Monday, September 19, 2005

International Herald Tribune - NYT of Europe

Mrs. Salamander once described the IHT as, "That Liberal Rag," and so it is. Aping its mother's (NYT owns it) bad habits, the paper's bias seep out of the editorial page and onto the front page on a regular basis.

The 19 SEP copy is a perfect example. Above the fold Katrin Bennfold blathers on about the German election. Remember, the CDU received ~1% more than the SDP, but who are the first three people Katrin interviews?
"It was more a question of voting against someone, rather than in favor of anyone," said Antje Busknowitz, 32, an art historian on maternity leave.

"It was more a question of voting against someone, rather than in favor of anyone," said Antje Busknowitz, 32, an art historian on maternity leave.

She chose Gerhard Schröder, the Social Democrat chancellor. Steffen Patz, her partner and father of their 10-month-old daughter, said he spent 15 minutes in the voting booth before choosing the Greens, Schröder's coalition partners of the past seven years.

"The problem is that there are now so few differences between the big parties that the result won't really change very much," said Patz, 34, a computer specialist who grew up in the former East Germany.
"I never cared about politics but this time I really felt I have to go vote - there is too much at stake," said David Mehlhorn, a 27-year-old unemployed musician who had never voted before in any election. He chose the extreme Left Party which broke with Schröder's Social Democrats to fight this election.
Those are the three that represent the German electorate? They maybe represent Katrin's poetry appreciation group, but not Germany. A Socialist, an Earth-Firster, and a Communist. Nice Katrin. It is almost as if there isn't a soul that voted to the right of centerline. She does find one Merkel voter, but only for feminist reasons.
Margit Duppre, a 56-year-old who owns a high-technology company with her husband, by contrast allowed her support of a woman becoming chancellor to sway her for Merkel.

"That was one big reason to vote for her," she said.
IHT, your mom must be so proud. You make her look quite "Fair and Balanced."
UPDATE:If you want to read something worthwhile about the German elections and what they mean to the U.S., read John Fund's
Der Stillstand
. Here is a taste.
The late economist Mancur Olson argued that the downfall of democracy would be its tendency to calcify into special-interest gridlock. Germany's extensive welfare state has created millions of voters who fear the loss of any benefits. Combine that with voters in eastern Germany who cling to outmoded notions of state support and you have an formidable challenge to bring about real reform.

"The lesson for America is do not go down the road as far as Germany has," says Horst Schakat, a German who created a series of successful businesses in California for 30 years but retired to his native land in 2001. "You may find yourself unable to go down a different but correct path once too many people have become dependent on the state."

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