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I remember the consternation a lot of Arabs recounted when, as the attacks began in Iraq, the US forces consistently annihilated the Iraqi units. Iraqis and Arabs had been told for years that Saddam had created a graveyard for the invaders yet, somehow, the invaders, despite the 'quagmire' they'd entered, were moving rapidly forward over all opposition.

I remember one Jordanian who'd bought a new tv in anticipation of watching the invaders destruction in Baghdad. He was depressed that the city fell almost immediately with no bloodbath for the invaders. Interestingly, he rightly concluded that he'd been lied to about the strength of the Iraqi forces, the power of Arab elan, the loyalty of the population to Saddam, etc. He then cursed Arab tv and Al Jazeera in particular for lying to him.

Somewhere in the future, a lot of Germans are going to awaken to some similar realizations. The only question is whether they will do so before or after they've lost the power to demand corrective action.

Hm, it seems there are the following articles on the iraq referendum in Spiegel Online (I have transplated the headlines into English)

Praise after Iraq referendum - "Incredibly peaceful"
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,380066,00.html

Referendum - "Hunger for democracy"
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,380084,00.html

Iraq constitution - Uncertainty after referendum
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,380103,00.html

Bush praises Iraq referendum - "America won't run away"
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,380023,00.html

Iraq constitution draft - The most important points
http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,380016,00.html


Could you please elaborate further what you mean with "German media will never report on these developments with the intensity that they report every US loss or setback."? This allegation isn't an accurate description of reality.

Note from David: Just curious - why refutes quoting 5 SPON articles our allegation that "German media will never report on these developments with the intensity that they report every US loss or setback."? Do you understand the meaning of "intensity"? Please elaborate.

If you still believe the German mainstream media's stock cant about the US media being "in lockstep" with the Bush administration, I suggest you look at CNN, USA Today, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc., this morning. You will see the same lack of intensity David mentions in reporting about the results of the Iraqi elections. At the moment, CNN has nothing on its US homepage about Iraq except Saddam's trial. If you see any reporting at all, it's about the allegations of fraud and election rigging. These are accorded instant credibility, although there is no way of knowing at this early date whether fraud was really significant, or we're just hearing the entirely predictable whining of the losers. Compare this with the invariably lavish reporting in the US about any major US casualties, new allegations of torture, etc.

Teutone, to further elaborate on what David means by "intensity," I suggest you go to SPON's homepage and search "Iraqi elections" and "Abu Ghraib." Now count the number hits you get on each search. Any questions?

Thanks for the tip, Helian. Searching for "Irak Verfassung" gives me 24 hits, "Abu Ghraib" returns 8. Hm, somehow I still don't understand David's perception of the word "intensity" - perhaps he means "being intensely pro-Bush"?

Search results for the last 12 months:
Irak Verfassung: 184
Abu Ghureib: 142
Abu Ghraib: 87

Given the fact that Abu Ghraib was in the past and reporting about the constitution is still in it's early phase, this reflects the timeline of events in Iraq. No way of insufficient reporting of positive developments, or even ignoring them. Of course, it's no pro-Bush propaganda, which not the worst thing.

Note from David: Teutone, you are apparently not familiar with the way Google or Google News store media articles. Most media in Germany do not grant Google access to their article archives. Searching Google for 2004 mentions of "Abu Ghraib" in the German media will therefore produce a sharply downward biased result. And Google News Germany - by Google's own definition - only stores articles for 30 days.
What you have to do is to go to a fee based media monitoring service such as Genios or GBI. I checked at GBI.de for "Abu Ghraib" and "irakische Verfassung". Results:
"Abu Ghraib": 3119 search results
"irakische Verfassung": 425 search results
("Verfassung des Irak: 47 search results)
In any case, all these stats don't prove anything, unless you do a careful and comprehensive content analysis of the results. Nobody here has the time for this, and you didn't make any attempts to provide one either. However, we give countless examples in our blog of negatively biased reporting on Abu Ghraib in the German media. If you really think there is "sufficient reporting of positive developments" in Iraq in the German media you have my deepest sympathy for your unfortunate condition.

Thomas Hazlewood : Somewhere in the future, a lot of Germans are going to awaken to some similar realizations.

What's there to 'awaken to' after 60 years?

Teutone : Could you please elaborate further what you mean with "German media will never report on these developments with the intensity that they report every US loss or setback."? This allegation isn't an accurate description of reality.

The vehemence of gloating by 'G msm' about real or, more often than not, engineered American 'boo boos' is palpable. Were a few urine droplets not 'manna from heaven' to be milked by them for weeks to the last - well - droplet ?

Where is similar vehemence ; ahh, forget 'vehemence' , one is already happy with 'objectivity'; in the reporting of the tremendous progress of Iraq's infrastructure?

Pretty well nonexistant those reports and pictures , wouldn't you say?

Helian If you still believe the German mainstream media's stock cant about the US media being "in lockstep" with the Bush administration,...

Now, that is really hilarious!
But makes a lot of sense in the upside-down terminalogy world of leftist ink slingers : two minusses give a plus , ergo is msm U.S. media pretty well anti-Bush. I don't think, they themselfes would have a problem with that statement.

Greetz ... Heinz


Teutone Search results for the last 12 months: Irak Verfassung: 184 Abu Ghureib: 142 Abu Ghraib: 87

Given the fact that Abu Ghraib was in the past and reporting about the constitution is still in it's early phase, this reflects the timeline of events in Iraq. No way of insufficient reporting of positive developments, or even ignoring them. Of course, it's no pro-Bush propaganda, which not the worst thing.

Oh whooppy!

Pretty soon we can stare in disbelieve at German front pages like "Amerikanisches Blut fuer Demokratie" , "Thanks Amerika" .

Reminds me of the Schroeder statement: "We were at the forefront to forgive Iraq's debt."

Hey , you never know. Who would have guessed the utter and complete implosion of the former Sowjetunion?


@Teutone

>>”Thanks for the tip, Helian. Searching for "Irak Verfassung" gives me 24 hits, "Abu Ghraib" returns 8. Hm, somehow I still don't understand David's perception of the word "intensity" - perhaps he means "being intensely pro-Bush"?”, etc., etc.

Where to start. Of course, I must assume you actually believe your own cant, although I realize that’s a dangerous assumption considering how lame it is. To begin, it goes without saying that “Iraqi Verfassung” doesn’t exactly translate as “Iraqi elections.” Let’s try “Iraqi Wahlkämpfe.” Hmmm, no hits at all. How about “Iraqi Wahlkampf?” Damn, still no hits. Let’s see, how about “Iraq and Wahlkampf?” Bingo!! Four hits! And that just in the last year alone!! Not too hard to see why you changed the rules of the game, Teutone.

Moving right along, you might get lucky if you try searching “Abu Ghureib” (that is the German spelling, you know) over a year ago when the story actually broke, rather than for the last year. If we look, for example, at the month of May 2004, we get 129 hits on “Abu Ghureib” for that month alone. Anything starting to dawn on you yet, Teutone? Of course, the titles of the articles cited are all perfectly objective and bland. For example, we find, “Foltern ohne Unrechtsbewusstsein,” “Protokoll des Horrors,” “Feixende Soldaten neben Gegangenenleiche,” and “Das Desaster des Westens.” Nothing there to pander to the hatemongers, right Teutone? All just a perfectly innocent and, indeed, heroic attempt to stop torture. R-r-i-i-g-g-h-h-t-t! Do we really need to mention the fact that these articles along with lurid pictures were constantly visible on SPON for months? Want to see what a principled attempt to resist the torturers looks like, Teutone? Try reading Andrew Sullivan’s blog once in awhile. Just keep scrolling. You’ll see it’s actually possible to take a stand against torture without promoting hatred of the United States. Furthermore, instead of contributing to the problem, like the editors of SPON and their ilk, Sullivan contributes to the solution. SPON’s exploitation of Abu Ghraib had nothing to do with opposition to torture. It had everything to do with peddling hate to its eager readers. The predictable result of the exploitation of Abu Ghraib by the editors of SPON and their US clones to facilitate America bashing has been to energize the right wing rationalizers and spinners of torture with their equally ludicrous claims that the torture was just a few isolated soldiers run amok. Fortunately, ninety US senators don’t see it that way.

What can I say, Teutone. Since you’ve deliberately chosen to bury your head in the sand, I doubt that anything I could suggest would help. You might try actually reading all the SPON hits that reference “Abu Ghureib” for May 2004. Then you might actually get an inkling of what David means when he speaks of “intensity.”

@Helian
>Where to start. Of course, I must assume you actually believe your own
>cant, although I realize that’s a dangerous assumption considering how
>lame it is. To begin, it goes without saying that “Iraqi Verfassung”
>doesn’t exactly translate as “Iraqi elections.” Let’s try “Iraqi
>Wahlkämpfe.” Hmmm, no hits at all. How about “Iraqi Wahlkampf?” Damn,
>still no hits. Let’s see, how about “Iraq and Wahlkampf?” Bingo!! Four
>hits! And that just in the last year alone!! Not too hard to see why
>you changed the rules of the game, Teutone.

Where to start. Well, I must assume you actually believe your own cant, although I realize that’s a dangerous assumption considering how lame it is. To begin, it goes without saying that "Iraqi elections" doesn't exactly translate as "Iraqi Wahlkämpfe" nor "Iraqi Wahlkampf". First of all you should try the German word for "Iraq", which is "Irak". "Irak Wahlkampf" gives 19 hits for the last month. But "Wahlkampf" translates to "election campaign", the German word for "election" ist just "Wahl". For "Irak Wahl" (Iraqi election) it's 20 hits, "Irak Wahlen" (Iraqi eletions) gives 14 hits.
Searching all articles between the 1st of January 2004 and now gives 15 hits for "Abu Ghuraib" and 147 for "Abu Ghraib". Compare that to "Irak Wahl" (717 hits) or "Irak Wahlen" (608 hits). "Irak Verfassung" gives 327 hits, whereas "Irak Referendum" has just 84 hits, which is less than the hits for "Abu Ghraib". Bingo!!

@Walter

>>”Searching all articles between the 1st of January 2004 and now gives 15 hits for "Abu Ghuraib" and 147 for "Abu Ghraib". Compare that to "Irak Wahl" (717 hits) or "Irak Wahlen" (608 hits). "Irak Verfassung" gives 327 hits, whereas "Irak Referendum" has just 84 hits, which is less than the hits for "Abu Ghraib". Bingo!!”

Hey, Walter, you can parse words and play with phrases on SPON’s search engine as long as you want, but all your spin won’t obscure the truth about SPON’s “reporting” on the US. Their archives are an open book for anyone who wants to take the time to look. What! The best you could do playing your word games was 717 hits in nearly 10 months! Let’s see, that averages out to around 75 hits a month. Pretty lame compared to the 129 hits in one month for Abu Ghureib. But wait! Almost none of the articles that reference “Irak Wahl” have anything to do with coverage of the actual results of the recent election in Iraq, do they? Most of them happen to contain that phrase in general articles about Iraq. Excuse me, Walter, but wasn’t the point of David’s original post that the German media were showing a distinct lack of interest in the results of the election, as invariably happens with any other good news from Iraq? Can you please explain for us why general articles that happened to have the phrase “Irak Wahl” or “Irak Wahlen” must necessarily have something to do with the results of the recent election? While you’re at it, can you explain the logic of searching from the beginning of the year, when, unless you’re a psychic, you couldn’t have known anything about the actual results of the election until after they occurred? The articles that reference Abu Ghureib are a little different, aren’t they? Most of them are the usual scurrilous, America-bashing tirades that SPON’s hate peddlers specialize in. They weren’t just fig leaves that were left up for an hour or two, either. Starting in May 2005, propaganda and pictures about Abu Ghraib were a constant presence on SPON’s home page, and the topic made the cover of at least one SPIEGEL magazine.

Hey, Walter, you obviously have way too much time on your hands anyway, so why not wade through your 717 “Irak Wahl” hits, or your 608 “Irak Wahlen” hits, and collect all those articles that actually have anything to do with coverage of the actual results of the recent election. Of course, we especially want you to bring to our attention any articles that you can single out as models of balanced and objective reporting about Iraq and the US. Na, los Walter! I promise not to sit on my hands. For any article you can cite, the main topic of which is the result of the Iraq election, I will post 10 of SPON’s hysterical Abu Ghureib diatribes, and we’ll all try to get some feel for how “balanced” their coverage really is.

I really have to wonder why people like you play these games, Walter. You’re obviously not interested in getting at the truth, because you know what the truth is, and you know it has nothing to do with the alternate reality you’re trying to spin here. You’re not some stooge who’s been reading nothing but the SPON line all his life and is suddenly shocked to find that maybe they’ve been feeding him propaganda all these years. Not you! You’re a water boy for the propagandists. May I ask why, Walter? Do you really believe the result of hate mongering will be better for Germany in the 21st century than it was in the 20th?

@Helian

May I remind you, that it was you who suggested Teutone should "go to SPON's homepage, search "Iraqi elections" and "Abu Ghraib" and then count the number hits you get on each search."?

Well, I just did that. Nowhere in my post did I rate these search results. If you're not pleased with them don't blame me but the one who suggested this method. Oh, that would be you? Nah, you can't be asked to blame yourself for that. Rather pick someone else, for example Walter. Ooh, he didn't say a word about his opinion on biased German media? That's nothing, don't worry about that. Just name him "water boy for the propagandists". Everyone will know immediately who's the good guy and who's the bad guy.

You called someone a psychic if he does know about future events. I wonder what you call a mind reader like yourself.

@Walter

>>”May I remind you, that it was you who suggested Teutone should "go to SPON's homepage, search "Iraqi elections" and "Abu Ghraib" and then count the number hits you get on each search."?”

That’s right, Walter, and what, exactly, do you think the point of that suggestion was? To literally go to a German website and blindly do English language searches? Why not in Swahili? Why not in Klingon? Is it really too much of an intellectual stretch for you and Teutone to figure out that the point of my post wasn’t to get people to start playing amusing language games, but to actually compare the volume of coverage of the results of the Iraqi election with that of Abu Ghraib? I really thought the fact that I posted the terms in English would be kind of a broad hint to people as mentally acute as you. I guess not. Hey, Walter, if you want to continue to blow your own credibility by arguing that the coverage of the election was comparable to that of Abu Ghraib, go ahead. It’s not like you’re going to fool anyone who doesn’t choose to willfully blind themselves.

@Helian

>>That’s right, Walter, and what, exactly, do you think the point of that suggestion was? To literally go to a German website and blindly do English language searches?

Nobody did that except YOU. Furthermore, it was YOU who suggested comparing the search hits for "Abu Ghraib" and "Irak Wahl" would be a measure for the intensity of SPON-reporting on a topic. Why don't you just admit, that you were wrong?

>>Hey, Walter, if you want to continue to blow your own credibility by arguing that the coverage of the election was comparable to that of Abu Ghraib, go ahead.

Trying to read my mind again? Just a simple question for you: where did I do that?

@Walter

>>"Nobody did that except YOU. Furthermore, it was YOU who suggested comparing the search hits for "Abu Ghraib" and "Irak Wahl" would be a measure for the intensity of SPON-reporting on a topic. Why don't you just admit, that you were wrong?"

I can honestly say, Walter, that, perhaps because of my simplistic American background, I never suspected that anyone would simply blindly and literally obey my instructions (on a blog, no less) without having the temerity to even dare think about what my actual intent might have been. Who knew? It's very flattering, really. I'll keep you in mind next time I need someone to do one of those "special" jobs for me.

Nice spin, Helian. YOU did come up with the idea to count hits. YOU even did that by yourself, although mixing English and German words. YOU tried to imply that the number of hits for "Abu Ghuraib" compared to the hits for "Iraqi Wahlkampf" would say sth. about SPON's reporting. The only thing I did was exchanging "Iraqi Wahlkampf" with "Irak Wahl" or other German phrases. Suddenly - just by the number of hits - SPON didn't look that bad anymore. That seemed to make you furious and you turned on me.

Somebody else might just have thanked me for adapting your English/German phrases to sth. meaningful. He would have added, that comparing just the number of hits wasn't such a good idea from the beginning and that you should have a look at the articles themselves. I must admit, that, perhaps because of my extremely sophisticated European background, I would never have thought that I would be insulted just for stating some mere numbers.

@Walter

"Somebody else might just have thanked me for adapting your English/German phrases to sth. meaningful. He would have added, that comparing just the number of hits wasn't such a good idea from the beginning and that you should have a look at the articles themselves."

You can rant on about your word parsing until you're blue in the face, Walter. I'm perfectly content to have you believe anything you want about my choice of search terms as long as you don't dispute the point of David's post. Of course, one wonders why you were so quick to chime in with Teutone if you didn't agree with him, but I'm probably just being paranoid. I'm sure you were just motivated by a charitable desire to insure that our reader's searches were conducted in the most efficient possible manner. Of course, your happy idea about having "a look at the articles themselves," would never have occurred to the rest of us simpletons. Perhaps we'll have an opportunity to remind you of this happy idea in the not too distant future.

@Helian

The only one ranting are you. The simple fact, that I did what you suggested, seemes to disturb you in such a way that your last resort is trying to discredit me.

Granted, I don't always agree with David's or Ray's articles, but I do believe they're doing the right thing. (Jetzt hast Du es doch geschafft, dass ich mich genötigt fühle mich zu rechtfertigen.)

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