I’m an expatriot living in Germany and for the last 4 years I have watched in horror as my country sank into land divided by politics and philosophies. Before the 2000 elections I was pretty much apolitical, not caring one way or another and saw the two major political parties the US as pretty much the same. All that changed during the 2000 elections and since then I have become a news junkie, reading everything about U.S. domestic and foreign policies, trends, and what not. For me it is clear who should not be president of the U.S. after the November 2 elections, but it seems a much harder decision for most Americans living domestically because the lack of an unbiased media. Because of this and other factors, this puts Bush neck-to-neck with Kerry in a race to the finish. After reading an article in an online magazine (“Asians want Bush out of office” from Monday 18 October 2004 Dawn.com) it occurred to me the world is also divided about this issue even though it doesn’t have the same media bias as in the U.S. I figure since this is a multi-national forum that this would be a neat place to find out your thoughts and feeling about this issue. I understand that I might be breaking some rule here by mixing politics with learning, but I feel that this is an important enough issue, not only for Americans, but for the rest of the world as well. I look forward to your answers,
Thank you for bringing up this interesting question.
We are learning English because we want to get a clearer view on what is going on around us and the upcoming presidential elections are definitely an important issue for anyone who speaks English. You say that the US media are [color=blue]biased. Why do you think this is so? Also, how do you know the American media are not unbiased?
As an US-expatriate you have the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. Do you think the Germans are more interested in politics than the Americans are?
I know this question is not easy to answer but then again we are here to learn and this conversation is an excellent opportunity to practise and improve our English. Thanks in advance.
TOEIC listening, question-response: You still have my business card, don’t you?[YSaerTTEW443543]
Hey Torsten, sorry anout the long pause, but I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off and now I’ve caught a cold. Anyway, to answer your questions before I fall into bed with a nice cup of tea, the main reason why the American media is biased is…it is mostly owned by people who are Bush supporters. That means that they are out to try to make Bush look as rosy as possible despite what is really going on. The biggest culprit is Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch who is a major supporter of Bush. Most Americans get their news from this station. Another problem is that half of Americans don’t read newspapers. That that makes it easier to control what they think. If you can imagine, most American will watch at least 4-6 hours of TV a day! What is on TV is mostly stuff that is aimed at scaring them, like killer dogs that were once nice house pets, or a man’s whose neighbor was a terrorist. They believe what they see. They don’t spend the time to read and question. If you were to give them a newspaper, like the New York Times, they would say, “Hah!, I will not read that LIBERAL garbage.” You’ll find that people who are educated and read are less influenced by the media and, although they may be conservative, they will not agree with Bush. The other reason for the media being Biased is that after September 11 it became taboo to say anything against Bush or the war because that was considered “unpatriotic”. So you had a lot of journalists who were fired or whose careers were ruined because they spoke their minds. This made the media bend towards Bush and his people. Even the Dixi Chicks, who are a very famous rock group, had to stop saying what they felt because people stopped booking them and buying their music. It is a scary time in many ways. I’m glad that Howard Dean, the Governor of Vermont came on to the scene last year and started a campaign against Bush, which Kerry, the present presedential candidate is now continuing. Without Dean, there would have been no criticism, except in the Blogs.
That’s probably more than you wanted to know.
Have a nice evening everyone.
Hey Torsten, about who is more interested in politics, the Germans or the Americans, I would say it would have to be the Germans. I’ve noticed that they aren’t necessarily inerested in their own politics. Germans tend to be dreamers and romanticists who get involved in the politics of the country which interests them the most, whereas the Americans typically are not so interested in their own politics and almost never interested in another country’s. This might have changed for this election because they feel it is important, or even life threatening! (The political adds are now saying if you vote for the other guy, America will be attacked.) I think everyone has been forced to choose a side and is prepared to defend it, even if they are largely uninformed.-RAR
Expatriots, tend to become more patriotic because they see the potntial of their own country and are forced every day to reevaluate it. This makes them more open to criticism and discusion. This I suppose does not apply to large groups of American living in an isolated community because they become immune to outside ideas. In general, Expats seem to be more aware of their surroundings and are both very involved in local as well and American politics.
Sorry to bother you guys again with politics but…Here is something which I found in my junkmailbox. It is an excerpt from a conservative online newspaper which my crazy aunt (she has 28 dogs living in her house) signed me up for to try to “inform me of my evil ways”. You will notice the language and the imagery which they use to scare you into making a decision- this is common for conservative/republican publications.
For undecided voters (and anyone who thinks John Kerry is fit for
Perhaps the most instructive question that can be asked regarding the
upcoming presidential election is this: Given the chance, would Saddam
Hussein, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, Osama bin Laden, Kim Jong-Il, Mohammad
Khatami, Moammar al-Ghadafi and Hu Jingtao vote for A) George Bush, or
B) John Kerry? How would Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder and Kofi
Annan vote? If you answered “B,” put a big shiny star by your name.
Now – for whom (and with whom) are YOU voting?
(The above comment is from The Federalist Patriot No. 04-40. The Patriot is the most widely subscribed e-journal on the Internet. Get your subscription today – it’s FREE by e-mail. Link to – FederalistPatriot.com/subscribe/ )
Thank you very much for contributing your views on the current situation in the US and on politics in general. You know at this point there might be only small number of people asking questions here on our forum but there are lots of users from all around the world who follow our conversations so it’s not just a dialogue between you and me - it’s the start of an ongoing discussion.
Over the next few weeks we expect the forum to become more alive and then everything you have been writing here will even gain in importance.
You have made a number of statements that we should all take into consideration:
So, you call Fox News [color=blue]culprits because they support Bush. To be honest, I like that idea (calling Fox News a culprit - (someone who does something wrong) because I truely believe that there a lots of Americans who are by far more capable of ruling the US than George W. Bush.
But what other US broadcasting companies such as CNN. Would you call them bias too?
I’m afraid this is true for most people in highly industrialized countries. Take a close look at what is going on here in Germany: Millions of people spend hours every day in front of the TV watching insane shows suchs as Get me out of here - I’m a star!
A large portion of our population is no longer willing to use their brains in a conscious way. That’s the very reason why people like George W. Bush can rule the world.
OK, now what about people like Michael Moore? Have you seen Farenheit 9/11 or read books such as Stupid White Men? And then there are bands like R.E.M. who are at least trying to raise awareness for political issues. As I said before, in my opinion Bush has only been able to get into the White House because a huge percentage of all Americans have become too complacent and indifferent.
Well, this is probably because of the different historical background both nations have. In a certain way the US has grown faster than European countries, that’s why Americans are more focussed on their own politics. Also, the US basically is surrounded by two countries with Canada being a close partner. Germany is bordered to the north by Denmark, to its east by Poland and the Czech Republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland and to its west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands - that’s 9 countries so the Germans do have an interest in knowing what is going around them.
But again, you will always know as much as you want to know. With the Internet available in almost any corner of the world you have the opportunity to meet people, to listen to them, to ask them questions and communicate with them - that’s the best and most reliable source of information - people. Get it straight from the horse’s mouth. Always ask yourself this question: What exactly is power and how is it exercised and maintained?
Speaking of power - how is our TOEIC prep course coming along? Did you read
this thread by Jose from Spain? Maybe, we can get our folks onto this forum so they can apply their knowledge first hand? Also, how did you class in Stuttgart go? Any new experiences and teaching ideas? Let us know what is going on.
TOEIC listening, talks: Potential byer leaves voice message expressing his interest in purchasing a used car advertised online[YSaerTTEW443543]