the photos are surely more complex creatures that what one might think on first glance, but that by no means makes the photos any sort of radical distortion.

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