- Sep 9, 2006
That is the current Spiegel cover. Spiegel is the most successful German weekly news magazine.
It reads "STOP - PUTIN - NOW!" and pictures deceased passengers of the commercial air plain famously shot down in Ukrainian air space.
I am no Russian sympathizer. I am no sympathizer of Putin.
But this cover is cock button.
From what I know the state of things is still that most likely Pro-Russian forces accidentally shot down an civilian plain. That is a text book example of collateral damage. It may demonstrate the amateurish disorganization of the Pro-Russian rebels - but that is hardly a surprise. They are rebels, after all.
From where I stand this cover is saying (paraphrasing) "PUTIN BAD, PUTIN EVIL, LOOK INNOCENT VICTIMS, EVIL PUTIN !!!111!!!"
"E V I L !!!"
I don't think I am laying it on thick here. See there are certain papers renowned for such covers. They are called yellow press.
Here is a random example of German yellow press.
Big letters, sensational headline. I think we all know the type. Yellow press is about making causal things big stories. Where content lacks, projected hyperbolic emotions are making the news. It is the lowlife of news.
Now I understand that the shot-down of the airplane is no casual thing. It is pretty spectacular in itself. However - what is casual is that civilians get accidentally shot dead in a war zone. That is just war. Messy, dirty - that is casual war to you.
But there has been an on-going trend to try to capitalize on this accident. And this cover is the prime example of propaganda from where I stand.
It shows how a respectable German news magazine - "the" German news magazine - degrades itself to a piece of low-life original yellow press running a smear campaign.
As said, I am in no Pro-Russian camp. In deed, for several reasons I have nothing but contempt for the Pax Putin.
But this is actually shocking to me. I have already grown used to smear campaigns related to the shot down Dutch air plain. But in this case a supposedly respectable German news magazine drops all pretends and goes full yellow press on Putin.
I lack words to adequately judge it. It shames me for the German media landscape.