While some newspapers and magazines run very critical or even Anti-American opinion pieces, some of them also write very pro-American commentaries: "America: The Misunderstood World Power" is the headline of an article in the travel section of arguably Germany's most influential newspaper. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ, in German) argued on November 18, 2006 that everybody who spends holidays in America, returns with an "image of the friendliest nation of the world," because:
In hotels visitors are treated as if they have left home for the first time; walk into any store and you are received like a family member; before ordering in a restaurant you are invited to be on a first name basis with the wait staff; and if you need to ask for directions at a gas station, you may find yourself exchanging life stories with the attendant. This combination of the pioneer spirit of helping your neighbor and the business practice of taking customer service seriously has developed into a type of openness which I would not hesitate to characterize as the realization of Kant's categorical imperative.According to the FAZ, the only reason, why America has an image problem, is that there are still people who have not traveled somewhere between San Francisco and New York. Those people's image of America is shaped by Kyoto, Guantanamo, Iraq war and Abu Ghraib. A recent opinion poll in 17 countries concluded that Americans are considered materialistic, arrogant, loud, and lacking interest in other cultures. To change this perception, America should encourage more people to travel to the United States, says Keith Reinhard in the FAZ article. Reinhard has founded the Business for Diplomatic Action initiative. [Thanks to David for the translation]
Clive Davis on : ANYTHING TO DECLARE?
Another e-mail on sour-faced officialdom at airports:Surely a discussion between Americans and Europeans about the relative awfulness of the immigration experience is the definition of pointless - neither of you can possibly know what the other is talking about. As
Atlantic Review on : Positive and Negative News about America in the German Media
While there is a lot of negative media coverage of the United States and some stereotyping of Americans, there are also positive news stories in the German media. Recently the Atlantic Review wrote about a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) article, whi