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February 21, 2008

Comments

Hattie

This is thin stuff. I thought even the conservative German press could do better than such stupid propaganda.
McCain is revealing himself to be even more of bad hat than I thought he was. The Times article is devastating, and not just about his sleazy sex life.

Axel

@Hattie,

I think you (and David) are placing too much weight on this specific comment from Alan Posener. Usually, a "Kommentar" in a German newspaper isn't comparable with an article, an editorial or an op-ed. It's basically a compact assessment or opinion, intended subjective and mostly a bit provocative to motivate readers to join their own discussions.

Recently, Die Welt published two "real" articles about the McCain affair, "US-Vorwahl. Der lange Schatten einer alten Affäre" from CNN correspondent Dana Bash and "McCains gefährlicher Flirt mit einer Lobbyistin" from Torsten Krauel. I wasn't able to detect any signs of "propaganda" in these two articles but perhaps I'm biased.

A closer look at the other "Kommentare" also reveals that Die Welt seems not to have a hidden political agenda when selecting comments. For example, you can also read a comment from SPD member Niels Annen ("Warum die Nato in Afghanistan versagt"), where he heavily critisizes the Afghanistan mission of NATO and the US strategy against terrorism.

Some days ago, Torsten Krauel wrote a comment about Obama which was also published on the Welt website: "Warum Barack Obama kein Leichtgewicht ist" [Why Barack Obama isn't a political lightweight]. It begins as follows:

"Wahlkämpfe sind Zeiten gezielt gestreuter Legenden. Zu ihnen gehört die Darstellung Barack Obamas als Schönredner ohne viel Substanz. Doch das ist Unsinn, und es ist unfair. Obamas erste Reden mögen eher wie Predigten geklungen haben. Doch inzwischen ist er auch bei den harten Sachthemen angekommen."

My amateurish translation:

"Election campains are the times when legends purposefully are spread. One example is the characterization of Barack Obama as a rhetorician without political meat. But this is nonsense, and it's unfair. Perhaps, Obamas initial speeches were more like sermons. But now, he's facing up to the hard political issues."
http://www.welt.de/meinung/article1677158/Warum_Barack_Obama_kein_Leichtgewicht_ist.html

David

Axel,
Thanks. Here's a link to a complete translation of Torsten Krauel's piece:

http://www.watchingamerica.com/diewelt000022.shtml

And here's a link to my translation of a commentary on Obama in the Tageszeitung:

http://watchingamerica.com/dietageszeitung000002.shtml

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