As in being at the mercy of.


Everbody agrees that big American hi-tech companies are fundamentally evil, right? Well they do here in Germany. In Germany’s state-run media, I should say (they actually call these channels “public-service broadcasters” here because that sounds better).

Anyways, the latest greatest twist to the anti-Google/Facebook/Apple/Microsoft/Amazon agitpop over at the ARD is breaking new ground (or maybe it isn’t) by unabashedly inventing witnesses and working/living conditions in one of Amazon’s German plants in a scarry documentary about that horrible company called Ausgeliefert – and all of this while using the generous funding provided by the compulsory charge every German household has to pay to support objective “public-service broadcasters” like these, of course.

Germans have to pay this charge now whether they even own a television or not, by the way. Hmmm. The ARD called their documentary Ausgeliefert (as in being at the mercy of Amazon), and that’s something every German knows about personally already. Being at the mercy of the ARD like they are, I mean.

Dort, gezeigt wurde das in einer angeblichen E-Mail, würden Menschen “abgefüttert wie die Schweine”, hieß es. Eine Behauptung, der CoCo von Anfang an widersprochen hat und nun vor Gericht zunächst Recht bekam. Der besagte Speiseraum existiere gar nicht, so das Unternehmen: “Das ist schlicht eine Erfindung der ARD-Journalisten, gegen die wir auch juristisch vorgehen.”

Der HR hat bereits vor der Gerichtsentscheidung bestätigt und eingestanden, dass der strittige Screenshot der E-Mail “fingiert” gewesen sei. Zudem musste der Hessische Rundfunk über seine Rechtsabteilung zugeben, dass auch eine im Film porträtierte polnische Leiharbeiterin namens Agnieszka Lewandowska “niemals als Leiharbeiterin bei Amazon beschäftigt war.”

9 responses

  1. These whiners need to put in perspective the monopolies German companies have, not just at home, but in many parts of the world in many areas.

  2. Still nothing to contradict the fact that neo-nazis were used as security guards. Against foreigners. In Germany.

    And I guess your right-wing anti-German anti-public-broadcasting ra-ra-Amerikka bias prevented you from quoting the 10-day-old response from HR which can be found on the meedia site. r

    Update (8.April 2013): Der HR hat erklärt, dass das Zitat der HR-Rechtsabteilung von der Kanzlei Höcker unvollständig widergegeben worden sei. Es habe der Satz gefehlt: “Hierbei handelt es sich um eine Legende, derer sich die Autoren zum Schutz ihres Informanten bedient haben.” Den Informanten und die Mail gebe es wirklich. Der Alias-Name Agnieszka Lewandowska seit aus Gründen des Quellenschutzes eingefügt worden. Man habe bei der Produktion des Filmes lediglich vergessen, auf die Änderung des Namens hinzuweisen.

    • “Anti-public broadcasting ra-ra-Amerikka”? What business, from a position of freedom, a thing that leftists used to care about, does any government have in conducting journalism?

    • Take a look at what a whole lot of Germans are saying about their “public-service broadcasters,” Ian. It’s gone way too far and everybody knows it. Talk about fat cat city.

      Sind ARD/ZDF wirklich 7,5 Milliarden wert?

      Wenn doch diese elefantöse Bürokratie, weil marktfern, bloß halbwegs kreativ wäre. Wer heute state of the art -TV will, muss nach Amerika gehen (genauer zu iTunes oder zu den unzähligen Umsonst-Anbietern). Zwei Serien, die das Format in eine neue Umlaufbahn geschossen haben, sind Breaking Bad und Homeland – modellhaft in Sujet, Regie, Schauspielkunst, Schnitt und vor allem Risikobereitschaft. Zitat einer deutschen Produzentin: »Wenn du hier mit einer solchen Idee ankommst, heißt es: Nö, das haben wir noch nie gemacht; das trifft den Massengeschmack nicht; das ist zu teuer.« Kein Wunder, wenn bei der ARD in den nächsten vier Jahren nur 38 Prozent der Gebühren in die Programme gehen; der Rest gehört dem Personal- und Sachaufwand.

      That last sentence there says it all: “No wonder then, when the ARD will only be using 38 percent of its fees in the coming four years for programming; the rest will be going to cover personnel expenditure and material costs.”

      It’s ridiculous. Like any institution gone out of control (an institution is nothing more than a tool, by the way), ARD/ZDF have long ceased serving the function they where originally intended to serve and are now there primarily to serve themselves.

  3. Oh, I get it. This was just anothing tiresome whine about having to pay a few bucks a month for public broadcasting and not a miserable defense of Amazon’s slave-market labour-relations policies. Amazon is serving itself in running roughshod over labour laws and that’s OK with you then? Neo-nazis working for them OK with you as well? It’s good journalism exposing this crap that makes public broadcasting worth it.

  4. Yeah, working for Amazon is pure Manchesterkapitalismus, I’m sure, and I rest better at night knowing that German companies never hire neo-Nazis (only American ones do?), but “public broadcasting” isn’t exposing anything here, Ian. That’s the point. They’re making this stuff up. News stories are products. It’s bad enough we feel we have to “buy” these stories out there from private industry. In this case you have a Behörde that takes your money from you to do this whether you choose to or not.

  5. Like I said, still nothing to contradict the thrust of their research, which is that the workers are hired like slaves, not given contracts they understand or were promised in the first place, not given human conditions in which to live – or is seven to a room acceptible to you – and to top it off, in a country like Germany with its laden past, they have neo-nazis policing the foreign workers!
    Or they HAD neo-nazis doing their dirty work, because after the broadcast Amazon dumped the company that hired them. As an added bonus it got the public and politicians talking and gee, maybe one day even doing something about the plight of temp workers in this country. That is the goal of journalism – to affect change where it is necessary.
    Speaking of making stuff up, it had nothing to do with whether the company was American or not, but of course that’s the angle you always play up: how the German media attacks America.

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