Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Is the German press having its Jeff Gerth moment?

Jeff Gerth's first front-page story on the Whitewater pseudoscandal in the New York Times in 1992 represents an historical turning-point in American "quality" journalism. Gene Lyons told the sad story in Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater (1996).

The German press - the "quality" press like Spiegel included - has been in a tizzy over a video of Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis which someone making a humorous music video about him doctored to make it look like he was flipping the bird to Germany during a speech.

A TV interviewer sprang the video on Varoufakis during an interview, going for a Meet the Press style "gotcha" moment. Varoufakis denied that he had made such a gesture during the speech in 2013 from which the film excerpt was taken.

The maker of the video, Jan Böhmermann, has now publicly verified that the flipping-the-bird moment was doctored into the scene: Christoph Meyer, Varoufakis bei Günther Jauch: Böhmermann: Wir haben den Stinkefinger gefälscht Süddeutsche Zeitung 18.März.2015.

The German press is starting to indulge their Jeff Gerth/Clinton pseudoscandal inclinations. This is a sad thing for their readers and viewers.

Here is Böhmermann explaining how he did it, Varoufakis and the fake finger #varoufake | NEO MAGAZIN ROYALE mit Jan Böhmermann - ZDFneo 18.03.2015:

This is Böhmermann's video, which is pretty funny (though maybe a little too much bad taste in one or two places), V for Varoufakis 25.02.2015:

No comments: