Why Are Germany’s Public Broadcasters Raising Their Mandatory Fee?

Because they can.

TV

It will be going up soon enough from 17.50 euros to 21 euros. Whether you even own a TV or not. The excuse this time: They are having trouble cutting costs within the time frame they had promised. There you have it; a state-run monopoly financed with mandatory fees from a public that is never asked if it wants to watch its party line programming or not. I don’t get it, either. How could an institution like that ever have trouble cutting costs?

Bis 2029 sollen die Rundfunkbeiträge von heute 17,50 Euro auf 21 Euro steigen. So jedenfalls wollen es ARD, ZDF und Deutschland-Radio. Und begründen das ausgerechnet damit, ihr Einsparvolumen bis 2024 sonst nicht erreichen zu können.

Advertisements

US-Amerikan Gas Conspiracy In Full Swing

German survey time – and no Russian influence here, either. Honest: BASF-owned Wintershall, one of Gazprom’s closest upstream partners and backer of its Nord Stream 2 project, has published results of a survey which it says indicate that most Germans not only oppose an expansion of US sanctions against Russia but also prefer Russian gas to US LNG.

LNG

More than three-quarters (77 percent) believe that the US is attempting to bolster its own economic interests in the European natural gas market… The survey also showed that the vast majority of Germans (83 percent) reject the planned increase in US economic sanctions, which would also restrict the actives of German and European companies. Only seven percent considered criticism of planned US sanctions as exaggerated.

“Whereas half the Germans surveyed support a further diversification of the natural gas provision, only six percent want more imports of US LNG,”

The Lying Press?

No. But the biased press? In Germany, when it comes to Donald Trump?

Trump

I’d have to say yes to that one. After taking a look at this recent study done at Harvard, that is – Harvard, that infamous hotbed for right-wing extremism.

When it comes to reporting about Donald Trump’s fitness for office by Germany’s ARD (Channel One),  for example, 98 percent of this reporting is negative. Now that’s what I’d call objective journalism, folks. 98 percent of people in the real world can’t agree on anything, as we all well know, but things are different here in Germany (and in North Korea, too). The ARD, by the way, is one of the state-run “public” television channels that anyone who lives here is forced to subsidize, whether he or she watches it or not – whether you even own a television or not. Do any of you out there remember Der Schwarze Kanal? I didn’t think so.

98 percent? That only shows us that there is something 100 percent wrong with the ARD.

Only 3 percent of Trump’s U.S. coverage explicitly explored the issue of Trump’s fitness for office. European journalists were less restrained with the exception of BBC journalists, who are governed by impartiality rules that prohibit such reporting.[21] Journalists at ARD, Germany’s main public broadcasting outlet, are not governed by the same rules, and Trump’s suitability for the presidency was ARD’s leading topic in January, accounting for a full fifth (20 percent) of its Trump coverage. ARD stayed on the issue in its February coverage, when it consumed 18 percent of its Trump coverage. In March and April, Trump’s fitness for office got less attention from ARD, but it nonetheless accounted for about 10 percent of ARD’s coverage. Even that reduced amount exceeded the level of any of our seven U.S. outlets in any month. And ARD’s journalists were unequivocal in their judgment—98 percent of their evaluations of Trump’s fitness for office were negative, only 2 percent were positive.

Who Am I? Where Am I? And Why Am I Reading This?

My fellow Americans: We have lost our identity. Again already, or something. Or at least that’s what I just read down here.

Amerika

But luckily for us, the folks over at Spiegel Online are going to give our identities back to us. Only this being Germany, and Germany being Germany, and what with Datenschutz (data protection) and all, we will have to properly identify ourselves first, of course (unless we’re Syrian refugees from North Africa, I mean, but we’re not, we’re Mericans). So… Wait a minute. How the hell is this supposed to work anyway?

Reporter Holger Stark spent the past four years as DER SPIEGEL’s Washington correspondent during a time in which the country changed radically enough to elect Donald Trump as its president. What led this once mighty nation into decline?

Megalomania & Small-Mindedness – How America Lost Its Identity

PS: Just read it, folks. They’re only trying to help us. This is NOT fake news, by the way, so don’t even THINK of looking for any alternative facts.

No Taxation Without Decent Stations!

You say you want a revolution? Then GEZ out on the street and do something about it, people. “Public” TV? Sure. As long as the public has a choice about being forced to finance it or not.

GEZ

Since the 1970s, every German household with a television or radio has paid a monthly fee, called the GEZ, to finance public TV and Deutschlandradio, the national public radio network.

But in 2013, the government began to require every household and business to pay the approximately $20 monthly fee even if they don’t own a TV or radio…

In a sign of growing resistance, Beitragsservice issued more than 25 million warnings to households last year for not paying the fee, a 20% increase over 2014, according to its latest figures.

480 Millionen Euro nur fürs Personal: Das plant das ZDF mit Ihren GEZ-Gebühren.

German Of The Day: Rechtspopulistisch

That means right-wing populist. You know, like what the German state TV channel ARD has insisted upon labeling the AfD party up until now?

AfD

This has changed, however. As the head talking head what’s in charge over there (in there?) explains: “The background behind this is the fact that given the latest state elections, the AfD has attained such a high level of recognition that the permanent classification of them through this attribute is no longer necessary in order to make an orientation possible by the viewers.” The proper orientation, I assume he means.

The Pöbel (rabble) has now finally been dutifully informed so the ARD is going to gracefully condescend to move on to the next Umerziehungsmaßnahme (re-education measure) on the list. Whatever that might be. So stay tuned. As if you had a choice.

Hintergrund dieser Vorgehensweise ist die Tatsache, dass die AfD nicht zuletzt aufgrund der zurückliegenden Landtagswahlen einen solch hohen Bekanntheitsgrad erreicht hat, dass es der permanenten Einordnung durch dieses Attribut nicht mehr Bedarf, um den Zuschauerinnen und Zuschauern eine Orientierung zu ermöglichen

It’s Magic

Wow. The refugees have suddenly stopped coming to Germany. Just like that.

Refugees

All it took, the German government (and government media) tell us today, was Angela Merkel’s strong leadership and the EU’s agreement with Turkey to return migrants who cross the Aegean Sea to Europe illegally. Well…

Most experts, however, say the deal with Turkey, the main plank of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan to reduce refugee flows to Europe, had nothing to do with the fall in numbers since it has only been implemented for a few days. Rather, they say the decrease is mainly due to the closure of national borders by countries on the migrants’ Balkan route, a policy Ms. Merkel has vehemently opposed.

That’s right. This is the same German government (and government media) that said that putting stringent border controls in place wouldn’t and couldn’t solve the problem. So I guess, well, uh… Go ahead. You do the math.

Once again: Thanks, Austria. Sometimes – even in ze Europe – just making things happen is the best way to go.

Flüchtlinge: Zahlen sinken drastisch

Dear Hollywood

It’s Christmas season so here’s my wish. I know your first and foremost priority is to bash everything time-honored and traditional about us (as in US). I understand and respect that (actually I don’t, that was just a figure of speech). But seeing what’s going on in the world at this moment I would really appreciate it if you could possibly consider bringing back one of your own time-honored genres: The wartime drama. You know, like Casablanca? You could refer to it as a wartime propaganda film if that makes you feel better about it, of course.

Casablanca

I would like this Casablanca to have a Muslim hero in it, however. A Muslim Rick, so-to-speak. The reason being that one of the obvious intentions of the ISIS attacks in France (coming to Germany soon!) is to incite hatred against the Muslims living here and to hopefully, from their point of view, have this hatred lead to some form of civil war in ze Europe.

This may have seemed far-fetched a short time ago but a thoughtful look at the current atmosphere in Germany, for instance, should convince you that this is well within the realm of the possible.

The Traumfabrik (dream factory) needs to give us a positive Muslim role model here, in other words. The “normal,” moderate Muslims living here need one erst recht (all the more). This Ric, too, will need to do the right thing and combat the evil that is terrorizing us all and explain to everyone how it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world, of course.

I know you’re busy and all these days and I really hate to bother you (another figure of speech) but I’m just thinking out loud here.

PS: Scarlett Johansson would make a great Ingrid Bergman character. No head scarves or anything, though.

German Of The Day: Lügenpresse

That means the lying press. And, like, welcome to the club already, Germany. It appears that many Germans were not aware of this up until now. I mean, when has the media anywhere ever not been guilty of “embellished and inaccurate reporting?”

Lügenpresse

In a recent German survey, 44 percent of respondents said they partially, or wholly believe the media regularly lies to the people, as the Pegida movement asserts. Media experts (the people helping with the lying?) examine whether that’s true.

Media outlets in Germany “are controlled from the top,” and therefore spread “embellished and inaccurate reporting.” Nearly half of the 1,000 German citizens recently polled by the Dortmund-based Forsa Institute agreed with these statements.

Currently, the refugee situation dominates media reports. But Germans are simultaneously experiencing the crisis first-hand in their own towns and cities – and often finding dramatic differences between their perceptions of these events and journalists’ representations of them…

For example, Sebnitz: In this village of 8,000 residents in Saxony, where right-wing radicals often make headlines, the son of a German-Iranian couple, both of whom are pharmacists, died accidentally. The immediate headline read: “Neo-Nazis Drown Child.” In truth, the boy drowned after having a heart seizure. A newspaper that reported on the actual facts of the accident nevertheless added: But the way the mood is in Sebnitz, neo-Nazis could well have done it.”

Above all, the issue is often about choice of words: BBC World reported: “Dutch politician Geert Wilders acquitted of hate speech charges in The Hague.” Germany’s national news broadcast, Tagesschau, formulated the same story thus: “The Islamophobe and right-wing populist politician, Geert Wilders…”

German Of The Day: Männerfreundschaft

That means male bonding or man-to-man friendship.

Gerd

But, like, not all of these German Putin understanders are men, are they?

He (Putin) also spoke how he and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (some call him Gazprom Gerd) were in a sauna when a fire broke out. Both escaped, but Schroeder insisted on finishing his beer first, Mr Putin said.

Auf die Frage der Moderatorin, ob Putin viel mit seinen politischen Freunden in die Sauna gehe und das Dampfbad den klassischen Konferenztischen vorziehe, erzählte Putin folgende Geschichte mit Alt-Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder:

„Ich saß mit meinem Freund in der Sauna in meiner Residenz, plötzlich fing es an zu brennen. Ich sagte: ‚Gerhard, es brennt, wir müssen hier raus.‘ Er sagte: ‚Es tut mir leid, aber vorher trinke ich mein Bier noch zu Ende.‘ Ich sagte: ‚Bist du verrückt? Es brennt, wir müssen hier raus.‘ Er ist ein eiserner Mann. Er hat tatsächlich sein Bier ausgetrunken und wir sind dann erst raus. Die Sauna brannte bis auf die Mauern nieder. Aber eigentlich gehe ich gern in die Sauna.“