December 31, 2006

Stern Magazine Ugliness

Davids Medienkritik notes how Stern magazine panders to the guilt, shame and hate that their German readers feel, by bashing America and using a photo of Bush waving in what they obviously want to be perceived as a Nazi-type salute.

Under their headline, "The History of America", is this warm sentiment: "No nation has ever dominated the globe like the USA. And its people could care less about the rest of humanity."

David Kaspar counters this ridiculous ahistorical slander with some thoughts of his own:

Really? Is that why the USA sacrificed the lives of hundreds of thousands of its sons and daughters to liberate Germany from National Socialism? Is that why the United States spent billions to defend and rebuild West German democracy for decades on end? Is that why the United States helped Germans to establish the very democracy that guarantees German journalists the freedom to make outrageous, dehumanizing and sweeping anti-American statements like the one above?

Kaspar lists just a few of the dozens of possible examples of American compassion, generosity and sacrifice, and then continues: (emphasis in original)

...we know how much our multilateralist, holier-than-thou 'old European' friends love humanity so much more than anyone else. They would have left Saddam Hussein in power, they did nothing in Rwanda, were impotent in the Balkans until the US acted. They continue to stand around and do nothing but talk as African nations like Sudan and Congo implode. And in another great service to humanity, Schroeder and Chirac recently sought to lift the EU arms embargo on China. Here's a simple question: Is anyone else sick and tired of elitist Eurosnobs like the "journalists" at Stern lecturing us about how the USA doesn't "care about the rest of humanity"?

Now for some bad news: This won't end anytime soon. Stern's readers can't go without a steady diet of America-baiting. Hatred is a part of their ideological existence and they expect the magazine to deliver the goods. So the financial motivation to print hate is enormous for Stern. It is one of the foundations of the publication's monetary existence...and no magazine can exist without an income.

Kaspar follows up that post with an open letter to Stern asking them to retract and apologize for their slander:

This statement is particularly troubling because it demonizes an entire nation as indifferent, uncaring and unconcerned with anyone or anything beyond its national boundaries. The series headline, published for all of Stern’s readers to see, openly declares that all Americans could care less about the rest of humanity. Not only is it patently false for reasons too numerous to list here, it is also slanderous, bigoted and profoundly ignorant. In a legal sense, it may actually violate German laws against Volksverhetzung.

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How can a publication like Stern Online, read by millions of Germans, allow such an obviously stupid and hateful statement to accompany a series on American history for years on end?

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The incredible lack of journalistic integrity and responsibility displayed in Stern’s “The History of the USA” series and in many other Stern articles is deeply troubling to the readership of Davids Medienkritik. We ask that you remove the statement in question and offer your readers a full and public apology. We sincerely hope that, in the future, your publication will refrain from the opportunistic exploitation of your readership’s anti-American sentiments.

Posted by dan at December 31, 2006 3:55 PM