May 30, 2016
“One day our patience will come to an end and then the insolent Jews will have their lying mouths shut for them!” – Joseph Goebbels
The German mind is hard for an outsider to grasp. I tend to believe there is a lot of doubt – at least in the minds of the men – but that they are afraid to voice it, even in opinion polls.
So a poll of German views on whether or not the media is accurately reporting on the refugee crisis is useful, as it isn’t a direct question about the refugees, but instead the question is directed at the media, which people tend to naturally hate, while also addressing the question of refugees.
According to polls, 40 percent of Germans believe the media are not credible. And the loudest of them all, people like Tatjana Festerling, an organizer with the anti-immigrant, Islamophobic PEGIDA movement, have even taken to calling on the public to get out the pitchforks to chase journalists out of newspaper offices.
The criticism is mainly directed at reporting on the refugee crisis. According to a recent survey by the Allensbach Institute, a respected German polling firm, only a quarter of Germans believe that the media paint a correct picture of the level of education and share of women and children among incoming refugees.
Large numbers of people also believe the government is influencing the media (this is a confirmed fact).
In a poll conducted for North Rhine-Westphalia public broadcaster WDR in late October, more than 40 percent agreed with the statement that the state and the government influence reporting. And one in five respondents felt the term “lying press” was justified.
Data from the Allensbach Institute reflects how much Germans’ trust in the media has changed in the last 25 years. The result: surprisingly little. In regular surveys in the two decades after German reunification, a consistent 30 to 40 percent of respondents said they had considerable or a great deal of trust in “the newspapers.” That value has remained relatively constant over the years. Since 2012, it has even increased to more than 45 percent.
Nevertheless, it does seem disconcerting that more than half of Germans have little or no trust in the media.
Maybe this doesn’t mean much.
But I get excited at any sign that Germans could be waking up.
That the Lion may be ready to rise.