May 27, 2005

Spiegel, I have a new Gleichschaltung topic for you!

Posted in EU, France at 10:14 pm by billdawson

[editor’s note: this post was “pasted” in — it appeared originally at the old Dawson’s Danube site, which is archived here.]
You know that Germany’s Der Spiegel and others are convinced — or, probably more accurately, pretend to be convinced — that the U.S. media is gleichgeschaltet, meaning it tows the U.S. government’s line. They like to suggest that there is no opposition media in the United States. I say “suggest”, because these intelligent German “elites” know full well that there is more variety in the U.S. media than the Germans could even dream of having in their own country.

So rather than trying to twist the truth to get the public to believe in a gleichgeschaltet American media, why doesn’t Der Spiegel turn their eyes to their neighbor and co-Big-Guy in the EU, France? Kosmoblog points out a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung piece wherein the author wonders what’s going on with the French press in the EU Constitution debate:

Kein Blatt mit einer Auflage von mehr als 50.000 Exemplaren plädiert für das Nein. Bilden die großen Medien des Landes unter dem Diktat des Staatspräsidenten eine Meinungsdiktatur, in der ausschließlich Propaganda für das Ja betrieben wird? Not a single paper with a print-run of greater than 50,000 pleads the case for the No campaign. Are the big media of France, dictated by the President, forming an opinion dictatorship (Meinungsdiktatur) to push propaganda solely for the Yes campaign?

The author has at least one very specific case in mind:

Daß in den letzten Wochen gerade beim “Figaro” ein Kurswechsel stattgefunden hat, ist jedem Leser klar. Inzwischen wird vermutet, daß der neue Besitzer der Zeitung, Serge Dassault, auf Druck von Chirac interveniert. Der Waffenhändler Dassault ist eher als Euroskeptiker bekannt und wütend auf die Polen, die amerikanische Flugzeuge kaufen. Aber das Wohlergehen seiner Firmen, dank deren Gewinnen er sein Presseimperium erwerben konnte, ist von den Aufträgen des Staates abhängig. Das mag Chirac, dessen politisches Überleben vom Ausgang der Abstimmung abhängig ist, Dassault in Erinnerung gerufen haben. Dessen siebzig Tageszeitungen plädieren in ihren Leitartikeln für das Ja. It’s clear to every reader that a change of course has occurred at “Figaro” in the last few weeks. Some suspect that the new owner of the newspaper, Serge Dassault, has intervened under pressure from Chirac. The weapons maker [i.e., arms producer] Dassault is known to be a Euro-sceptic and is angry at Poland for buying American jets. But the well-being of his company, thanks to whose profit he has been able to build a media empire, is dependent on state contracts. Chirac, whose political survival depends on the vote, could perhaps have reminded Dassault of this; his seventy [?!] daily newspapers support the Yes in their editorials.

Wow, Spiegel, take this and run with it! It’s even got defense industry overtones — a kind of French Halliburton thing.

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