Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Apology Story

This is one of those essays where you sit and shake your head.

The state-run news media for Germany.....finally stood up last night (day five after the Koln riot episode), and had to make an apology over non-reporting.

The best they could say was that this was all based on a 'misjudgment'.  For journalists there, this story only came out to them by mid-day on Monday with the full dimensions of the episode.  But even then, there were still limits (holes in the story) that forced to hold back reporting this until Tuesday.  They wanted more interviews to carry the weight of the story....so roughly twenty-four hours was added to the production cycle.

By yesterday evening (Tuesday)....if you were looking at social media or general public comments about the state-run news media....it was extremely negative in nature.  People questioned why they were paying the TV tax for a mediocre service....why the news had to be 'fitted' in a certain way....and why it couldn't have been reported with marginal facts back on Sunday (the 3rd).

I sat and watched video of the evening in question.  There are bits and pieces that some folks captured via their smart-phones.  What you generally see is the public square around the front of the main train station in Koln, with people firing off fireworks and in some ways.....acting in a drunken state (mostly all guys).  This is probably an hour before midnight, and the big crowds had yet to arrive....but you see some behavior going on to suggest problems.  Cops?  That's the odd thing....from five or six video shots of the square.....I just never saw cops in the video of the scenes.

You would expect a dozen-odd cops to be walking the train station and square area on a night like this, and based on video being shot.....either they weren't there in force or they were on a donut-break (typical American cop behavior).

Witnesses via N24 (the commercial news media) made detailed descriptions of the events that unfolded, the dangerous nature of the thugs, and bluntly laid out a great fear of their lives.

For at least a year, opposition groups (elements of Pegida) have labeled the state-run news media as 'lying press'.  On at least a dozen occasions that I've watched....the state-run news people have defended themselves and tried to label the opposition as stupid or ill-informed.  After last night's apology about their slowness....I think the state-news media has lost more general support from the public.

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