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I just saw an article in "der Spiegel". It is similar to the one from their English site you mentioned earlier. It pretty much critizises the response from Germany, including Tritin's.
here it is.

I feel disgusted. What a bunch of low lifes at "stern".

Amazingly, "Spiegel" gets it right answer this time.

On the one hand: the picture is a true portrait of the seriousness of the situation. According to all reports, there is a lot of chaos and lawlessness right now in the disaster area. The situation calls for police, military and guns.
On the other hand: what the disaster victims need is compassion and money. There should be photos posted on stern.de, which elicit this compassion. Pictures of angry Southern cops, with shotguns ready, will not help to elicit this compassion.
Thanks, guys, for continuing to do your job.

Did you read today's Sueddeutsche editorial?

Here's a low quality automatic translation for the non-German readers:

The editorial praises the "heroism" of Americans and the "positive thinking pioneer spirit" and the fact that they don't expect much reconstruction help from the governments.
While the editorial writer is very critical of US engineering and environmental policies, he does express quite a lot of empathy for the US position on climate change, at least for German media standards. The forces of nature are traditionally much stronger in the US than in Europe and humans are appear smaller in the wide and open US than in the densly populated Europe, therefore Americans disagree with Europeans concerning humans impact on nature. He says that Americans are not ignorant about climate change, but that 131 US mayors pledged to implement the Kyoto protocoll, including the mayor of New Orleans.

My point is:
Not all papers depict Americans as "gun-totters whose first response to any problem is violence." I often agree with your accusations "More of the same from the German media", but Stern does not give you the whole picture.

Some papers actually praise Americans herorism, pioneer spirit, positive thinking, self reliance, etc, while at the same time being critical of US environmental policies. Perhaps too critical and perhaps one sentence describes Americans even as lacking reason to use better building material etc. And this should definitly be criticized. (US environmental policies have been covered in US papers as well, even right after Katrina)

@ Atlanticus:

I agree. Check our next posting.

The term "martial law" was misused by local officials and picked up by the worldwide media (and US media) until it was confirmed that martial law had not been declared, as you can read here:


I would not see this as a politically incorrect headline - rather incorrect with regard to the contents, but even "The Conservative Voice" had pretty much the same headline ("New Orleans Under Martial Law"), as you can see when searching for "martial law orleans" in Google News.

@ moracus:

I think the selection of the photograph is the most noteworthy aspect of
Stern's work. They recently did an entire gallery on America which was filled with similar stereotypes.

@ RayD

First of all - you should really include a forum or some place for interaction and thought exchange, as your website deals with topics that crave further discussion.

I read your comments concerning the "Stern"-gallery with great interest, but I must admit that I stopped at one point and had to read the following comment twice:

"This is yet another sad disservice to German society on the part of the German media. It serves to widen the divide of understanding between Germans and Americans, not to close it. It serves to more deeply ingrain the dim-witted, anti-American stereotypes prevalent in German society, not to dispel them."

Just by reading the comments on this page, I encountered remarks like:

I feel disgusted. What a bunch of low lifes at "stern".

which leads me to the conclusion that you might be contributing yourself to the above mentioned "divide of understanding between Germans and Americans" by picking headlines arbitrarily and putting them out of context to support certain anti-German stereotypes.

I would really like to discuss this further, but I believe the comments is not the right place for that. Please add a discussion forum soon and be prepared for another perspective. Then we might close the "divide of understanding between Germans and Americans" one day ;)

I just saw nearly an identical report on the looting on Fox News. Oh, right, they are pro-Bush, and therefore beyond reproach.

A great many of these looters are desperate for food, water and basic necessities like baby diapers. As far as we can tell no meaningful relief has reached these victims yet and there is no drinkable water in the city now. In only a few short days people can be on the verge of great need for simple biological basics in order to survive. Is it surprising that a sense of lawlessness has taken over?

jane m:

You are right and you are wrong. There are many who are desperate for food, water and other necessities. But there isn't a "sense of lawlessness" -- there is actual lawlessness! Necessities are one thing, but TVs, stereos, liquor and designer clothes are not that. Neither is shooting at the police, National Guard and rescue helicopters (of course, knowing how corrupt the New Orleans police are, I would be scared of them). There also is no necessity for gangs to be looting Canal Street and marauding through suburban neighborhoods.

Well as we know German cops would be carrying fully automatic H&K submachine guns in such a situation. Not a pump shotgun.

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