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Wow, the punchline to an old joke writ large- in Hell, the English are cooks, the Italians are engineers, and the Germans are comedians.

The conspiracy theorists must love this cartoon as well. Plainly visible is the All-Seeing Eye which is part of Masonic symbology. Or else its just supposed to be a blow-up of a dollar bill. Who knows, maybe I'm not subtle enough to get the reference in all its high school glory.

Pat, I believe you're right on the money with the All-Seeing Eye. My German colleagues have made comments several times about GWB being a Mason. Look closely at the "Eye", and you will notice "To George W."--alluring to his membership.

The post is arguably somewhat misleading as most cartoons in German newspapers are completely lacking in humor. I do not mean to imply that German newspaper cartoonists are incapable of humor, merely that the satirical tradition of U.S. newspaper comics is (in my experience) not so prevalent in the German media.

I'm not defending the press or anything, but it's not like Germans were ever given to subtlety.

James W., unless its a personally signed self-portrait from God. Darn, Protestants they're everywhere and God listens and speaks only to them. Though I just noticed that Rumsfeld has a pistol in his pocket much like Gummere in 1904.

I dunno. I thought it was kinda funny. Like that rocket on Cheney's back was pretty clever. Killer. And the pistol in his pocket? Come on. Soviet Künstler used to do that I think. And if you look really closely, you'll see that Condi is holding a memo with Iraq? written on it. Not Iraq, mind you, but Iraq? (with a question mark). Get it? If you guys would just take a closer look at this stuff you MIGHT finally start figuring out where the artist is coming from and then you wouldn't bitch and moan all the time. Jeez.

Rocket on Cheney's back? Pistol in his pocket? Which cartoon are we talking about now?

That the cartoon is so totally devoid of any humor is laughable in its own right.

(But I'll say it: what a stupid cartoon.)

I'm finding the German media's preoccupation with Bush's religion a bit... uh... weird. I've been listening to the man for more than 6 years now, and I've NEVER heard him say anything even vaguely "extremist".

LCMamapajamas

The EUnichs' religion of secular humanism views observant Christians as primitive. I'm surprised the cartoon depicts the man as an upright biped.

However, I do note an apparent failure of imagination on the cartoonists part. Two copies of the Bible? Redundant. One could have been a copy of Torah or the Talmud - two birds with one pen.

tsk tsk.

Pamela, good point! The old joke about Methodists is that, unlike Baptists, they have actually read two books.

Something I think should be mentioned relating to this pic is that a in 2003 President Bush was reported as "talking to G-d" regarding his Middle East Policies by former Palestinian foreign minister, Nabil Shaath, who claims:

He told the film-makers: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan. And I did, and then God would tell me, George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq... And I did.

"'And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East. And by God I'm gonna do it.'"


http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1587122,00.html

The press jumped all over this despite the White House denying it, but the only evidence of this is the words of former palestinian politican whose was one of Arafats lifelong flukies.

The cartoon is agitprop that reflects the convenient lie of Shaath as it achieves the politically correct position Germans are suppose to reach regarding President Bush and the US.

I find it amazing when an Iranian president openly amdits seeking a nuclear weapons program to, quote, "wipe Israel off the map," and talks about his connection with Allah and denies the Holocaust ever happened the Euro press shrugs and remains silent.

Ignorance and arrogance is a dangerous combination with lethal consequences.

@Buckeye Abroad

You can't put facts against the German journalists' truth. I still wonder what those journalists would answer when they were confronted with the facts.

We should worry about this:

"Eine Studie der Adenauer-Stiftung – deren empirische Basis zweifelhaft ist, weil sie zu viele Akademikerinnen enthält, um repräsentativ für die türkischstämmigen Frauen zu sein - stellt sogar unter dieser Klientel 30 Prozent fest, die glauben, dass die Menschheit nicht gleich vor Gott sei; einige sind deutlich gleicher als andere, und drei Mal dürfen Sie raten wer. 90 Prozent von ihnen sprechen sich gegen die Demokratie als Staatsform aus, und immerhin elf Prozent – der Akademikerinnen! – wollen eine „Regierung von Gottes Gnaden“. 87 Prozent von ihnen sind überzeugt, dass der Islam anderen Religionen überlegen sei."

http://www.welt.de/data/2006/11/01/1094994.html

Schreibt Mariam Lau. Eine der Wenigen mit klarem Durchblick.

I always find it amazing how people who consider themselves to be profound thinkers can be such simpletons when it comes to dealing with the object of their hate. The more they hate, the less they think. Unfortunately this means that Germans are constantly misinformed about many US-related issues. But hey, ignorance is bliss.

Years ago, when I was still reading articles on heise.de, I would sometimes look at the comments. If an article was about something the US did or did not do, the number of absolut moonbat comments was enormous. If the article dealt with something like China's Internet censorship, the comments would be literally only a few. This pattern was repeated over and over again.

Along the same line, truly challenging issues like the one mentionend in Gabi's link are being mostly avoided. They might be mentioned, but they are not considered worth a lot of attention. Bush's perceived religiosity OTOH is something HUGE and must be mentioned at any occasion.

In a weird way I am "happy" that things are so messed up in the world. One's true character surfaces during times of crisis, not when everything is peachy. I don't imply that those who don't agree with Bush and US's policies lack character. It is the way they express their disagreement that reveals their character.

Some of the Bush opponents that I know consider me somewhat of an idiot because I support his policies. I myself would never consider them idiots just because they oppose Bush, I consider (some of) them idiots because of the absolute despicable manner in which they oppose Bush.

Well, Gabi, all I can say is that the EU left Europe wide open for this.

Just because the totalitarianism is secular......

Just found this blog, and in some way it's entertaining. However, your "Medienkritik" leaves room for improvement.

First of all, you might want to distinguish between news reporting and editorial content. The latter is frequently expected to express an opinion. Therefore the vast majority of newspaper readers is aware that such a piece is opinionated and biased in some way or another. Now, it has probably not escaped your notice that this thing that you were blogging about here is a cartoon. Cartoons are usually editorial, not news reporting. Furthermore, cartoons are often humorous. "Humorous" means something like "not entirely serious", or even "not serious at all".

In short: If your proof for the Great German Anti-American Media Bias conspiracy theory hinges on an at most half serious editorial-and-therefore-inevitably-biased cartoon, well, then your case might not be a very strong one.

On a more serious note, apparently the quality of the media ultimately depends not only on the quality of journalism, but also on the quality of the audience. Most Germans I know would be able to correctly identify above cartoon as a silly joke, and therefore not take it too serious. Somehow you, dear blogger, failed to make that abstraction. Perchance because it seemed to support your preconceived notion of the evil, biased Süddeutsche newspaper?

I will concede this much: If you compare the full breadth of german media (including such rags as Bildzeitung) with the full breadth of american media (including respectable newspapers rather than focusing on the Fox network), the german media win at most by a small margin. However, what is the result when you compare german and american audiences?

Most of the Americans I know are just as intelligent and educated as the Germans I know. Yet the US also harbor people who apparently enjoy following the antics of "pundits" like Ann Coulter. Who are these people who listen to her when she makes outrageous suggestions such as "we should bomb Canada"? This group of people, who hang on every word of aggressively and obviously unreasonable pundits, seems to be largely nonexistent amongst german audiences.

Anyway, if you are truly concerned about german anti-americanism, maybe your time would be better spent educating this fraction of the american people, as they seem to account for much of what I have heard of the "ugly american" stereotype.

Note from David: Glad to hear that anti-Americanism in Germany is practically non-exisiting - only an invention of some paranoid, conspiracy believing blogs such as this one.
Couldn't you have told us this back in 2003, when we started this blog? I mean, we would have saved so much time and energy...

"pundits" like Ann Coulter. Who are these people who listen to her when she makes outrageous suggestions such as "we should bomb Canada"?

As long as it's just the French-speaking part of Canada, I don't understand what the problem is.

Every once in a while someone shows up saying how interesting this blog, but unfortunately it focuses on the wrong subject. Why? Well, there is no anti-Americanism in the German media.

Stagger Lee, before saying anything else maybe you should first read this post, especially the part where German MSM journalists talk about anti-American propaganda.

Stagger

"Cartoons are usually editorial, not news reporting. Furthermore, cartoons are often humorous. "Humorous" means something like "not entirely serious", or even "not serious at all"."

There are some Danish editors who would like to hear your insightful wisdom.

"Most Germans I know would be able to correctly identify above cartoon as a silly joke, and therefore not take it too serious."

A joke made at anothers expense which also reinforces a common, but falsly, held belief by germans.

"Who are these people who listen to her when she [Ann] makes outrageous suggestions such as "we should bomb Canada"?"

Its called sarcasm, but leftists are not known for the sense of humor [unless its a poorly drawn cartoon].

"This group of people, who hang on every word of aggressively and obviously unreasonable pundits, seems to be largely nonexistent amongst german audiences."

Do you ever wonder why this group is nonexistent? What is unreasonable about having a descenting point-of-view and trying to get an the message out?

"Anyway, if you are truly concerned about german anti-americanism, maybe your time would be better spent educating this fraction of the american people, as they seem to account for much of what I have heard of the "ugly american" stereotype."

You mean indoctrination, not education. I've been in Germany over a decade, on-and-off since 89', and know all those "educated" talking points you speak of.

German ignorance is due to ugly Americans? Projection at its finest.

Fact is, if you do not toe the multi-culti PC line on America or Israel in Germany, you will simply not have a media platform to which to make your counter points. The abscense of a counter group to socialist annunciations isn't due to their non-existance, but a lack of means to have their voice heard. Hence this, and many others, blog thrives.

Well, quickly skimming through the post linked by WhatDoIKnow, the Spiegel covers catch my eye. These are obviously not very flattering. However, I don't see how they differ from Spiegel covers about any other subject. I believe this week's Spiegel cover features a less than charming picture of chancellor Merkel. Is the Spiegel also rabidly anti-Merkel? Nah, they're just handling every issue with a similar dose of sensationalism. Or would you prefer it if the Spiegel did not report about the USA at all? How would that reflect on its journalistic quality?

I don't deny that you can find anti-americanism in those covers, and I'll condemn that alongside you. However, you find just as much anti-whatever-else sentiments in covers about other subjects. Nonetheless this blog construes this anti-americanism to be something greater, singular, symbolical of the allegedly ubiquitous german anti-americanism. You claim that "everybody is out to get you", when in fact the same rules that apply to you also apply everybody else. Yes, that does match the definition of paranoia.

There's a certain irony to it: This blog condemns german media because they allegedly cater to the inherent anti-americanism in the german people. Yet at the same time it appeals to the lowest common denominator of its american audience by supplying them with their daily dose of "I knew all those Europeans hate us" sentiments. (Just see Pamela's joke about bombing the French.) The dirty secret of this blog is that it is guilty of the very crime it sees in everybody else.

By the way, David, I appreciate your feedback. However, I require more than an "I say it ain't so" to be convinced. (Disclaimer: This was not supposed to be anti-american. I hold my german friends up to the same high standard.)

Buckeye Abroad, I appreciate your reply. However, I believe you mixed up some lines:

"Most Germans I know would be able to correctly identify above cartoon as a silly joke, and therefore not take it too serious."

Its called sarcasm, but rightists are not known for the sense of humor [unless its poor attempt at sarcasm].

"Who are these people who listen to her when she [Ann] makes outrageous suggestions such as "we should bomb Canada"?"

A joke made at anothers expense which also reinforces a common, but falsly, held belief by americans.

Your argument is incoherent because, as much as it validates your point, it can also be used to argue the exact opposite. You can take one of two positions:

Option 1: Speech shall never be critizised for dissenting or violating someone's notion of good taste. If that is the case, people like Ann Coulter can distribute their personal flavour of sarcasm, and I have no right to critizise her, because everything is fair game. However, in that case german media such as Spiegel and Süddeutsche are also permitted to be "anti-american" to their heart's content, and you and this blog have no right to critizise them for that.

Option 2: In the interest of a fair and civil debate, it shall be permitted to critize speech for violating someone's measure of fairness, civility and good taste. Now you and this blog can critize the german media for their alleged or real anti-americanism all you want, based on your subjective perception of these matters. However, I may also critize you, Ann Coulter and this blog as much as I want, based on my subjective perceptions of these matters.

You can't have your cake and eat it too.

On a slightly related (?) note: somehow my old account didn't work anymore. Most probably the fault is on my part, probably pressed the wrong button... Or am I not welcome anymore? I would find such censorship rather ironic, but would accept it. I'd just like to be told so in the open, just to avoid any misunderstandings.

Well, quickly skimming through the post linked by WhatDoIKnow, the Spiegel covers catch my eye. These are obviously not very flattering. However, I don't see how they differ from Spiegel covers about any other subject.

Well, obviously you didn't read much of the post linked to by WDIK or any of the 3 years worth of examples of anti-American bias in the German msm. You think you can come here and read one or two posts and then cast judgment on the quality of the blog. Not here buddy. We've seen enough of your "I'm the smartest person in the room" type.

I don't deny that you can find anti-americanism in those covers, and I'll condemn that alongside you. However, you find just as much anti-whatever-else sentiments in covers about other subjects. Nonetheless this blog construes this anti-americanism to be something greater, singular, symbolical of the allegedly ubiquitous german anti-americanism.

Other subjects? Why not compare apples to apples? Please, smarty pants, show us all those anti-French covers AND ARTICLES, AND TV "JOURNALISM" (since you asked "How would that reflect on its (Der Spiegel is not alone) journalistic quality?") Anti-Russian? Anti-Sudan? Anti-(pick a country)? There's no "allegedly" about anti-American bias--this according to several prominents within the German media. Are we to believe that they are also "paranoid"?

The dirty secret of this blog is that it is guilty of the very crime it sees in everybody else.

Pointing out the bias in the media makes us guilty of bias? I'm biased against a media that is guilty of spreading negative stereotypes and lies.

By the way, David, I appreciate your feedback. However, I require more than an "I say it ain't so" to be convinced. (Disclaimer: This was not supposed to be anti-american. I hold my german friends up to the same high standard.)

If you require more than "I say it ain't so", then read the damned archives--or do you want it spoon fed? Hell, David has even gone through the problem of breaking the archives down in categories (tip--look to the right column). High standard my ass!

I would find such censorship rather ironic, but would accept it.

Oh, get off of it! This isn't the Daily Kos or the Democrat Underground. You don't get off that easy. As long as your not just out on a troll.

Stagger

I gave you that link not because of the Spiegel cover, but because of what German mainstream journalists have said about German coverage of the US. Now you come back after quickly skimming through the post linked by me and your comment is basically: "what's the big deal?"

I generously assume that you didn't read that entire post. I said it last time and I say it again - before commenting on the German media, you should first read what German journalists have to say about it.

Eberhard Pilz from ZDF is hardly a Bush fan. I guess the same can be said about the Stern, Deutsche Welle and Bayerischer Rundfunk journalists quoted by that post. Yet, they talk about the ideologically biased reporting on the US.

There are three alternatives after you read that:

1. If after reading what they say: "OK, what's the problem?", then you are a just another moonbat who unfortunately (for us) got lost on Medienkritik.
2. If you say: "OK, I see what they mean, but...", then you are dishonestly moving the goalpost.
3. If you say: "OK, I didn't know it's that bad. It stinks big time", without any "buts", then you will surprise me.

Whatever your reaction might be, the fact is that Germans get from the German media a one sided view of pretty much anything related to the US.

Well, obviously you didn't read [...] any of the 3 years worth of examples of anti-American bias in the German msm.

I only read a number of the most recent posts, and commented on their tendencies. It probably wouldn't be a viable form of discussion if I combed through three years of blog postings and commented on each individually. However, if you want to turn this into a "who read what" contest: Please realize that I have been critically following and reflecting on german media for about two decades. I suppose this blog has its share of american readers who do not have the benefit of being able to assess the unfiltered primary sources. Saying that I'm somehow less qualified to comment would be hubris, and wouldn't contribute anything meaningful to the discussion.

Please, smarty pants, show us all those [...] Anti-Russian?

No problem, obviously everyone gets an egg in the face from time to time. I still don't see how it's special when the vicitim is the US. The US create more news, and therefore are in the focus more frequently. What would be the alternative? Simply not reporting US-related news to avoid hurting your feelings?

Let me rephrase that question. Provided that it's the free press' job to critically scrutinize the subject of their reporting, and not just reurgitate any authority's stance: What should a german newspaper report covering the US be like? Write just a few lines of such an "ideal newspaper", and this will happen: Either the text loses it's critical distance. Or it maintains it, but then I'd be able to construe that critizism into allegations of anti-americanism. To quote cardinal Richelieu: "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." I don't know about you, but I'm not willing to sacrifice free and critical reporting for the politically correct (from your point of view) avoidance of anything that might be construed as anti-american.

This is not to say that anti-americanism does not occur. I agree that it happens too often, and I don't doubt what Mr. Piltz said. He basically admits that fallible people work in journalism, who approach US-related news with an unhealthy dose of sensationalism. However, if you asked any other journalist, e.g. one who covers german news, or any respectable american journalist, you would probably hear the same lament about sensationalism.

I'll try a metaphor: A citizen of Podunk is angry about the federal taxes. Fair enough, everybody feels that way. He opens a blog and scathes the anti-podunkianism of the federal government by pointing out the high taxes on podunkians. Are allegations of intentional, directed anti-podunkianism fair? No, because everybody else pays the same federal taxes, no matter which city they're from.

That's the fallacy of this blog. It misidentifies the anti-americanism it perceives as a singular, unique thing, rather than yet another one of countless instances of sensationalism and generic poor journalism. In doing so it falls for the same sensationalism: It serves its audience a daily "omg the media are so biased about the US" shocker. It fails to acknowledge that anti-americanism is just a symptom of forces that are at work everywhere in the media, german or american, conservative or liberal, blog or mainstream.

Pinpointing all you see as wrong to a single culprit must be very comfortable. Especially if that culprit sits in a foreign country across the atlantic. Saves one from the hard work of reflecting on one's own faults.

@ SL2

"Pinpointing all you see as wrong to a single culprit must be very comfortable. Especially if that culprit sits in a foreign country across the atlantic. Saves one from the hard work of reflecting on one's own faults."

Actually, David and I are both German citizens. David currently lives in Germany and I have spent 5 of the past 7 years of my life in Germany. So, in fact, we are reflecting on the faults of the German media from a German point of view, not from that of outsiders. (It does help to know what you are talking about.)

As far as anti-Americanism goes, note that the German media does not engage in the same level of sensationalism about Russia or Putin although it would arguably be easier to do so. The fact is that bashing America is part of a larger, far-left ideology that is particularly strong among those who dominate German media. Take another look at what Mr. Piltz said:

"Others, including ZDF Bureau Chief and Correspondent Eberhard Piltz, felt that ideology was a major impediment to quality coverage of the United States. Piltz spoke of “prejudice” and described it as “an intellectual arrogance that thinks that the American way of life, feeling, taste and thinking is inferior and not authentic.” He complained that many journalists see “the U.S. through an ideological lens,” and that “most of them grew up with the leftist, socialist dream and now they look for scapegoats.”

(...)

Eberhard Piltz concluded that, “they tend to look at America with their European, German eyes.” He added that, "stories that make Bush look bad were requested all the time." According to Piltz, one would only have to "wait by the phone for the editors." Piltz also stated that the editors were those who "went in the streets and cried for Ho Chi Minh" at an earlier time and many still viewed the United States as "the spoiler of their dreams." Piltz was of the opinion that Spiegel and Stern magazines were in the forefront of "Bush bashing" and cautioned that it was often difficult to separate "Bush-bashing from anti-Americanism." He described anti-Americanism as a "larger phenomenon" that reaches back to at least 1917."

Your Podunk example is just that: Podunk. There are, in fact, many examples of objective, unbiased journalism in Germany when it comes to reporting on the United States. We document examples of bias, stereotypes and downright mistruths. Unfortunately, many of Germany's most influential media outlets are frequent offenders. This is a problem that is both rooted in German culture and part of a far wider trend. It is far more complicated than simply saying that this is "generic poor journalism." That is just a convenient and intellectually lazy way to explain away a very real problem.

And by the way, what this blog does has nothing to do with letting Americans, Germans or anyone else off the hook for their true shortcomings and mistakes. It serves a specific function that is both necessary and vital.

Stagger

As I initially thought, you are just another liar! Not worse and not better than all the other liers who showed up on Medienkritik.

Why do I attack you personally? Because that's what you requested. You are being knowingly dishonest. Eberhard Piltz never said that the US coverage suffers because of "sensationalism", as you pretend. No! That's not his point. He said clearly, black on white, that the US coverage suffers because of ideology. He also spoke about "prejudice", "intellectual arrogance" and "socialism dreams" of German journalists. He did not speak about sensationalism!

However, as a media bias denier, you ignore the facts. You ignore the accusatory words of a representative of German MSM. You ignore them and then you start building your own construct, your own explanations. Stagger, you are building on sand and lies. Have the courage to face the truth.

I can't believe how dishonest people like you can be. I am sincerely shocked. You read something you don't like and you pretend it's not there. And then you expect everyone else to consider you a worthy partner of discussion. You are neither worthy nor unworthy. You are nothing, you are just another hollow individual.

Ray,

And by the way, what this blog does has nothing to do with letting Americans, Germans or anyone else off the hook for their true shortcomings and mistakes.

I can agree with that. If you read my posts carefully, you'll note that at no point I deny that anti-americanism occurs.

It serves a specific function that is both necessary and vital.

I see that. I'll try to explain what bothered me by modifying my metaphor: Imagine some guy had a blog exclusively about black (or jewish, or whatever) criminals. Of course there's nothing wrong with calling a criminal a criminal. Still the narrow focus would suggest other, less honorable ulterior motives.

Your blog, despite its rather broad name, has a similarly narrow focus (you called it a "specific function"). Because of this focus, the blog (the comments even more than the actual blogging) emanates a very strong "us vs. them" vibe. Maybe that is entirely unintentional. Still, it leaves that impression.

This "us vs. them" feel bothers me, as I have many american friends and generally a very positive disposition towards the US. However, reading some of the reactions to my comments, I must admit that I unintentionally may have added fuel to that fire, although my language was not any harsher than the general tone of this blog. Therefore I will voluntarily refrain from posting any further comments after this one.

Nonetheless, you may want to ask yourself whether your blog actually contributes anything to solving the problems that you point out, or whether it just unintentionally adds fuel to the fire as much as I did. If you look at the political discourse in the US, it often seems that the "us vs. them" between left and right has degraded beyond the point where reconciliation is possible. I conjecture that the german situation, where left and right are still able to talk, results in a more civil and reasonable discourse.

Your blog does this: It creates a bit of a "radical" biotope, where likeminded folks gather and reinforce each others' opinion about their pet issues. This is a step towards the american situation. If you believe that you have a valid point, shouldn't you strive to bring it to the attention of a larger, more mixed public? In this blog you're pretty much guaranteed in advance that everyone will agree with you. Thus you won't change anybody's mind; it's almost a bit cowardly. Since your blog is so much of a pocket for a very particular opinion, it also won't attract or convince any new people unless their opinions are already very predisposed to agree with you to begin with. Take me as an example: This blog didn't do a particularly good job at convincing me of anything, it only got me riled up and then told me to go to hell. Now, you may blame that solely on my being stubborn, but that would be too easy, wouldn't it? If you're really serious about doing "Medienkritik", you may want to step back and analyze your own medium first before pointing the finger at others.

Stagger

You naughty hollow lier, you...

So you don't like this blog because it doesn't contribute anything to solving the problems? Are you disappointed? Does it hurt? So you expected this blog to be a relationship management outfit? If you want to improve understanding, you should make sure that the German media does its job honorably. Then this blog will cease to exist.

you won't change anybody's mind

If someone reads Eberhard Piltz's words and still believes that this blog is the problem and not the German media, then absolutely nothing will change that person's mind. That person is in fact an embittered ideologue and will hardly ever admit the truth (sounds familiar? ;-)). Quite frankly, who cares about changing the mind of such people?

Stagger, if you trully want to make sure that German-US relations improve, don't worry about Medienkritik. Just request from the German media that they do their job with honor and fairness and don't vote for a guy like Schröder ever again.

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