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Monday, September 19, 2005

Germany: "Media chancellor" accusing the media of bias

Gerhard Schröder, known as the "media chancellor" for his skill in using the media to his political advantage, accused the media of manipulation, reports Financial Times Deutschland. In a TV round table on election eve he said yesterday that his party, the SPD, has reached their result despite media power and media manipulation and that he has campaigned against the media that were critical towards him. Schröder also insulted CDU candidate Angela Merkel saying that she is not capable of leading a grand coalition and argued with the moderators of the TV debate. After the surprising election results the conservative CDU has only a narrow lead in a hung parliament (see here for election results).

The German Journalist Union DJV requested that Schröder retracts his accusation of partisan reporting. Schröder has, among other things, criticized the uncritical reporting about polls showing a winning margin of the conservative CDU. DJV chairman Michael Konken said in the Financial Times Deutschland that to report about polls continuously is a chronicler's duty and that the media reported broadly and fairly about the election campaign.

Siegfried Weischenberg, media scientist and former DJV chairman, said that the media had committed themselves too early to a win of CDU candidate Angela Merkel. He said in the Financial Times Deutschlandthat there was a "liaison of the media with pollsters" and that poll results were presented too much as final results. He claimed that pollsters and journalists should be more careful with poll results. Communication scientist Frank Brettschneider said that Schr?der's behavior pointed to a "loss of reality combined with certain delusions of grandeur".

New York Times correspondent Mark Landler said on Netzeitung that the media were not careful enough with poll results. "The media should have made clear that the situation is unclear." But he also said that he can't understand why the "media chancellor" is attacking the media.

Sources (all in German): Netzeitung, n-tv, Financial Times Deutschland, DJV

Posted by Anna-Maria Mende on September 19, 2005 at 06:29 PM | Permalink


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ok we need % of votes each pary got. the names of the issues they will be discussing, and partys they will be coalitioning with. and we also need to know who won. all that good stuff.
german is kool

Posted by: nikki & bryce at Sep 20, 2005 1:02:56 AM