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as you pointed out correctly, Mascolo wrote a commentary, or "Kommentar". "Kommentare" are by definition opinionated. Here are some quotes from Wikipedia.


On the other end we have the so called "Bericht" or "Reportage".


If you study journalism, you will learn that in the first or second semester. Once again, you can like it or not, but commentaries are always opinionated.

And as so often for this website, you barking up the wrong tree. Sad, but true...

Note from David: We cut your wikipedia quotes short. No need to quote at length from wikipedia. You provided a link - that'll do.
BTW, I don't get your point. Commentaries resp. opinions should not be criticised in our postings? Are you kidding?

Moussaoui is going to die in a "Supermax" prison in Florence, Colorado, rather than become an instant martyr for "the cause." I'm not sure how anyone can spin this as a defeat for Bush. It may not take long for Moussaoui to wish he had been sentenced to "death" rather than "life."


Commentaries are opinionated but - when one somewhat bases one's opinion on easily verifiable information, there's quite a few words for that. And being the head of the the DC bureau, embarrassing.

Blogosphere, fact-checking your ass.

So, che, blow up any babies today?

I came across this article about Virginia polls.


First, they note that Virginia is behaviorally a Republican state that has voted for George Allen first as governor and then as senator, has a large Republican congressional delegation and has voted for a Republican-dominated legislature in Richmond. And finally, Virginia is a red state that has voted twice for Bush. In 2004 Bush won with just under 54 percent of the vote: 1,716,959 Bush to 1,454,742 Kerry. Even with a wind in his face, this group states, Kilgore should be able to win here.

You didn't read the Wiki quotes, we can do it word by word.

"Unfortunately, the author never explains just how the U.S. justice system is "disfigured," nor does he explain why the verdict represents a significant "defeat" for the Bush administration. Readers are simply expected to take his word for it..."

This is a commentary, not a report. He doesn't have to explain the system here.

"Unfortunately for Mascolo, Alexandria, Virginia (and most of suburban, northern Virginia) is anything but a conservative, Republican stronghold, as the results from last year's gubenatorial race clearly demonstrate:"

Not entirely true, Virginia has a history of being a republican stronghold. See above.

"While Mr. Mascolo is unquestionably bursting with empty opinions, he is woefully lacking on the facts. His comments are entirely consistent with his publication's obvious desire to feed its readers political caricatures of the United States designed more to reinforce existing views than to accurately inform."

Commentary always cater a certain crowd. You can't criticize him for empty opinions here. And he doesn't have to mention the facts in his commentary.

yes, this is opinion. however, as daniel patrick moynihan would attest, although one is entitled to his own opinion, one is not entitled his own facts. what good is an opinion if it's based on falsehoods and misinformation?

it's ok, as long as it falls in the "kommentar" section? that's just obtuse.

this is an embarassment, and it's one reason the conversations i have with germans are so maddening. garbage in, garbage out.

It's telling that the German media is as monomaniacal as it is tendentious about America, yet the American media are devoid of information about Germany. Why do you suppose that is? I assume it's because the sun is oblivous of sunflowers.

You see, his commentary is not based on false information. Check the poll results for Virginia for the last couple of years, and you will see that they have a considerable amount of conservative suburbians. You can't just pick what you don't like and then claim he is wrong. He also compared New York with Virginia, and I guess it's a safe bet to assume that NYC is more liberal then Virginia. Again, commentaries are not primarily there to inform, but rather to emphasize and point out certain things. If you like it or not. You can't criticize him for having a opinion. And if you enjoy conservative, christian, right wing "fairy tales", then read the "Rheinische Post" or the BILD-Zeitung.

Note from David: Am I getting this right - you are criticising Ray's commentary? You are criticising the facts he is presenting? Isn't that verboten - criticising a commentary? How can you criticise Ray "for having an opinion"?
I guess you are simply having a bad hair day today.

The funny thing about guys like che is that they cry bloody murder as soon as you criticise the "right of opinion" of somebody who is of their "opinion" but if somebody states an opinion that is not fitting their world view they would be the first to jump at their throat.
Che you must be german your way of argumenting is so typical.

first of all, che, virgina and northern virginia are not the same thing. as a native of alexandria, I can tell you northern virginia is a democrat, liberal stronghold, and hasn't been conservative in my lifetime. someone who is based in the washington, d.c. area should know that. furthermore, calling the decision a "niederlage" - a defeat - for the bush administration is extraordinarily misleading. i challenge you to find an american newspaper headline that has called this a "defeat" for the administration. the reason is because it is in no way a defeat for the administration - if anything the administration is rejoicing that a jury hasn't provided another martyr for terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers - many of whom happily assail the crimes of the United States while ignoring the much more heinous activity going on in north korea, the middle east, south east asia, africa, china, cuba, ect. - to worship.

judging by the name "che" you'd probably fall in that last category.

First of all, it's funny that you block out people if they have a different opinion then your own.

Note from David: No, your comments are not "blocked out". You're on "Hold for Approval" status, which means we may or may not publish your comment. Remember: this our blog, and you have zero publication rights here. Whenever someone tries to take over this blog by systematically opposing each and every posting here, using insulting language, he falls in the "Hold for Approval" category.
We started this blog because we were unhappy with the German media's reporting and commenting about the U.S. We didn't try to publish our criticism in SPON forums or ZEIT comment secions, etc., - we started our own blog.
You may do so anytime. How about "Che's Critique of Davids Medienkritik"? We'd be happy to publish a link to your musings... I mean, you had more than 20 comments here in the last 10 days - how's that for a start with your own blog?

Being from Virginia, it is not a Republican state. If anything it tends to split its vote. For the last 2 election cycles democrats have been elected governor. It also was the first state to elect a black as governor.

Of course, I realize none of this is important to Germans as it does not fit the template they have or want.

It is also interesting that we now have Germans who are not only experts on the US but individual states. Who says these are not the smartest people in the world. Of course, I am not sure if they are a people or a race or a tribe. They seem to have been all of these in their history.

As for the most recent terrorist, as the judge stated this will be the last we will ever hear from him. There might in 30 or 40 years be a 20 word report that he died. End of story. Death would have been too good for him.

I am sure he is a bit upset because by the time he dies, their will be no virgins to reward him.

@ che,

There is no doubt that Virginia is a red state, despite the fact that a Democrat was recently elected governor. But Mascolo is NOT talking about the entire state. He is talking about what he calls "a conservative, suburban" jury in Alexandria, Virginia. We are talking about one suburban area, and the suburban area in question is NOT conservative, especially when compared to the rest of the state. If you look at the numbers for Alexandria, you will see that. You seem to miss that point entirely, and that is the fatal flaw in your (and Mascolo's) argument.

You can look at other states like Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania went for Kerry, but except for Philadelphia, Erie and some areas in and around Pittsburg, the vast majority of the state was overwhelmingly Republican, 2 to 1 or more in some counties. Or look at Bavaria: Munich is far more pro-SPD than most of the rest of the state. If you can't grasp simple concepts to support your arguments, you really don't belong on this site.

Finally, NOBODY tells us what to write (about) here. This is our blog, and criticism of a commentary is entirely within the scope of our work. There has never even been a question about that.

I see che has reading comprehension problems. I've lived in Alexandria for 14 years and it is about as liberal as you'll find in this state (altho' compared to Takoma Park, Maryland, aka 'Berkeley on the Potomac', we probably look like an outpost of Ghengis Khan).

Actually che, for future reference, there is a term 'Northern Virginia', that encompasses the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., of which Alexandria is a part - as is Falls Church, Arlington, etc. Compared to the rest of Virginia, NORTHERN Virginia is liberal. Which has had some interesting consequences for state politics, as most of the legislators in Richmond (the state capitol) think everybody up this way are just of bunch of carpetbagging damn Yankees with too much money and not enough sense.

So, that's today's lesson in local political culture for the U.S. of A.

Now, if anyone wants to try to teach che to read using BOTH synapses, that might be fun to watch.

Wait, now I'm really confused.

I thought our "justice" system was disfigured since our country started. And we were a bunch of bloodthirsty savages that liked executing people.

We certainly have executed people since 9/11. And here in Illinois we even let guilty people go from death row (including a 250 lb guy who murdered his 120 lb girlfriend and said it was self defense).

Now our justice system is victorious. Hmmm. ok, I guess.

I really wish Europeans would make up their mind about how evil we are. I can't figure it out on my own.

Pamela is right, I've lived in Herndon.

Alexandria is one of the most liberal counties in the country.

It's also one of the wealthiest. (most wealthy counties are Democrat actually).

Something of note about the jury from VA which was selected from a heavily registered democrat area--

To get the death penatly, all 12 jurors had to vote unanimous for it. Three jurors did not ascertain [G-d knows why] that Moussaoui deserved death therefore life imprisonment. I have no idea how this could be spinned a "defeat for Bush," but of course one would need to understand the US judicial process. Moussaoui should have never been tried in the US court system to begin with, but that is not neither between here-or-there at this point.

I think I'm relieved at the verdict. It works for me. I found myself silently cheering while reading the judge's response to Moussaoui's claim of victory. Moussaoui's 'victory' is to be cooped up in a cell 23 hours a day, with 1 hour exercise in a corridor. Never to hear the birds or see a flower again. Never to feel the rain. Alone except for the people who bring him his meals. Never to be free.

It's enough.

I think my disquiet with the idea of executing him is that the US has custody of some people much higher up in Al Queda who will never be executed. Moussaoui was a low-level member of the organisation, much like Richard Reid the Shoebomber who is in the same prison Moussaoui will be going to.

A "defeat for Bush"? Moussaoui was found guilty, unless all of the reports I've seen are lying. Can it be that a professional German journalist is not capable of understanding the difference between a "verdict" and a "sentence"? The verdict was announced weeks ago. If the report were really about the verdict, then it would be old news.

As for the sentence: It's not what I would have preferred to see, but the system worked, as it usually does. So I don't have a problem with it. As far as the politics of it, I actually think this will work out better. (That's assuming that some future administration doesn't turn him over to France.)

I really wish Europeans would make up their mind about how evil we are. I can't figure it out on my own.

That is because you are as dumb as a doorstop. Not that I'm pointing fingers, you understand. I'm even dumber than you! They have been telling us for years what we should do and we don't obey our betters. Remember that the Europeans have aristocrats while Americans are all just jumped-up peasants at the core.

Having lived in Arlington, VA, a part of Northern VA and adjacent to Alexandria, VA, Northern VA is indeed left leaning.

And yes, there is a difference between a commentary predicated on facts and a rant predicated on fiction and bias.

So, Dresden's debt-free, eh?

Whenever anyone rant about our debt, just ask them if they include the assets overseas America(ns) own.

Something else to confuse all the German experts. The jury first had to decide if the death penalty would apply in this case. They decided that it would apply.

Then when they imposed punishment they chose life in prison without parole and not the death penalty.

Of course, unlike the German justice system, this will mean he will die there, never to be free as many have pointed out already.

Also unlike the German system he will not be traded for some American hostage at some point in the future.

So yes it is easy to see why this so confuses the Germans.

he will not be traded for some American hostage at some point in the future.

I'm not so sure. That's why I wanted him dead.


I guess there is always a first time for everything. But you do have to admit that unlike some nations, it not US policy to do so.

If you really believe Alexandria is a "conservative suburb," you are: c. On drugs. I work in Arlington, a few miles from Alexandria. Trust me, anyone who tells you that Alexandria is a "conservative suburb" is either an idiot or a deliberate liar. That begs the question of why such a person is working for SPIEGEL. Gee, I wonder!

Helian, you're in ARLINGTON? Sweetie, we should do lunch.

@Joe: It is also interesting that we now have Germans who are not only experts on the US but individual states.

Not only that, they're also telepathic.

Note how they just seem to know that this life sentence was a "defeat" for Bush.

I don't think I've heard Pres. Bush mention his personal opinion on the case. Anyone else heard anything?

Does anyone in Germany realize that Bush might NOT want Moosie to become a martyr? That Bush might WANT him to rot in prison instead of making history in his part of the world?


He will not rot in prison. He will be medially well taken care of. He will be well fed, given an opportuntiy to exercise, etc.

I on the other hand would like to see him share his little bit of earth with a couple of rather large and under fed hogs.

Ah, tradition! Ya gotta love it. Today in SPON: "Die Gewalt im Irak gerät immer mehr außer Kontrolle: ..." I was beginning to worry. I hadn't seen one of these classic Spiegelisms for days. Other recent classic examples:

"Bush immer mehr unter Druck…"

"Blair immer mehr in Bedrängnis…"

"Debakel im All! Nach dem Vollmond nimmt der Mond immer mehr ab!"

"Globalwärmung Katastrophe! Zwischen Januar und Mai sind Durchschnittstemperaturen in Deutschland immer mehr gestiegen!"

"Artenaussterben! Zwischen Anfang August und Ende Dezember letzten Jahres sind in Deutschland immer mehr erwachsene Insekten gestorben! Grosse Ausnahme: Ungeziefer!"


"Helian, you're in ARLINGTON? Sweetie, we should do lunch."

Su-u-u-r-r-r-e, Pamela. You LOVE to do lunch with old bald guys. Afterwards the quick cell phone call, then the thrashing from my wife when I get home. I've been through all that before.

You LOVE to do lunch with old bald guys

HEY! I'm married to an old bald guy m'kay?


You are a wise old bald guy. hehe.

This is one time Pamela doesn't get it.

BTW I enjoyed reading both your comments on Clivi's lastest out take on anti-Americanism.

I have encountered che's type of reasoning before, and have often wondered why it has such power. I can't imagine anyone would defend the simplified statements "It's my opinion, I don't need a reason," or "Opinions should not be criticised, because they're just, well, opinions," though these are what che's argument boil down to. What are we to make of the fact that people will believe exactly that when it is disguised just a little?

I have a hunch that many people go in for liberalism because of social approval. As a result, they are far more sensitive to social disapproval and perceive it as an unfair attack.

Regarding Northern Virginia. I was a New Hampshireman at college at W & M in the 70's, and about one-third of the student body came from NoVa. They would often try to sell the idea that they were both Southerners and Northerners, and could move easily in both worlds. Both the Southerners and Northerners thought this absurd.

"BTW I enjoyed reading both your comments on Clivi's lastest out take on anti-Americanism."

Thanks, Joe. It's amazing how DMK readers get around. Pamela was there, too. It was my first time on his site. I'm sure I endeared myself to him. I came barging in and delivered a pompous sermon from the moral high ground for starters. (You know how much I love that sort of thing in others.)

Pamela was there, too. It was my first time on his site. I'm sure I endeared myself to him.

heh. Not as much as I did. As the only self-identified LGF'er on all those threads, I assume this refers to me.

Casting an eye over the dispute between the US embassy and the congestion charge collectors, Stephen Pollard signs up with the vicious running dogs of America-haters:

The US is the finest country on earth, a nation that has advanced the good of humanity more than any other in history. But those of us who defend it against the rising tide of anti-Americanism are too often reduced to tearing our hair out in frustration at its bone-headed diplomacy.

Careful, Stephen. You're in danger of getting hate-mail from deeply enlightened Little Green Footballs readers...

touchy, touchy - let's go play some more


Right, I happened to stop by and saw that. He seems to have a very thin skin. Your earlier remarks about his tending to avoid real debate were right on. There were a few trolls on both sides, but they are a given on any significant blog. There were also some excellent commenters on that thread. Clive gave no indication that he even understood what they were talking about. Instead, he seemed to be devoting most of his effort to rationalizing his dismissal of opponents as "unenlightened," senders of "hate-mail," habitues of sites that automatically disqualify them from being heard, etc. Instead of listening and responding rationally, he started playing the status game. "You should remember your station, and not challenge your intellectual betters." I guess that's to be expected from a class-conscious, conservative Brit.

This is one time Pamela doesn't get it.

Aw, but joe - guess what i DID get?



um, I think it's our buddy Zac who is feeling like the loser.

Moussaoui Says He Lied on Stand About Role in Sept. 11, Asks to Withdraw Guilty Plea

Oh, well, that's ok then, all is forgiven.



Aha – a german expression..(reference dinner with old bald guys)

Am glad you posted the comment about - Ooops I want a redo.

I think in his mush for brains mind the reality of what faces him for the rest of his life is beginning to set in. To which my response is too bad.

Remember you won.



Sandy also seems to have fired some shots over at Clivi's. But I believe the comment about who should give the response was very good. I remember how they all had wanted to vote in the last election. We do seem to get around.

Maybe they can in 08 and all vote for Hill. I am sure they would enjoy the results.

Awww, Zac, baby.

Motion Denied

(This is a pdf file so I can't cut and paste from the text - basically what it says is after sentence is imposed the plea may not be withdrawn - the plea can be set aside only on the basis of direct appeal or collateral attack)

buh-bye sweetcakes. You get a one hour walk per day. In chains. Molly the Beagle has it better than you will.

joe, which thread did Sandy post on? - he's got about 8 of them going - all whining.

He finally responded to me saying "I don't know what else you expect me to say - I've already demonstrated that Roger Simon agrees with me."

What an eloquent arguement. I didn't even bother to reply.

how the hell did THAT happen?


It was magic. Well I am glad Roger is an authority.

Yes elitism seems to be the rage and in thing for the left and the euros even the brits get caught up in it.

Of course it seems everything has a price there, you can even buy a seat in the house of lords.

I would rather be a lord joe and I am sure Lady Pamela sounds so much nicer than ambassador

"Moussaoui Says He Lied on Stand About Role in Sept. 11, Asks to Withdraw Guilty Plea"

That didn't take long. I figured he'd be good for a few years before this happened.

I can just imagine the conversation he had with his lawyer after the sentence was read:

Moussaoui: "Supermax? What's that? Is that like some American Club Fed with movie theaters? Are they going to torture me with sinful late-night movies?"

Lawyer: "No, you're not going to the movies, my friend. Remember the solitary confinement you so vehemently complained about the last few years? Well, at this Supermax prison, it's much, much worse."

Moussaoui: "What!? Solitary confinement for the rest of my life? Aaagh! Aaagh! Aaaaaagh!*"

Lawyer: "Look on the bright side. You'll get to hang with your buddy Richard... Oh, that's right, he's not really your buddy [wink, wink]. Of course, you'll never see or speak with him...or pretty much anyone else, for that matter."

Moussaoui: "No! It wasn't supposed to be like this. I wanted to be a Martyr. I don't want to spend the rest of my life with...with...myself. I want a 'do-over'!"

(*Anyone who is familiar with Sam Kinison's comedy routines will understand the effect I'm shooting for with the "Aaagh!")

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