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October 22, 2006

Comments

littleandy

Oh, you still read Davids Mädchenkritik? Cool, I thought that was only for the kiddos...

RayD

A sad, (if not predictable) defensive knee-jerk reaction. It seems that some will blindly defend the media establishment no matter what its flaws and no matter what people inside the establishment say. Instead of addressing the actual implications of the sources in this paper, (the majority of which are first hand interviews), all you can do is smear Medien Tenor (one of my few second-hand sources - and one of the least important sources in my paper.)

In my own defense, my paper is based overwhelmingly on first-hand interviews while using a minimum of second-hand sources and footnotes. That is what the assignment called for and that is one reason why I received an "A-" from a professor highly skeptical of blogs and new media.

Just to be clear: I would describe the importance of the Medien Tenor references and footnotes as absolutely minimal in my paper. The actual words of the journalists interviewed speak for themselves, and I encourage anyone who is not in a deep state of denial to read and consider them. They are as real as it gets. In fact, the journalists interviewed gave me exprewss written permission to publish the paper and almost all of them praised the paper. Not one criticized it.

I think it is time to address what German journalists are actually saying about their own field. This is no longer just about what Davids Medienkritik says, it has become much larger than that. The truth is that most reputable German journalists know that there is a major problem with the way they cover the United States. The truth is that the problems discussed in this paper are very true and represent the tip of a very large iceberg. Why don't you address what the paper actually says instead of trying to pull a weak smear job on some of its peripheral sourcing?

RayD

A sad, (if not predictable) defensive knee-jerk reaction. It seems that some will blindly defend the media establishment no matter what its flaws and no matter what people inside the establishment say. Instead of addressing the actual implications of the sources in this paper, (the majority of which are first hand interviews), all you can do is smear Medien Tenor (one of my few second-hand sources - and one of the least important sources in my paper.)

In my own defense, my paper is based overwhelmingly on first-hand interviews while using a minimum of second-hand sources and footnotes. That is what the assignment called for and that is one reason why I received an "A-" from a professor highly skeptical of blogs and new media.

Just to be clear: I would describe the importance of the Medien Tenor references and footnotes as absolutely minimal in my paper. The actual words of the journalists interviewed speak for themselves, and I encourage anyone who is not in a deep state of denial to read and consider them. They are as real as it gets. In fact, the journalists interviewed gave me exprewss written permission to publish the paper and almost all of them praised the paper. Not one criticized it.

I think it is time to address what German journalists are actually saying about their own field. This is no longer just about what Davids Medienkritik says, it has become much larger than that. The truth is that most reputable German journalists know that there is a major problem with the way they cover the United States. The truth is that the problems discussed in this paper are very true and represent the tip of a very large iceberg. Why don't you address what the paper actually says instead of trying to pull a weak smear job on some of its peripheral sourcing?

David

RayD,

Most of the examples of "anti-Americanism" you cite are criticisms of the Iraq invasion and the "War on Terror". If anything, the German press was simply ahead of the its US counterpart in reporting on the failures. Now, the US press has finally found its voice and is reporting the facts. There is nothing "anti-American" about it. Unfortunately, the facts don't support your right-wing bias.

RayD

@ David,

First: Sorry for the double-post, it was unintentional. Feel free to erase one.

Second: I didn't expect this kind of attack on my personal character after I published your work in a recent blog carnival. It is possible to disagree without calling someone a "falsifier."

Third: I don't agree that most of my report involves Iraq or terrorism. It primarily discusses German media coverage of the United States. Let's talk about concrete examples. How do you feel about these very specific statements from German journalists?:

"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.” Stern magazine correspondent Michael Streck agreed with Piltz’s statement and worried “that populism goes over the line quite often.” Deutsche Welle Bureau Chief for North and South America Ruediger Lentz also expressed deep concern that “populist” ideology and views often “resonate the public mood” when it came to coverage of the United States."

(...)

"One of the most troubling aspects of the interviews was the assertion, made by at least three of the interviewees, that journalists were pressured, or knew of colleagues who were pressured, not to run certain stories in the run-up to the Iraq war. Eberhard Piltz related that he “had to fight with the desk people (the editors) to tell and get in why the war was coming” and added that he "had a hard time telling the stories." Martin Wagner of Bayerische Rundfunk radio broadcasting said that he had not personally been pressured, but that “more than a couple colleagues,” experienced a “tendency especially in the run-up to the Iraq war,” not to run stories explaining the Bush administration’s position for fear of upsetting readers. Wagner claimed that the pressure on colleagues came from “above” from “owners.” Professor Schmierer observed that: “In the run-up to Iraq, media were put under strictures to limit the opposing side because readers and viewers might become incensed and the media were afraid to alienate or lose audience.” He summarized the situation this way: “Things got emotional.”

(...)

"Cornel Faltin put it best: “Some colleagues already have stories in their suitcases.” In Faltin’s view, some correspondents working in the United States are influenced by pre-existing views. One interviewee stated anonymously that many journalists come to the U.S. “with preconceived bias.” 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."

David

@RayD,

Unlike you, I do not censor or ban commentors who disagree with me.

The fact is, most of the examples of "anti-Americanism" you cite are criticisms of the Bush administration and its policies. In your blog you consistently vilify any critics of the Bush administrations Iraq War policy (both American and German) as "loony left". Fine. But the fact is, most Americans would now be categorized as "loony left". Their views are much more in synch with the opinions you deplore in Spiegel and Stern.

Also, you made an ethical mistake in your paper by attempting to buttress your argument with "scientific data" from a known tainted source.

A better approach would have been to look at the number of articles over the last 15 years that have an "ant-American" slant. No doubt, the research would show that there has been a dramatic increase of such articles since late 2002 - just as there has been in the press coverage of the US by nearly every other country on the planet.

RayD

@ David,

It is interesting to note the people criticizing Medien Tenor. They are the same biased media that Medien Tenor exposes. I guess speaking truth to power makes them "tainted." The weak examples cited in the articles hardly discredit the enormous body of work done by Medien Tenor.

Additionally, you still haven't addressed the words of the journalists cited in my report.

Regarding our site: We do not ban or censor commenters because they disagree with us. We have commenters who disagree with us constantly, and if you look at our comments section you will see that. We only delete comments that directly violate our comments policy, which is clearly linked on our site.

Furthermore, we do not criticize everyone who is skeptical about Iraq as "loony left." We have written many times that Iraq is a very difficult and complicated issue on which intelligent people can disagree. We do recognize, on the other hand, that some people out there really do suffer from an irrational form of Bush Derangement Syndrome which prevents them from logical argument. Overexposure to certain German media tend to exacerbate this problem.

Finally, if you think anti-Americanism is a novel concept that has only taken off in the German media (and elsewhere) since 2002, then I think you ought to take a little closer look at history.

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