It’s doubtful Spiegel whether will ever recover its credibility now that it was revealed one of its star reporters had been fabricating stories for years.
The extent of the news fabrication is no better illustrated than in the case of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where now disgraced journalist Claas Relotius invented stories with the aim of viciously smearing rural American Trump voters as contemptible, small-minded, gun-toting, right-wing religious rednecks. And, sadly, most Spiegel readers lapped it up.
The Spiegel piece on Fergus Falls, like so many others, was a fictional wonder. Yet, Fergus Falls fought back as Medium.com writers Michele Anderson and Jake Krohn wrote how there were “so many lies” that they “had to narrow them down to top 11 most absurd lies” and that even “a child could figure out in a Google search.”
How could this have gotten by Spiegel editors?
Now the leftist German weekly finds itself in a fight for its life and is desperately scrambling to control the rapidly spreading damage. The strategy so far appears to be to make Relotius look as if he was just an isolated renegade within an organization of otherwise highly professional and objective media outlet, and now Spiegel is moving quickly and decisively!
“Racist anti-Americanism” …”cliche-filled stories”
But this is just not credible. Relotius is only the tip of the fake news iceberg.
The fabricated stories by Relotius went on for years and involved dozens of major articles. The problem at Spiegel is not just a single journalist getting out of line, but rather the German weekly having a long history of delivering one-sided, distorted activist news reports. It’s been in the Spiegel genome for years.
Relotius is only the tip of the overall sentiment in a leftist newsroom that has long despised the American conservative heartland. The shooting star journalist was merely a reflection of Spiegel’s institutionalized, overzealous anti-Americanism.
Medium.com reader Hula Ink commented:
Spiegel is known for its strong, nationalist, even racist Anti-Americanism — cliche-filled derogatory stories about America are not unusual in its pages.
It’s not a surprise that this guy got away with lying about everything (not only his America articles) — he told Spiegel editors exactly what appealed to them.”
Another NTZ PhD reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent a comment by e-mail:
How on earth did Relotius think he was going to get away with this stuff? Truth is, prior to the Internet, he probably would have, given that few if any of the town’s residents would have seen the article, which flatters the prejudices of liberal Europeans, and if they had seen it, who would have heard their protest?”
German mainstream media no better than Spiegel
More sad is that Spiegel is in reality no better or worse than most major German and European news outlets, who have long ago declared open-season on conservative American values.
Though most avoid outright fabrication of malicious stories, they are fully engaged in one-sided journalism and half-truths with the aim of cultivating anti-conservative America sentiment.
Climate science skeptics censored
No issue exposes this more than climate science and policy. For example, both the BBC and LA Times have declared not to provide a forum to climate skeptics. The German mainstream media routinely characterize and insult climate science skeptics as ignorant “deniers” from the rightwing fringes.
Climate denial mafia
One egregious example of half-truth journalism was Die Zeit’s 2012 feature story on climate science skepticism dubbed: “The Climate Warriors, How industry paid PR managers for years have convinced the world that global warming is not taking place. The chronology of organized lies” by Anita Blasberg and Kerstin Kohlenberg.
In this one-sided hit piece, Blasberg and Kohlenberg relied solely on carefully selected “facts” to tailor a narrative that the climate denial movement was orchestrated by climate Godfather Marc Morano and Big Oil. The authors won awards for their “investigative” piece.
Critics of Spiegel are just as bad
Even the critics of the latest Spiegel affair can’t help but to resort to half truths and falsehoods on the airwaves. Yesterday morning, for instance, NDR public radio interviewed a media professor who complained that the fabricated Spiegel stories “played right into the hands” of climate skeptics, who, he said, “deny climate change”.
The fact however is that 1) climate science skeptics don’t deny climate change, 2) they agree that man has an impact on climate, but in a more modest way and 3) skeptics don’t believe it is a crisis to humanity.
In short, skeptics just don’t buy into the mass hysteria.
And the German media wonder why they have been labeled by many as the “Lügenpresse“.