Thursday, June 16, 2005

Attention Europeans: Come Help Us, Please

From Medienkritik:

A while back, David made mention of an NDR (North-German Broadcasting, a state-owned public broadcasting organization) report entitled "Patriotische Gefuehle: Die Medienszene in den USA" or "Patriotic Feelings: The Media Scene in the USA". The report is such a classic, textbook example of how the German media reports and distorts facts about the United States that it is worth a much closer look.

We started by translating the entire report into English exclusively for our readers. That can be viewed here.

Part 1: Christoph Luetgert's Sordid Stadium Story

As proof of the "Bush clan's" enormous, "all-encompassing control" and influence throughout America, we are presented with NDR-Chefreporter (NDR executive reporter) Christoph Luetgert's assertion that, as a German journalist, one is required to call the White House to receive permission to film Texas Rangers stadium. The report states:

"How large the influence of the Bush clan is in the entire country was also experienced by a German TV journalist. The Texas Rangers Stadium in Texas. The club did not want to grant permission to film.
Christoph Luettgert*, NDR executive reporter: “When we made a request there we were told that we had to ask the White House for permission. I mean, that is an outrageous story. That would be something like if I wanted to film in the soccer stadium of FC Bavaria Munich and the club managers of Bavaria Munich would say to me I have to first call and ask at the Chancellor’s office in Berlin. I mean such an all-encompassing control, well such an all-encompassing censorship is unimaginable in Germany.”

When Davids Medienkritik contacted the Texas Rangers we were told that, with few exceptions, camera crews from anywhere in the world are permitted to film at Texas Rangers stadium with the permission of the Texas Rangers media relations office. This simple process involves the camera crew contacting Texas Rangers media relations, making an appointment and sending in copies of their journalistic credentials. That’s it.

The primary exception to the rule would be filming a game in progress, something not allowed without the express written consent of Major League Baseball. This is standard operating procedure not only at Texas Rangers stadium, but at all Major League Baseball stadiums in both the United States and Canada. (Anyone who has ever watched or listened to a baseball game on television or radio knows this because it is repeated during every game.)

As a trained, experienced journalist, Mr. Luetgert must have known that it would have been easily possible to film at Texas Rangers stadium, or virtually any other sports stadium in the United States, without White House permission. So why does he make it seem otherwise? Why does he intentionally misrepresent the facts by omitting important details?
Luetgert tells his audience that his experience is comparable to a journalist wishing to film a major German soccer stadium being told to contact the German Chancellor's office for permission.

In so doing, Mr. Luetgert and NDR have created a patently false and sweeping impression in the minds of the German audience: Namely, that foreign journalists working in the United States wishing to film a sports stadium are forced to request permission directly from the White House.
President Bush is ridiculously portrayed as having an iron grip on filming at all American sports stadiums. This is reinforced by Luetgert's closing assertion that: "such an all-encompassing control, well such an all-encompassing censorship is unimaginable in Germany."

Clearly, this is no innocent mistake or oversight on Mr. Luetgert's part. It appears to be an intentional misrepresentation of the facts in an attempt to deceive the audience to achieve the desired negative image of the United States and President Bush.

Yes, this is a totalitarian society. George Bush has taken over all industry, the media, technology, even the baseball teams. There is not real private ownership allowed in the United States anymore.

Attention German citizens: We Americans need you help. George Bush is a dictator. Please send troops and get us out from under his jackboot. We are terrified, living in a constant state of anxiety, in fear for our very lives.

They've started to round people up and take them away on trains. We don't know where they take them.

Help us, please. You Europeans are our only hope.