Monday, January 16, 2006

Good posts at David's Medienkritik

One of the best blogs out there is Germany's David's Medienkritik, which has raised fisking to a high art (the pity is that they have so many oppportunities tohone their skills). Two recent posts highlight aspects of Europe's attitude towards America and how deeply anti-Americanism has penetrated Germany.

From the first post (which quotes another blog):
"A few years back, after a prolonged immersion in American Protestant fundamentalism (I was writing a book), I moved from the U.S. to Western Europe, ready to bask in an open, secular, liberal culture. Instead I discovered that European social democracy, too, was a kind of fundamentalism, rigid and doctrinaire, yielding what Swedish writer Johan Norberg calls "one-idea states"—nations where an echo chamber of insular elites calls the shots, where monochrome media daily reiterate statist mantras and shut out contrarian views, and where teachers and professors systematically misrepresent the U.S. (millions of Europeans believe that free public schools, unemployment insurance, and pensions are unknown in America). The more I saw of the European elites' chronic distrust of the public, and the public's habitual deference to those elites, the fonder I grew of the nasty, ridiculous rough-and-tumble of American democracy, in which every voice is heard—even if, as a result, the U.S. gets capital punishment and Europe gets gay marriage.
And from the second post (internal links are original):
Last week, Davids Medienkritik reported on a dubious German news site for children named "Helles Koepfchen" or "bright little head." One particularly troubling aspect of the site was a link provided on its "USA nation page" entitled "20 Lessons from September 11." The "20 lessons" provided by "Helles Koepfchen" as a resource for German children consisted of a litany of extremist conspiracy theories on the September 11 attacks. [...]

We are now happy to report that "Helles Koepfchen" has removed its link to this lunatic-fringe site. Of course the overall tone of the site hasn't changed at all. A major theme of HK's reporting on the United States is that George W. Bush and other Republicans are to blame for everything wrong in America and the world. Now that is just what we call "fair and balanced news Germany-style."
The site has plenty of other anti-American bias stories.