Dec 232018
 
 December 23, 2018  Posted by at 5:52 pm Primers Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Diego Velázquez The Spinners 1655-60

 

Dirk Kurbjuweit, deputy editor-in-chief of Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine for the past 4 years, unwittingly put his foot a mile deep in his mouth this week when he reacted to a letter written by US Ambassador to Berlin Richard Grenell. His reaction presents perhaps the most perfect example of the downfall of news, journalism, the media in general, that we’ve seen so far. Most perfect among very stiff competition.

After Der Spiegel itself this week ‘outed’ its award-winning star reporter, Claas Relotius, as someone who had made up many of his lauded articles from scratch, Grenell suggested the magazine, and especially its editorial staff, shouldn’t think they can get away with putting all the blame on just this one guy. He tweeted:

We value policy criticism. We love a free press. But @Spiegel literally fabricated stories saying people (Americans) were racist & xenophobic. They made up events, details, & lies – and no editor checked the stories. Every real journalist should be outraged by this.

And he wrote a letter to Der Spiegel, albeit addressed at the ‘wrong’ editor, Steffen Klussman, who won’t be in the post until after Jan. 1:

The recent revelations of completely fabricated stories, completely fictional people and fraudulent details in Spiegel over the last seven years are very troubling to the US Embassy. These fake news stories largely focused on US policies and certain segments of the American people. It is clear we were targeted by institutional bias and we are troubled by the atmosphere that encouraged this recklessness.

While Spiegel’s anti-American narratives have expanded over the last years, the anti-American bias at the magazine has exploded since the election of President Trump. We are concerned that these narratives are pushed by Spiegel’s senior leadership and reporters are responding to what the leadership wants.

This is where Dirk Kurbjuweit’s foot enters his mouth, stage left, and starts its long journey down:

It is true that one of our reporters in large part fabricated articles, including reports from the United States. We apologize to all American citizens who were insulted or denigrated by these articles. We are very sorry. This never should have happened. In this case, our safeguarding and verification processes failed. We are working hard to clarify these issues and improve our procedures and standards.

I would, however, like to counter you on one point. When we criticize the American president, this does not amount to anti-American bias – it is criticism of the policies of the man currently in office in the White House. Anti-Americanism is deeply alien to me and I am absolutely aware of what Germany has the U.S to thank for: a whole lot. DER SPIEGEL harbors no institutional bias against the United States.

Of course, first of all, Grenell is right, if you let someone write fake stories for 7 years and your editors, which included Kurbjuweit himself, don’t catch one single lie, it looks like you’re letting the fabrications ‘slip through’ on purpose. As Grenell implies, it looks like the entire magazine is/was trying to fabricate the news, not report on it.

But that’s not where Kurbjuweit’s foot is in his mouth. That comes in the second paragraph . Where he effectively says that criticizing America and Americans, including through fully fabricated stories, does not constitute an anti-American bias. Instead, he says, Der Spiegel simply suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome. In other words, not an anti-American bias, but an anti-Trump bias.

And that, in his view, is apparently fine. And though it is of course not, certainly for an editor of a magazine that has (make that had) a reputation to uphold, who can really blame him? In the American press, all he sees is Trump Derangement Syndrome all the time, in at least 90% of the media. So how can anyone blame a German editor for doing what the New York Times and CNN do 24/7?

The problem with all of this obviously is that all these news outlets are supposed to report the news, and none of them do anymore. They ‘report’ the opinions of their editors and ‘journalists’, and if these people don’t like whoever it is the American people elect as their president, it’s open season.

American media has made it acceptable for foreign media to write fake articles about the US president, which means ridicule of the Office of the President is fine too, and thereby the process by which he was elected. Re-read Kurbjuweit’s statement, that is what he says.

This is a sort of new normal that may well be the main legacy of 2018. It’s where the surge of social media and the internet in general have led us. In the process, they’ve swallowed the truth whole, and we may never see it again.

The truth is not a winning proposition. Fabricating stories and narratives and using them to string readers and viewers along like a modern version of the Pied Piper is a much bigger winner than the truth, and they’re all waking up to this new reality.

 

Der Spiegel’s response to being exposed as liars is to pretend to be open about it, but only by blaming one individual, while sparing the editors who let him roam free for 7 years.

The Guardian, which ran a fabricated story about meetings between Paul Manafort and Julian Assange in London’s Ecuadorian embassy a few weeks ago and was also exposed, has chosen a different approach: they attempt to smother the truth in silence. Both the writers of the story and editor-in-chief Kathy Viner, responsible for publishing blatant lies and fabrications are still on the payroll, there’s been no retraction and no apologies.

But there’s a flipside to this kind of thing. If you try to get away with murdering the truth the way Der Spiegel and the Guardian have done in these two instances, who’s going to read you next time around if they want to know what really happens, and take your words as true? No-one in their sound mind. So it’s necessarily a short term strategy.

Still, while it lasts, it’s profitable. And it’s mighty contagious too. If and when the foreign press no longer feels any qualms about admitting they suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome, that is because US media have paved that road for them. Before the internet fueled its (dis-)information explosion, this would have been impossible.

It makes you wonder where this will go in 2019. What’s already evident is that you can’t believe your trusted news sources anymore. And it’s not a matter of some articles being true and some not; nothing published by Der Spiegel and the Guardian can be taken for granted as true from here on in, both are done as reliable news sources. Because they’ve been exposed as having lied on purpose, and only once is enough.

Same goes for many of the formerly trusted US MSM. And that should really, really make you wonder where this will take us in 2019. Truth is eroding faster than you can keep up with, and it’s your once trusted voices that lead the erosion. Where are you going to get your news? What and who can you trust?

Here’s a thought: follow the Automatic Earth. And good thing is, you don’t have to like Trump to not like where this is going. We don’t particularly like him either. We just dislike lies and fake news a whole lot more.

 

 

Home Forums Trump Derangement International

This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Professorlocknload 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #44510

    Diego Velázquez The Spinners 1655-60   Dirk Kurbjuweit, deputy editor-in-chief of Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine for the past 4 years, unwittingl
    [See the full post at: Trump Derangement International]

    #44512

    Polder Dweller
    Participant

    Thanks for writing this piece, it’s exactly what has been bothering me ever since Trump got elected. Yes, I hoped he would be elected in preference to HRC. No, I don’t agree with all his policies, but amongst friends and colleagues I am in a minority of one. The press here in Holland is unanimous: Trump is an idiot, a buffoon, a disaster, so it doesn’t matter what you say about him. I disagree; admittedly he’s no erudite, suave, well-mannered gentleman and he seems to tweet before he thinks, but he is the elected head of state of the lead country in the “free world” – and should be treated as such. He also knows that even as a billionnaire you still have to care for the little guy and that making enemies all over the world is not good for conventional business (i.e. not the war racket thing).

    #44514

    zerosum
    Participant

    If you try to get away with murdering the truth the way Der Spiegel and the Guardian have done in these two instances, who’s going to read you next time around if they want to know what really happens, and take your words as true?

    Its too late. The internet is here.
    The internet made them do it!

    #44515

    VietnamVet
    Participant

    The Elephant in the room is never discussed. There is a non-democratic global economic system on top of Nation States that has the goal of reducing government regulation and cutting taxes. Media Moguls are part and parcel of this global system. The sole purpose of an oligarch’s life is to get richer. They profit from chaos, war, exploitation and human addictions. Der Spiegel’s reporters and editors are cogs. When the Senior Senator from Oregon blames Russia for using Facebook to undermine American Democracy, this is cog TDS. The fringe NY Boss Presidential acting out threatens the global system. The paid cogs are unaware of the wheel that they keep spinning. One day the wheels will fall off, like they have done repeatedly throughout history, and will destroy the aristocrat’s wealth. Except rarely, when the Elite realize that the rule of law and providing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the people is in their own best interests. This requires the restoration of the superiority of democratic nation states over the plutocracy.

    #44516

    Maxwell Quest
    Participant

    I just posted this on Consortium News, but it is just as applicable here. It concerns the immense power that the media still has to shape the narrative and mislead the public. This monopolistic power is eroding, however, with each false story that is exposed via internet journalism. That is why, I believe, we can expect to see more heavy-handed internet censorship in the coming months.
    —-
    Your article brought to mind recent statements made by an independent Ecuadorian journalist who joined the #Unity4J Vigil of 12/21/2018 under the name José Riveria because he needed to remain anonymous. When the moderator and other panelists were inquiring as to how certain Julian Assange related stories and events were playing in Ecuador, and whether these were “penetrating down to Ecuadorian citizens as a whole”, José replied:

    “Here nothing, zero report on that. As usual, you know, no reports on all the unconstitutional things that Lenín Morena has been doing. No, nothing. I’m the only one who knows that, and I made a translation and I tweeted about it today. But there were no responses.”

    And José’s response to a Ray McGovern question:

    “Yes, that would be a good idea, but you see the problem is that the media here, all the media is blocking all our issues. Nothing of our issues is presented in the media, whether TV or newsprint. It’s a complete blockade.”

    Then a bit later José goes right to the heart of the problem:

    “The whole media belongs to the elite, because a poor person cannot have a newspaper, or a TV channel. Only a millionaire can have that. So all these millionaires, the elites, they are all close to the United States, because they have businesses there and investments in the US. So they follow the line of the United States. So it is not in their interests to have democracy the way it is supposed to be. But, you know, they keep the people of Ecuador misinformed in order to keep their interests on top of everybody else.”

    Sound familiar?

    #44518

    zerosum
    Participant

    Sound familiar?
    yes.
    The internet is not just white noise. MSM is slow
    Indonesia ….
    Turkey ….

    #44519

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Here’s a thought: follow the Automatic Earth. And good thing is, you don’t have to like Trump to not like where this is going. We don’t particularly like him either. We just dislike lies and fake news a whole lot more.

    That’s a given; keep up the splendid reportage’; and the art, definitely the art; together they will keep us free….

    #44520

    Dr. D
    Participant

    “Our safeguarding and verification processes failed.” …Which is the Editor. You. YOU are the only process in the news system. YOU failed. His response to his absolute and catastrophic failure to uphold *any* of the responsibilities of Editor — and German, and Man — sums it all up in one.

    Sabbatical? Nope. Investigate everyone, clean house? Nope. Resign? Nope. Resign with a $120M severance for sexual assault like Moonvies? Nope. Hand the lead to someone who’s NOT a complete weaseling sock-puppet? Nope.

    Deny everything.
    Admit nothing.
    Make counter-accusations.

    His counter-accusations are that the German Ambassador is a stupidhead, and in his newsroom it’s still not journalism to CALL THE SOURCE for confirmation. It’s not bad journalism to lambaste one man falsely IF you don’t also attack his whole race/color/nation. As if he doesn’t do EXACTLY THIS, by attacking Trump, as they attack every one of his supporters or 40% of the country, with slurs like “racist” “deplorable” “ignorant” “hateful” “rednecks”. Or as his fake comrade-in-arms vs working people, Jimmy Kimmel said only yesterday, all “meth heads.” Every. Story. Every. Day.

    P.S.: They noticed.

    Nope. When they dedicate EVERY cover for two years to hate — of Trump, of the people, of America — that’s not his fault. His bias is not bias, just like Jack Dorsey said, because when you’re practically perfect in every way, you’re on the side of the angels, and every lie you tell is a GOOD thing, a soldier in the service of God himself.

    Way to go Kurbjuweit, but in his tradition, I’m not going to make fun of him. No. Instead, I’m going to attack the poorest and most vulnerable Germans in Germany, who are barely hanging on, struggling for democracy against oligarchs, searching fruitlessly for news, and call them…well, you get the picture.

    Which god is he in the service of? #FireKurbjuweit.

    #44521

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Sabbatical? Nope. Investigate everyone, clean house? Nope. Resign? Nope. Resign with a $120M severance for sexual assault like Moonvies? Nope. Hand the lead to someone who’s NOT a complete weaseling sock-puppet? Nope.

    Resign with a $120M severance for sexual assault like Moonvies?

    Insiders in the U.S. WANT a war with Russia. All the left now, even Chomsky are all for it.

    https://pagesix.com/2018/12/17/cbs-will-fire-les-moonves-deny-him-120m-payout/
    Hmm, running a bit thin on facts, yes?

    #44522

    zerosum
    Participant

    Relax, Have a Merry Xmas!

    #44524

    Professorlocknload
    Participant

    “A dream….I was trying to explain to St. Peter, and was doing it in the German tongue because I didn’t want to be too explicit.” Mark Twain

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.