Who Makes This Stuff Up?

Oh, Al Jazeera makes this stuff up. Then it makes sense.

Germany

Germany welcomed refugees. Now it’s reaping the economic benefits – German companies need more skilled workers. Refugees are helping to fill the gap.

This is not the German reality. When Angela Merkel opened the floodgates in 2015, talk was soon everywhere (where talk like this was expected to be – see state television) that precisely this would happen; highly skilled engineers, doctors and other specialists from Syria would “fill the gap” in a booming German economy short on workers. This simply did not happen. The small number of specialists who did make it here were generally stymied by German bureaucracy or simply do not have the skills German companies expected them to have. Who did come? Armies of unskilled workers who are now a big burden on the German social system.

It’s not the Syrians’ fault that Germany does everything bass ackwards here, though. The Germans needed skilled workers so they let the unskilled in. They don’t even bother to introduce a comprehensive immigration law so they can decide who enters their country or not – haven’t gotten around to it to this very day. And on and on it goes. Al Jazeera’s fantasy Germany makes for good stories, I guess, but it has nothing to do with the real Germany. Not that anybody is interested. Just sayin’.

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Illustrious? At Risk?

What Germany are these journalists writing about?

Merkel

Merkel’s illustrious reign is at risk of being tarnished. Huh?

That nobody really much cares about or follows what is going on in Germany is one thing but to start churning out science fiction about a parallel German universe is simply irresponsible.

There is nothing “illustrious” about Angela Merkel’s “reign” and there is absolutely, positively no risk that it could become tarnished. It already is tarnished. It can’t get more tarnished than it already is, in fact. Ask any German on the street and he/she will tell you. The journalists at CNBC ought to consider giving that a try.

Sakrileg, the German word for sacrilege: the violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred. I’m about to go there. Has German Chancellor Angela Merkel been a disaster for Europe, and is her prolonged tenure at the Federal Chancellery extending the region’s problems rather than holding them back?

No Alternative Facts Or Fake News Here

While President Donald Trump held his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday he brought up one of his favorite themes: “Fake news” and malicious journalists who are ought to get him.

Trump

There were some boos in the crowd following this. No big surprise here. But responsible journalists at Germany’s Staatsfunk channel ARD, concerned that these boos might not be as audible on their recording as they “ought” to be, tweaked the audio to make the boos louder.

The outrage in Germany hielt sich in Grenzen (was limited) when this came out, of course, but a few German journalists were nevertheless less than impressed with the ARD’s methods. “You’ve clearly overstepped the limits for a news broadcast,” wrote one journalist. “And it’s hard to imagine that you would have done the same should there have been applause.”

„Die @tagesschau hilft ein bisschen nach, damit Buh-Rufe gegen Trump lauter und deutlicher zu hören sind. Klare Grenzüberschreitung bei einer Nachrichtensendung, lieber @KaiGniffke. Und schwer vorstellbar, dass Sie dasselbe bei Applaus getan hätten“, schreibt Reichelt.

Which Germany Is This Guy Talking About?

“Why Germany Is Better at Resisting Fake News”

Fake

It’s not the Germany I live in. Germans don’t resist fake news, they roll around in it like pigs in the mud. Only they pretend their news is not fake. Their fake news doesn’t stink, in other words. And their fake news is different than our fake news, of course. Maybe that’s why they can pretend it isn’t fake: German fake news is generated by the government broadcasters and funded by taxation for which the viewers have no representation.

Here is a little example recently to give you an idea of what I mean. If 98 percent negative reporting about Donald Trump done by a state-run broadcasting monopoly isn’t fake news I don’t know what is. Germans would be skeptical about 98 percent negative reporting on Hitler. Nobody here bats an eye about this, however. What is there to resist, right?

More regulation of social media, less news consumption from alternative sources and no Fox News.

World’s Largest Publicly Funded Broadcaster Squeamish About Showing Documentary On Antisemitism

Because, well, that would be too unpleasant for the public being made to do the broadcaster’s  forced funding to have to face.

Israel

Germany’s state-run television channel ARD recently decided not to air a documentary it had itself commissioned concerning the latest outbreak of antisemitism in Europe and the Middle East because the people doing the film apparently did this job much too well (after enough noise was made about this decision the ARD had to broadcast it anyway).

This could trouble viewers in a country where at least 40% of its citizens hold anti-Israel, antisemitic views. Or so the reasoning must be. ARD documentaries propagating negative views about Israel get aired here all the time, however. This having to do with balanced journalism or something. Or so the reasoning must be.

Anti-Zionism is not a legitimate political position, but rather a movement against the Jewish and democratic state. It is Antisemitism 2.0.

PS: Meanwhile… The latest boycott Israel campaign from BDS seems to be making great strides forward here in Berlin. It is unclear at this point whether the ARD will be commissioning a documentary about this campaign or not.