No Fake News Here

It’s called “miscommunication.”

Miscommunication

This week, two individuals became the focus of global celebration following an unlikely and joyous confluence of circumstances.

The viral story went that two elderly men escaped their care facility to attend a metal festival in northern Germany (or, as one headline put it: “Elderly Men Escape Retirement Home to Go RAGE!!”).

Except they weren’t, and they didn’t.

The two men, as it turns out, are 58 and 59 years old and had escaped “a home for people with mental health issues,” according to the Associated Press, before traveling to Wacken, a city roughly 50 miles north of Hamburg. They arrived there at the same time that the Wacken Open Air music festival — referred to as the world’s largest for metal — was happening.

If they can’t or won’t get the facts straight on a harmless little story like this then imagine what kind of fairy tale twisting must be going with the more politicized stuff.

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“Explosive Narcissism And Vulgar Capitalism”

Are bad things, I guess. What the people over at Spiegel Online really want is vulgar narcissism and explosive capitalism, I assume.

Trump

I could only read a paragraph or two of this little gem because… I dunno. Try reading it yourself and see. But the just of it is, I believe, that Donald Trump is really, really bad and it’s high time for Europe to start doing more for itself. Knock yourself out on that one, folks.

More than half of Germans think Europe can defend itself without military backing from the United States, a poll showed on Monday, less than two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump said he could withdraw support.

All Good Clean Fun, Right?

Nothing at all, I dunno, creepy or anything here.

Eurovision

Germany’s new anti-Semitism commissioner says a leading newspaper crossed a “red line” with a caricature of Benjamin Netanyahu portraying the Israeli Prime Minister with oversized lips, ears and nose.

Felix Klein, who was appointed this year amid concerns over rising anti-Semitism, told the Bild newspaper on Thursday that Tuesday’s cartoon in Munich’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung* in the aftermath of the U.S. decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem recalled “the intolerable depictions of Nazi propaganda.”

The drawing depicts Netanyahu dressed as Israeli singer Netta Barzilai, who won this year’s Eurovision song contest. The heart that forms the “v” in Eurovision is replaced with a Star of David and Netanyahu is hoisting a missile in his hand, saying “next year in Jerusalem.”

Sueddeutsche Zeitung has apologized for the caricature.

* The editorial stance of the newspaper is liberal and generally of center-left.

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.

This War On Journalism Must Stop

Here in Germany, I mean. It is outrageous, unacceptable behavior and is damaging press freedom in Germany and abroad.

Monitor

Like I said, outrageous. So where’s the outrage, folks?

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND, apparently spied on large numbers of foreign journalists overseas over the course of several years, including employees of the BBC, Reuters and the New York Times. Critics see a massive violation of press freedoms.

Nero Was The Guy In The Matrix, Right?

More cool Spiegel stuff, folks.

Trump

Trump as Nero: Europe Must Defend Itself Against A Dangerous President.

It is literally painful to write this sentence, but the president of the United States is a pathological liar. The president of the U.S. is a racist (it also hurts to write this). He is attempting a coup from the top; he wants to establish an illiberal democracy, or worse; he wants to undermine the balance of power. He fired an acting attorney general who held a differing opinion from his own and accused her of “betrayal.” This is the vocabulary used by Nero, the emperor and destroyer of Rome. It is the way tyrants think.

I feel your pain, buddy. It literally hurts me to read this about how it literally hurts you to write this. Let’s both of us stop all this hurting, literally, and move on already. Please.

Shocking?

Trump

Not wirklich (really). OK, maybe a bit. But it’s certainly not anything new.

Spiegel

It’s one of this magazine’s major obsessions (US-Amerika and the bashing thereof), something that defines what it is and ensures its continued popularity. Popularity? No, it’s more like the party line. Somebody told me that every German household could once boast of having a copy of Mein Kampf, know what I’m saying? But don’t take any of this personally because, as their editor-in-chief says about this latest cover: “Der Spiegel does not want to provoke anybody.”

Now if that’s not the Lügenpresse (lying press) I’d like to know what is.

Three Bad Reasons Why German Newspaper Publishers Simply Won’t Trust Google News…

And vigorously push for any and all legislation aimed at making life for Google & Co. as difficult as newsworthyly possible. They seem to have three main bad reasons, as far as I can tell, like I said, but if you can come up with any others, please don’t hesitate to let me know:

Google

1) The Google News aggregate makes money off said German newspaper publishers by displaying snippets of said German newspaper publishers’ stories, only… Google doesn’t make any money with Google News by virtue of the simple fact that Google doesn’t place any advertising on Google News pages so, well, there is no German newspaper publisher money here to be made off with.

2) Google shamefully steals readers away from said newspaper publishers’ publications because, uh… Google News is actually one of the major sources of traffic to these German newspaper sites so, well, it’s the publishers who are getting the readers and making the money off of Google.

3) Google needs to be controlled ever more closely with ever stricter regulation and be restricted from including any of these said news articles without a publisher’s expressed written permission to “opt in” because, well… These newspapers can already “opt out” any old time they like simply by having their webmasters do so (a simple change to the robots.txt file will suffice).

And now that all of these outraged German publishers have decided to opt in to Google News anyway – now that they have been given the choice to do so – well, that makes all of this yet another typically complex German news story all in its own write and one which of course nobody else who is not German will be able to understand just right yet.

German Newspaper Publishers Seem Not To Understand Google News