Sensationalist Media During NAZI Rise Too

Discussion in 'Media' started by pal_of_poor, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. pal_of_poor

    pal_of_poor VIP Member

    Aug 14, 2009
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    This was copied from a book during the Bush administration, but is still poignant, as the media still dwells on BS, and scintillating stuff, and keeps the public's mind focused on other stuff,
    anyhoo, here it is.

    What was undermining the political press in the 1920s was, above all, the rise of the so-called “boulevard papers’, cheap, sensational tabloids that were sold on the streets, particularly in the afternoons and evenings, rather than depending on regular subscribers. Heavily illustrated, with massive coverage of sport, cinema, local news, crime scandal and sensation, these papers placed the emphasis on entertainment rather than information. Yet they, too, could have a political orientation, like Hugenberg’s (sort of a Rupert Murdoch guy in the day in Germany (post note)) Night Edition, whose circulation grew from 38,000 in 1925 to 202,000 in 1930, or Munzenberg’s World in the Evening, which boosted its sales from 12,000 in 1925 to 220,000 in 1930. By and large, the pro-Weimar press found it hard to keep up with such competition, though the liberal oriented Ullstein press empire did produce the successful Tempo (145,000 in 1930) and B Z at Midday. The Social Democrats were unable to compete in this market. It was at this level that the politics of the press had a real impact. Scandal-sheets undermined the Republic with their sensational exposure of real or imagined financial wrongdoings on the part of pro-Republic politicians; illustrations could convey the contrast with Imperial days. The massive publicity the popular press gave to murder trails and police investigations created the impression of a society drowning in a wave of violent crime. Out in the provinces, ostensibly apolitical local papers, often fed by right-wing press agencies, had a similar, if more muted effect. Hugnenberg’s press empire might not have saved the Nationalists from decline; but its constant harping on the iniquities of the Republic was another actor in weakening Weimar’s legitimacy and convincing people that something else was needed in its stead. In the end, therefore the press did have some effect in swaying the minds of voters, above all in influencing them in general way against Weimar democracy.

    The Coming of the Third Reich, by Richard J. Evans pp. 120-21

    To me, it is frightening how exactly these papers’ subject matter follows the current state of television and radio today. We have the huge media magnate Hugenberg, like Rupert Murdoch, whose posing media outlets are shoving right-wing philosophy onto the masses as if it were actual journalism, and with the pretense of fairness.

    Clearly we have a sensationalist media that is preoccupied with tabloid journalism, which is being used as 1.) a tool to obfuscate real important issues of the day 2.) a substitute for real in-depth journalism showing both sides of an issue and 3.) a less than subtle influence on the psychology of the masses, or the people in our nation. This leads to an often inaccurate view of the actual state of things. The crime issue is a good example. During the Clinton years the rate of crime steadily dropped. (I read due to passing of abortion in '73, in Freakanomics, a book of statistics of things) But if you watched the media in general, you might be afraid to leave your house.

    Man, as I reread this, the media is worse than ever.

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