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LC Pajamas

"Does a policeman in Germany have to be afraid or worried in order to be polite? Are they customarily rude to people they stop? That's what it appears that this comment is saying."

I have a nephew in Germany who is a cop. He is assigned to a patrol car. He admitted to me that they used videos from American police training on how to conduct an automobile stop, search and arrest. When he was visiting me over here in the U.S., he was in second heaven when "Cops" was on the TV. He could relate to all that because he was trained in the same methods.

What Germans know about American cops is through Hollywood. The author of the travel piece may have seen Police Academy or something similar.

@Pamela

They never mentioned anything about a French ownership, off course. Now they talk about the possibility of an intentional spread by someone from the laboratory. Gives a lot of material for the usual conspiracy moonbats - think about the possible need for american meat.
Its getting more and more ridiculous here.

Its getting more and more ridiculous here.

Funny, I was just thinking the "same" thing:

It's not "constructive" to say that selling weapons to Islamist dictatorships maybe isn't such a clever idea? It's anti-American to state the obvious: America's infrastructure is in bad shape? WTF?

But what really cracks me up is that now we apparently don't even care about reality any more: Ray just *knows* that the evil anti-American German media *will* blame Bush for the bridge in Minnesota.
And garydausz is disgusted with the conspiracy theories stating that the Americans have willfully distributed the virus in England. That there are no such conspiracy theories (except in his imagination) doesn't quell his anger in the least.

It's just amazing. Up till now, we at least dealt with real examples for anti-Americanism. Mostly rather debatable examples IMHO, but hey - at least there was something. Now, we're a step further: We're dealing with virtual anti-Americanism: anti-Americanism that *surely will happen* in the future.

@fuchur

It's not "constructive" to say that selling weapons to Islamist dictatorships maybe isn't such a clever idea? It's anti-American to state the obvious: America's infrastructure is in bad shape? WTF?

It is instructive to look at the web site that is affiliated with the person quoted in a lot of the articles, Bill Marcuson, http://www.asce.org/response.html. If one wanted to cast aspersion at the Spiegel article, it is much easier to claim that the article merely rephrased the statements on the web site. According the ASCE report card, the US-infrastructure doesn't, overall, rate more than a D+ or a C-, with demerits for neglect oif maintenance.

But what really cracks me up is that now we apparently don't even care about reality any more: Ray just *knows* that the evil anti-American German media *will* blame Bush for the bridge in Minnesota.

Didn't happen, though. Of course, when at all, the Republican Governor and his practises wrt. to maintenance versus new contruction is getting an airing, albeit second hand through the good offices of the icky US-MSM. Just as he got his knickers all into a twist about that innocuous article about "objetophilia". Man kann die Suppe auch solange kämmen, bis man Haare darin findet. Must have been a slow week.

What is even more remarkable, if somewhat unsurprising ist the omission of reporting on certain articles, such as the 10-page article in the Spiegel that was a glowing pean to the US reconstruction and pacification of Iraq, extolling the dedication, the fortitude and the seriousness of the soldiers on the ground and a plea for continuing the good work. It was written by an embedded Spiegel journalist who then proceded to criticise the McMedia-attitude that pervades the reporting about Iraq, German and USAian. I was waiting for some reation on this, but it didn't come. Honi soit qui mal y pense, however, I posit it didn't fit the mold that'd appeal to the claque, here.[1]

And garydausz is disgusted with the conspiracy theories stating that the Americans have willfully distributed the virus in England. That there are no such conspiracy theories (except in his imagination) doesn't quell his anger in the least.

Oh, there are such theories, echoed from the more purulent UK-media and discredited. Whil doing a quick scan through the usual suspects, 3 of 5 papers reported correctly, that one of the labs belonged to a company that was owned jointly by the US. Merck&Co. and the French Sanofi-Aventis. The others reported correctly that it belonged to US-based Merial Animal Health. Since it is an autonomous company that is true if somewhat. Construing some antiamericanism here is somewhat aus den Fingern gesaugt. I wonder what sources Dausz used as the basis for his remark.

It's just amazing. Up till now, we at least dealt with real examples for anti-Americanism. Mostly rather debatable examples IMHO, but hey - at least there was something. Now, we're a step further: We're dealing with virtual anti-Americanism: anti-Americanism that *surely will happen* in the future.

This handwringing about the iniquities of the German press to be expected has been a feature of this blog all along, I'm surprised you didn't notice. Com on, the is the Web. Petty bickering, character assassination, facts made up to suit the argument, invincible ignorance, prejudice along all available dimensions and some made up ones in addition, unconquorable stupidity, agendas worn proudly as fact inverting filters or fact evading blindfolds, barely disguised sexual inuendos, are all design features of the glory and beauty that is the Web[2].

Jörg

[1] And now watch them stepdance about this. The argumentation will be cathegoric, such as "We cannot report on anything." or "So they once in a while get it right, so what, why should we bother." Fair and Balanced, I guess.
[2] Thanks, Kent

@fuchur:
No! There's nothing virtual in this topic.
Fact: On 4th or 5th Aug. the German ZDF clearly stated that the lab in question is under American ownership. They just slipped in the word "American" before "lab", they could as well have done without. Pamela sorted out that the lab's American-French owned. They didn't mention French.
For fairness' sake: I didn't hear them mention that again since then. But to say something didn't happen just because one didn't hear it oneself is certainly not the right conclusion.

>> Ray just *knows* that the evil anti-American German media *will* blame Bush for the bridge in Minnesota.

And his prediction was right. Many so-called news reports did (more or less openly) blame President Bush and his government, while at the same time - of course - concealing that the responsible state of Minnesota has a Democratic majority in both houses. So what's your point?

@ fuchur

"It's not "constructive" to say that selling weapons to Islamist dictatorships maybe isn't such a clever idea? It's anti-American to state the obvious: America's infrastructure is in bad shape? WTF?

First point: My argument was never that the criticism was correct or incorrect - and that is certainly debatable - as we have seen in this comments section. My argument was that it is not terribly consistent, constructive or believable criticism coming from members of the SPD - two years after their Chancellor supported lifting the EU arms embargo on the Chinese dictatorship. If anything, it is pure hypocrisy.

Second point: Fuchur, I think that even you are intellectually honest enough to recognize that there is a gaping difference between:

A. Simply reporting the facts and pointing out that certain elements of US infrastructure are in bad shape.
B. Resorting to a well-established pattern of hyperbole and running a headline stating that the US infrastructure is in a state of collapse - a statement which is obviously false.

If you insist on apologizing for the outrageous, sensational and extreme tone consistently taken by members of the German media in their reporting on the United States - that is certainly your good right. Just don't expect us to stick our heads in the sand and ignore it or pretend it is "virtual" when it is so obvious and overt.

As for my prediction that some in German media would blame Bush. Certainly not a wild case of unsubstantiated speculation on my part based on past behavior. As Mir points out above, some media have already implied the Bush administration is to blame.

When I read Joerg’s posts I notice that his English is very convoluted, but he proves that he has a high command of the language. One thing surely stands out, though. He never uses the word "American", choosing the term "USAian" instead.

I’m Hispanic, and this reminds me of Latinos who avoid the colloquial term “americano”, so they say things like “Marlboro estadounidense” which sounds absolutely silly. And if you keep on chatting with them, sooner or later you’ll find out that Americans are “yanquis imperialistas.” I’m never surprised.

Pamela sorted out that the lab's American-French owned

Not to my credit, please. Picked that up from the
Financial Times, a source that I have never known to get THAT kind of thing wrong - however I may use their opinion tracts for my morning humor fix.

The FT really is worth a read if you can afford it - it's hideously expensive - get it from your employer if you can. For an American, it's about as in-your-face snide 'Americans are losers' as you can get on the opinion side while on the business side it's right up there with the WSJ. Frankly, I love the 'Americans are losers' stuff. It is hilarious. The other day I read an op-ed piece about how we have DECADES to go before we reach the 'populism' of Thatcher.

Keep in mind, I read this crap before I'm fully awake.

@Fuchur

If you would read more careful what I said, instead of making your reflex remarks, you would see that I didn't say that there are conspiracy theories but that that the way for these have just been paved by stating explicitly that the company is, supposedly, american.
So you are the one who is making a big deal about nothing.
I propose that you google "Maul Klauenseuche US Labor" and then count how many times there is only talk about it being solely a US company.


The way you overwhelm fuchur with logic is not fair. You're all bullies...

@RayD
My argument was never that the criticism was correct or incorrect

And that's just what I don't like about it. Because, that's the point really (or at least: should be): Is the criticism justified or not. The hypocrisy stuff is just a lame excuse to divert from the real issue.

the outrageous, sensational and extreme tone

Show me ONE example for this from the article. The truth is: There are none. It's written matter-of-factly, it's well-researched, it's fair (at least nobody has made even the slightest attempt to prove the opposite).

The headline? Well, first of all: IMO it's intellectually dishonest to completely ignore the article itself and just look at the headine.
Yes, it's hyperbole. So what? Do you really want to tell me that anybody after reading this headline believes that the US infrastructure is *literally* collapsing?

I'm completely missing any kind of objectivity here. "Intellectual honesty"? *snort* There's nothing there to grasp *intellectually*. You say that the headline is *bad*. Period. No explanation - either you get it, or you don't. Instead, we get some esoteric musings about how Mr Pitzke feels on "a highly visceral, ideological level". And since there obviously is a "disappointing" lack of anti-Americanism in the article itself and the German media reporting on this incident in general - you just make up some bogus accusations. (Yes, Mir claims to have seen *lots* of reports that *more or less* support your prediction. Well, I'm not a believer. I'd like to see a link. )


@garydausz

I didn't say that there are conspiracy theories but that that the way for these have just been paved

So you're saying that the evil European media cleverly designed an evil plan to "pave the way" for evil conspiracy theories. I don't see the big difference. I stand by what I've said: That's just fantasy musings.

So you are the one who is making a big deal about nothing.

It's not a big deal. But I still find it interesting.

@marisa
sooner or later you’ll find out that Americans are “yanquis imperialistas

I don't know where you live. I live in the holy city of Alexandria Virginia, US of A.

We have tons of Hispanics here. For the most part, I think the world of them. We have tons of Koreans also, and I think they are fabulous.

I have run into a few of the 'yanquis imperialistas' type - and in my experience it has been immigrants from their own countries that have bitch-slapped them into next week.

There was a horrific murder in Newark, NJ a few days ago. They've arrested one 15 yr old Hispanic kid and have a warrant out for a 31 yr old Hispanic male. If it turns out these guys are illegal, things around here are going to get really ugly.

sigh

@ fuchur,

"The hypocrisy stuff is just a lame excuse to divert from the real issue.

Wrong. The hypocrisy of people like Voigt and and Steinmeier is the issue. Who are they to get up on a moral high horse and preach about arms embargos after they supported shipping arms to China in 2005? The point is that they are criticising to score political points at a time when their numbers are in the tank. The point is that they have no moral authority on this issue.

"The headline? Well, first of all: IMO it's intellectually dishonest to completely ignore the article itself and just look at the headine."

Well - if you want to talk about the article - it is obviously a cheap cut-and-paste re-write of reporting from US mainstream media news sources. The real attention grabbers are the headline and the photos - and they are blatantly sensational and over-the-top.

BTW: If you know anything about media, you know that most readers do not even get beyond the first few lines.

Ray,
I believe that most German Reporters have just become lazy, evidenced by the fact that they do very little research and use "cut and Paste" excessively. That does explain the many errors in their stories. Combined with the fact that if there are 100 stories about the US and 99 are favorable, one is critical, the one critical issue makes it to print. They have conditioned the German citizens to expect the worst about our country. This has been going on for years. The Government through the media has been and continues to exploit the working class through high Taxes and fees., never being satisfied. The USA serves as an ideal scapegoat.
In the average German paper there will be stories about something or someone in the bad US, however, you seldom see articles about their ideological brothers, Russia and China. Fear of reprisals perhaps?

They tout their moral and technological superiority with words like "us, we , ours"
while forgetting where most technological and medical breakthroughs occur, The USA.
For the last 30 years 85% of all Nobel prizes went to Americans. Well, they can't be that dumb, can they? The media will sift through that and claim that they are really Germans sinc their Great Great Grandfather emigrated from Schnitzelshafen anyway.

fuck ur seems to be one of those proud Germans who can't stand any kind of criticism of the superior Media. After all who can fault Goebbel's Gesellen?

by the way, I read a short blurb in the German MSM about an ADAC report stating that 1 in 5 bridges in Germany are in danger. Also, that the roads are in terrible shape. Do I foresee higher road taxes in the future?
That couldn't be correct:)

@fuchur

"So you're saying that the evil European media cleverly designed an evil plan to "pave the way" for evil conspiracy theories. I don't see the big difference. I stand by what I've said: That's just fantasy musings."

So tell me Mr. Fuchur, why do all the medias in germany talk about an US company? Why omitting that it is as much french as it is american?
If it is not to serve the ever fitting "Typisch Amerikaner!!!" why is it mentioned at all?

Do you think that there is no antiamericanism in german media? Is that your point?

You are the kind who don't see anything antiamerican in the german media because for you whatever is said about america just serves your preset opinion: everything american is bad.

They think it's just the truth, therefore the MSM in their opinion does nothing wrong.

@RayD

Who are they to get up on a moral high horse

They don't get on a moral high horse. They just say that the arms sales are not a good idea.

Besides
1. It's very debatable whether they ever supported lifting the embargo.
2. They definitely never supported shipping weapons to China (not even Schröder did that - it wouldn't be possible because of German anti-proliferation laws anyway).
3. Even if Steinmeier would have sold weapons to China - why would that mean that he automatically would have to be for selling weapons to Saudi Arabia?

the article - it is obviously a cheap cut-and-paste re-write of reporting from US mainstream media news sources

The question is not whether it's a brilliant literary masterpiece - the question is whether it's anti-American, factually incorrect, misleading, unfair, etc.

The real attention grabbers are the headline and the photos

I still fail to see the problem. You cannot seriously argue that people might be lead to believe that America's infrastructure is literally collapsing.

@gary
So tell me Mr. Fuchur, why do all the medias in germany talk about an US company?

It's not all the media, but several reports. Why? Well, I guess somebody made a mistake *gasp*. And a lot of people copied from him. An obvious and simple explanation. No need to go for whacky conspiracy theories.

Do you think that there is no antiamericanism in german media? Is that your point? You are the kind who...

If you want to argue that a certain piece is anti-American, then I'll listen to you quite interestedly (which is why I read this blog, btw). But in this case, I think the argumentation is crap. That's it.

@mir
Any chance for a link yet? I mean, you said there are such a lot of reports out there - couldn't you at least remember ONE of them?

@ fuchur

DNK already provided a link from Spiegel, remember? Just one more subtle example in FAZ. Checklist: "The" American infrastructure bad? Yes. Blame Bush (indirectly)? Yes. Democrats complain and look like the good guys who care? Yes. No mention of their majority and therefore responsibility in Minnesota? Yes.

Another, not-so-subtle example. Let me translate:

The collapse of the bridge killed at least 13 people - now it was time to take advantage of the disaster to gain political capital.

For a president with polls as bad as his, there is nothing better regarding PR than a spectacular disaster. And nobody knows better how to make use of it than the current president.

Read the whole thing. Just the "truth", eh?

DNK already provided a link from Spiegel, remember?

Huh? I suppose you meant DMK...? But then it doesn't make any sense either: The article that Ray linked to certainly does NOT blame Bush. And I'd like to remind you that Ray himself admitted above that he doesn't find any fault with the article itself - he just doesn't like the headline.

Checklist: "The" American infrastructure bad? Yes.

What are they supposed to write in your opinion? It's a simple fact, backed up by abundant statistics: the American infrastructure is bad.

Blame Bush (indirectly)? Yes.

They mention that he granted 286 billion two years ago, and that critics said that that wasn't enough. If you want to interpret that as "It's all Bush's fault"...
Incidentally: If the President has no responsibility whatsoever for the American infrastructure (as some here want to make us believe) - how come he grants money for it?

Democrats complain and look like the good guys who care? Yes.

There is no single mention of Democrats in the whole article. Neither of Republicans. The guys who complain are from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

No mention of their majority and therefore responsibility in Minnesota? Yes.

No, and why should there be any mention of it? After all, this isn't an article about Minnesotaean infrastructure, but American infrastructure.


Overall, this is a perfect example of how an article should be: fair, balanced, well researched. So, I'm not really sure what you're trying to tell me.
If this was supposed to be proof that Ray's bogus prediction "the German media will certainly find some way to drum up the usual charge: This is all Bush's fault" is correct - then I'm sorry to say that I cannot agree.

@fuchur
"It's not all the media, but several reports. Why? Well, I guess somebody made a mistake *gasp*. And a lot of people copied from him. An obvious and simple explanation. No need to go for whacky conspiracy theories."

Several reports? Did you do the google? Seemingly not.
So a mistake is your lame excuse for this?
If german media is simply copying, it tells a lot about its quality.

"If you want to argue that a certain piece is anti-American, then I'll listen to you quite interestedly (which is why I read this blog, btw). But in this case, I think the argumentation is crap. That's it."

You evaded my question. Do you think there is antiamericanism in german media or not?

So a mistake is your lame excuse for this?

Yes. A mistake, just like the one commenter commonsense made above. What exactly is so incredible about this idea for you? Do you never make any mistakes? Do you think journalists are some kind of Übermenschen?

In any way, it's infinitely more plausible than your insane idea that a dozen journalists independently came up with the evil idea of changing Merial into a US company.

If german media is simply copying, it tells a lot about its quality.

I guess you never heard of companies like Reuters or dpa?

You evaded my question. Do you think there is antiamericanism in german media or not?

Yes, I ignored your question and your childish and silly allegations that I'm an anti-American, because that's kindergarten niveau.

But if it means so much to you: Sure there is anti-Americanism in the German media. And? What's your point?

@ fuchur,

"the question is whether it's anti-American, factually incorrect, misleading, unfair, etc."

And my answer - after looking at a headline that proclaims that the US infrastructure is collapsing - and then looking at a photo series that reinforces that obvious hyperbole - is a resounding yes. If the point of the article was to be fair and objective - it obviously would not have carried the outrageous headline and sensational photo series. This work is little more than a smear headline with a cut-and-paste copy article. Par for the course for Marc Pitzke and par for the course for SPIEGEL ONLINE coverage of the United States.

Simply put: This is shoddy and biased journalism that you should not waste your time - or our time - defending. The fact that you insist so vehemently on defending this crap only reinforces my perception of you as the eternal apologist.

But don't feel bad fuchur - there are plenty of eternal apologists out there (quite a few at my alma-mater Georgetown at the Foreign Service School) who simply don't see much or any anti-Americanism out there (and if they do see it - they blame it on America first). You would feel right at home with the German diplomatic corps (and some members of the US diplomatic corps including the current asleep-at-the-wheel Ambassador.)

@Ray
Well, your recent posts only reinforce my perception of you as someone obsessed with anti-Americanism who has lost his objectivity. So, I guess we'll just have to disagree.

I just can't desist to add: It's common knowledge that the journalists usually don't write their own headlines - these are added later by the editiorial staff, as are photo series.

@ fuchur,

I really don't see how pointing out this or other examples of poor and biased journalism makes me "obsessed" with anti-Americanism. Unfortunately, your "perception" is based more on your feelings and political leanings than on reality. I would be thrilled if I never had to write about this stuff again and it all went away. Believe me - I have other things I would rather be doing after nearly four years of this.

As far as headlines go: Yes, many publications have separate headline writers. Did Pitzke write this particular headline?: We can't know for sure. That is why I refer to SPIEGEL ONLINE in my headline - and why I point out that the headline accompanied Pitzke's article. The article itself is little more than cut-and-paste - and Pitzke has a long history of extreme bias - so I stand firmly behind my characterizations of him in the article.

Just a tip for our readers: The Panorama section at SPIEGEL ONLINE has a reputation for particularly outrageous and sensational work. Perhaps it is a sign of positive progress that this sort of article has been relegated there.

It's "funny" how things have changed on DMK. Only a few years ago it was "there is no anti-Americanism in the German media, it's only a matter of how one looks at an article". Today it is "there is no anti-Americanism in every quoted instance in the German media, it's only a matter of how one looks at the quoted article". Those goalposts keep moving steadily.

Usually only deeply dishonest individuals hide behind such positions, and arguing with such individuals is a monumental waste of time.

"There is no anti-American bias in the 5th, 7th, or 12th paragraphs of the article linked to, or in fully half of the paragraphs in the author's last article"

@fuchur -
Well, your recent posts only reinforce my perception of you as someone obsessed with anti-Americanism who has lost his objectivity.

I'll cop to some form of that. I've become so accustomed to incessant and unreasonable attacks on certain issues, that I've come to assume that almost any criticism on those issues rises from the same pit of filth and bile. It takes an effort to remember that it's possible for someone to have a problem with those subjects without being a bigot. It's like always having to suppress a reflex.

As I noted at Shopfloor.org, the blog of the National Association of Manufacturers, the criticism that Der Spiegel levels at the U.S. infrastructure sounds a lot like the more extreme criticism here in the U.S. Shared mindset: America is bad.

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