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After reading the comments section on the Statler & Waldorf blog I keep asking myself "Why do decent conservatives allow lefties (i.e. socialists and communists) to comment on their blogs? I know it's a lot of work to delete unwanted comments but there has to be a way of keeping the left out. Don't get me wrong I'm all for freedom of speech but not for communists / socialists. They've had their say far too long and I don't want to hear from them again, ever!

I agree with the sentiment Statler expresses in his posting. As for the comments concerning Medienkritik, some of them are fitting, some of them aren't. I obviously agree with the notion that Medienkritik "deepens the transatlantican divide" (neokomplott). I've said pretty much the same thing. I don't know whether you "like to delete criticism" (buenavista); so far, you've let my comments in peace, even though I have been critical. (That might be because you don't think me worth your time, I don't know. But I prefer to think of you more favourably ;).)

@ St.Roch,

We don't normally erase critical comments. But we do have a clear comments policy and we follow it. It seems that all of the DMK "haters" have congregated over at Statler & Waldorf because they know they can get away with ripping us over there.

Anyway, I firmly believe that we aren't the ones "deepening the transatlantic divide." The people and media that we report on are the ones "deepening the divide." If they didn't exhibit the sort of hatred and outrageous bias towards the USA that they do on a daily basis then this blog would cease to exist. That is a simple, undeniable fact.

And please, don't blame us for not keeping quiet about it. The German media is what it is and people have a right to know exactly how the German media is negatively impacting German thought and opinion on the US. And as long as they keep on doing what they do, we will keep on doing what we do...and we don't ever plan to stop. And, let me be really clear about this: We won't ever apologize to anyone, anywhere for who we are or what we do.

That said, we are interested in differing points of view as long as they remain civil and respectful. This is about having a discussion about the German media. We appreciate people like you St.Roch and you know (from your own experience) that we don't erase comments just because someone doesn't agree with us.

Ray D.:
>>We don't normally erase critical comments. But we do have a clear comments policy and we follow it. It seems that all of the DMK "haters" have congregated over at Statler & Waldorf because they know they can get away with ripping us over there.<<

Ah. I guessed as much.


>>Anyway, I firmly believe that we aren't the ones "deepening the transatlantic divide." <<

Yes, I believe that's what you believe. But please understand that I'm not seeing it this way. You're right that the media are biased in Germany. And you've got a right - and my support - to criticize them for it as long as they keep that attitude. Loudly, even. But I think you're sometimes over-reacting. And when a German stumbles upon this blog and reads several of these articles in a row, he's going to think "what's their problem? stupid blog. stupid americans" because the criticism he sees is unwarranted (to him). He won't notice that there are many other articles that are very justified in their criticism, simply because he'll never visit the site again, or delve too deeply into the archives. He'll leave with the impression that "the Americans" are cranky, don't react well to criticism, can't laugh at a joke and are altogether just as stupid as the media tell him they are. And I think that's sad, and avoidable.
I'm not out to change your attitude. This is your blog and David's. But, again, I think you could very well do what you've always intended to do - alert people about the bias of German media - and function as bridge between Europe and America.

St.Roch,

from some of your previous comments I have come to appreciate your well-reasoned criticism of much of what is said around here. however, I fail to understand how you can blame a pro-american blog for deepening the trans-atlantic divide ? do you not agree that there is a poisened athmosphere of spite and malice in the press whenever it comes to America ? don't you think that this is not all about bashing her president and the "neocons" but about America herself ? I know you agree that those resentments run very deep with the German people and I think it is not entirely wrong to blame the media for it. how can you blame this blog and others like it for pointing out that poison affecting peoples' minds ? pointing out old Europe's conceit and self-righteousness whenever it comes to lecturing the America about morale and people's rights. how do you explain for the fact that leading politicians dare to spit in her face only days before national elections, by scorning her elected leaders in the hour of a national catastophe, if it were not for the fact that this is exactly what the German people like to hear ? you know and i know they do, St.Roch, and not because of this blog. if americans, because of this blog, begin to realize what germany really thinks of them, it is not DMK to take the blame. i think they have a right to know what's going on here. do you not agree ?

@Toby: Yes, no argument. But I was primarily thinking about the German side, as I explained to Ray.

@ St.Roch,

Well, you are right in a sense. We are not a blog for Germans who basically think their media is objective with just a few exceptions. There are clearly many Germans who are so used to the decades of bias that they have come to see it as perfectly normal. So, yeah, maybe they would have a problem with this site. But that doesn't mean that what we have to say isn't valid or right. It just means most Germans aren't used to seeing this form of criticism and might react adversely to it or perceive it as over-reaction.

We are under no illusions about how long it will take to change attitudes on both sides of the Atlantic. Clearly, we aren't going to change things overnight. This will probably take years or even decades. But every journey begins with one step and we are going to see that journey through.

And by the way, David is German and I am a dual citizen (German-American). So to call us Americans is only 25% accurate.

RayD:
>>It just means most Germans aren't used to seeing this form of criticism and might react adversely to it or perceive it as over-reaction.<<

Of course. But don't you think that sometimes, you have over-reacted? That's my impression in a few cases. I had been reading your blog for a week or so, with no complaints (or I would have voiced them). But then came along the Trittin comments which I felt were unfairly biased (and I've made clear that I may vote for the Greens but that I've got no love for Trittin himself). There have been similar issues where I think you jumped into the fray far too emotionally charged. Not many, but they're there.

Of course Medienkritik isn't nearly as responsible for the American/German division as the German media. But it's not helping, either. And that's a sad thing because, although I realize that this is not your main aim, I think it could.


>>And by the way, David is German and I am a dual citizen (German-American). So to call us Americans is only 25% accurate.<<

Oh. I'm sorry I didn't realize this. It does tell something about your (David's at least) skill with the English language, though :).

I think the US media is every bit as bad as the glimpses of the German MSM that Medienkritik lets us non German speakers see. I don't give them (the US MSM) a free pass either. That said I don't see the hate in the US MSM that I see in many of these articles. That kind of thing would only be seen in some trash throw away publication of some off the wall political movement or some sick website. These are unfortunately major German publications. You can't deny that.

@ St.Roch

OK, fair enough, and you are honest about your viewpoint. We are glad to have a different, honest point of view about what we do. Some people think we occasionally go too far, others think we sometimes don't go far enough. I can say that David and I are satisfied that the work we do is worthwhile and necessary.

"There have been similar issues where I think you jumped into the fray far too emotionally charged. Not many, but they're there."

See, to me this is bordering on double standards. Not by you necessarily, but I have heard this so often... that the right-of-center gets called out for being "too emotional", while the other side gets a soft chuckle and an eye-roll when they are overly emotional. *shrug*


"Of course Medienkritik isn't nearly as responsible for the American/German division as the German media. But it's not helping, either. And that's a sad thing because, although I realize that this is not your main aim, I think it could."

I can't imagine exactly how Medienkritik isn't helping more than harming. IMO, shaming them (if they had any *ahem* ;) ) by highlighting just in what way they are expressing anti-Americanisms is quite useful. If it helps folks reflect a little more it does help repair the German/American divide. ;)

But then there are Americans who believe non-Americans are getting a tainted picture when other Americans in the media who spend lots of time highlighting how much America is the source of so much that is wrong with the world are not helping with the World/America rift. :)

It's easy to *know* a lie when one's own intentions are misrepresented.

"The people and media that we report on are the ones "deepening the divide."

...yep, the German media seem to have a distorted view of reality...they feed from the conflicts they amplify, distort and help perpetuate. They hunger for damning evidence they "know" exists...but they don't *know*...

so they lie

...they lie to maintain their sanity...

they lie to maintain their world-view

They are "reporters" - jack of alltrades, master of none. Some have a strong, clear grasp of reality, others are so well versed as to seem to be mind-readers...and I always say beware of mind-readers...people that "know" what you think...people that claim to "know" what will happen...these are often the same people that are pondering the worst that can happen, instead of proposing the most viable solutions...

I want solutions, not more problems people.

German media (as the majority of American mainstream media) can be given credit for their part in perpetuating hateful stereotypes...for contributing to the ignorance to their countrymen. I see that stern mag with its "Bush as Hitler" pose...that's quite a bit of work there...finding the right angle, make sure he's waving to someone with his left hand...good job stern...you get the point through just fine...I'm sure the people of the Party of Lincoln, the party that freed the slaves can appreciate how their extreme right wing views put them on the equivalence trail with Hitler...

...oh...yeah...I know a lie when I see it...

This blog points out some of those lies propogating in German over there. What one thinks about this spotlight being good or bad says more about them than this blog. I tend toward learning the truth, speaking the truth, and working to make this a better world.

Obviously not everyone is on the same page.

I don't see solutions, I see lots of bitching, fingerpointing and projection...infantile attitudes and adolescent logic.

Welcome to the mainstream media.

Sadly it seems that the MSM in general (and that includes the US itself) is anti-American. There is only one European newspaper I consider generally balanced in that regard - the Telegraph. Thankfully the blogsphere has done a lot of good by giving decent people with an open mind a chance to see what is happening. Why do you think it is that - apart from Sky Digital (which is admittedly owned by Mr. R.M.) - no other European media service provider has allowed Fox News onto their airwaves? I can only urge other like-minded folks in Germany to write to their cable companies asking to get Fox News on there. It really is like a breeze of fresh air. I'm still ashamed to be German nonetheless. What I've read on German media websites the past couple of days has definetely "taken the biscuit".

I think the only way you will see reform of German media is if Germany pays an economic price for it. I think Americans need to be made aware of it. Unfortunately, the US media doesn't report on this type of stuff. They don't spend their time investigating European countries. Germany should be happy that most Americans are unaware of the viscious anti-American propaganda in German media and ingrained anti-Americanism of Germans, because I suspect that it would lead to many Americans to boycott German goods.

St. Roche, you're just not used to having your dirty linen washed in public.

You'll get used to it. We have.

But then came along the Trittin comments which I felt were unfairly biased

thereby demonstrating that you haven't bothered even to check the easily available online information from hurricane experts, who clearly show that Trittin's comments not only have no basis in science, the quantitative evidence clearly shows that the opposite is true.

If you are too ideological to factcheck something this straightforward, why should we pay attention to your political comments?

Just to clarify that comment: setting aside the odious and reprehensibly smug delight in the suffering of others for a moment, Trittin's basic claims about a link between Katrina and current US policies is not only not supported by the science, there is clear, significant and extensive scientific data that contradicts those claims.

So he's both wrong on the facts and also beneath contempt as a human being.

"You're right that the media are biased in Germany. And you've got a right - and my support - to criticize them for it as long as they keep that attitude. Loudly, even. But I think you're sometimes over-reacting. And when a German stumbles upon this blog and reads several of these articles in a row, he's going to think "what's their problem? stupid blog. stupid americans" because the criticism he sees is unwarranted (to him)."

But you misunderstand if you think that ANY message will be 100% effective

Of course some, and maybe even many or most, Germans who view this blog will go away thinking as you describe

But some, and I hope a growing number, will begin to understand that their media is one-sided and that the america bashing has influenced them to hold some opinions that are not valid

The US isn't really the source of most of the worlds problems as the German ( and often US! ) MSM assert

Well put Pogue...we can't work miracles here.

RayD:
>>OK, fair enough, and you are honest about your viewpoint. We are glad to have a different, honest point of view about what we do. Some people think we occasionally go too far, others think we sometimes don't go far enough. I can say that David and I are satisfied that the work we do is worthwhile and necessary.<<

Fair enough. Ok, I'll let it stand at that.


Anondson:
>>I can't imagine exactly how Medienkritik isn't helping more than harming. IMO, shaming them (if they had any *ahem* ;) ) by highlighting just in what way they are expressing anti-Americanisms is quite useful. If it helps folks reflect a little more it does help repair the German/American divide. ;)<<

All true. But that works only if there are actually a great number of Germans reading this blog. Not just one or two.


Robin Burk:
>>thereby demonstrating that you haven't bothered even to check the easily available online information from hurricane experts, who clearly show that Trittin's comments not only have no basis in science, the quantitative evidence clearly shows that the opposite is true.<<

Simple googling turns up, for example, this, this, and this. You might call at least one of these sources biased, ok. And yes, google also finds pages that say that all this global warming hysteria is indeed nothing but this: hysteria. The only fact is that there is no final, 100% factual proof that either side is right. The claims Trittin has actually made are supported by these websites. That doesn't mean they're neccessarily correct, but they're not neccessarily false, either.


>>Trittin's basic claims about a link between Katrina and current US policies is not only not supported by the science, there is clear, significant and extensive scientific data that contradicts those claims.<<

Which is probably why Trittin didn't claim anything like this. There's a lot to be angry about in his articles, and if one is so inclined, one can guess that Trittin intended to blame Bush's policies for Katrina. But did he outright say so? No. Please stop believing what others tell you he said and do your own factchecking. You don't even have to google, I've accumulated all information in the comments section of the articles "German-American friendship" and "Lecturing the American friends while they drown".

David, You are tilting at windmills attempting to placate St Roch. He is classically "shooting the messenger!" It isn't the hateful implications, the ugly bias caricatures or the myopic obsession with doom, gloom, race and failure in the German MSMs. . . no, no, the only problem is that you would have the testikels to point it out.

St Roch, find me similar articles (or even one) in an American MSM magazine or publication. STERN and DER SPEIGEL being the equivalent of a TIME or NEWSWEEK. I have played this game with my Germans friends who, because of the nonsense spewed by the German medias, were absolutely certain that the NEOCON extreme rightwing controls the American media. Which, if that were true, then obviously the anti- European/ anti-Old Europe/ anti-French/ anti-German etc, in it would be ubiquitous.

Oddly enough, none have found and sent me an article yet, even from the dreaded FOX. I must say that if this is the "sophistication" and "nuanced" understanding that Europeans possess and Americans lack, then you all can keep it.
I venture out into the world out of curiosity and wonder, not to find difference that I can highlight to criticize and smugly use to point out my own superiority.
I had a wonderful time living in Europe but the rose colored blinders definately came off about them and their world view. There are just as many German/Alabama rednecks as there are Bavarian/American rednecks, it just sounds "cooler" when you are narrow minded and parochial in a foreign language.

Tyranno

St.Roch:
>>St Roch, find me similar articles (or even one) in an American MSM magazine or publication.<<

And I would have to do that because...? I have neither accused David and Ray of "being hypocrites because the American media hate Germany, too" (which I neither believe nor have evidence about), nor have I said that it's wrong what the two are doing. I have said that I think they're sometimes overdoing it and losing objectivity. Ray has accepted that as an opinion differing from his own, end of argument.

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