"Are people in America often arrested for insulting the president on the Internet?"

A UK media person asked this silly question of author and Washington Post columnist, Anne Applebaum. Applebaum wrote a column judging that hatred of Bush has, in turn, slanted the reporting in the European press.

Is non-US media coverage of the US and our president slanted? Is Bush disliked because most in the non-US media are left-leaning? What role does the world’s “love-hate” relationship with the US play? Can you separate the dislike for the US from the dislike is for Bush? Are there factors that would lead the non-US media to adopt a more realistic view of the US?


december may be a lot of things, but, with 6600+ posts under his belt, I am loathe to call him a troll.

Perhaps you would like to show where in that article your explicitly quoted title comes from?

“Partly, I suspect that this extraordinary new perception of America as a vile source of human rights abuse and repression comes from London-based Americans, one of whom told me she had moved to Britain to escape George Bush’s abuses. Partly, and more legitimately, it comes from ill-judged decisions by the administration, such as the refusal to call the Guantanamo Bay captives “prisoners of war,” which happens to be what they are.”

And speaking for myself, my jaundiced view of successive American governments (note, govts, not america or americans)attitude to the human rights of non americans comes from observing their actions on the world stage for the past 40 years, it’s not new.

Don’t need no scurvy yankee traitors to incite me.

And yes, I guess most informed people here distrust and fear Bush, for good bloody reasons not out of some mythical hatred or bias.

We still love Clinton to death though. It’s just trigger-happy, draft dodging, swaggering, lying bullies we’re not that keen on.

We (as in me and people i know) don’t trust him, and we fear what the USA on the world stage is becoming on his watch and we resent the hell out of the idea that the USA is above the law, able to attack whoever it pleases on whatever pre-emptive self-defence pretext will float long enough to get the bullets flying.

We hate his disregard for international law and we hate the sheer bloody arrogance of the Project for the New American Century. And we hate the hypocritical use of world trade agreements to protect american industries while forcing open foreign markets. I could go on and on.

All perfectly rational, not irrational hatred. We get no bloody say in what he does yet we have to live with the results. Even our own govt ignored overwhelming pre-war opinion to drag us in on his sordid little piece of geo-political warmongering. What else can we do but hate?

Yet we like americans and like some TV and films. No contradiction there.

I note you use an opinion piece as your “evidence”. Still, to give my answers to your questions:

Yes. All media is biased. Some of it more so that others, and in different directions. Some media coverage is slanted favourably to the US or Bush, and some slanted against it.

No. He is disliked because of the foreign policy decisions his administration has taken.

Not sure. This is the first i’ve heard that the world has a love-hate relationship with the US. The US is diverse, and the vast majority of people like certain things about the US, while disliking others. Is this what you mean?

Whose dislike are we talking about here? If mine, then yes. I don’t dislike the US as a whole, or americans generally, but i do dislike Bush.

This is a slightly silly question. Show me a news organisation/journalist that doesn’t have a realistic view of the US and i’ll suggest something.

It’s his speciality. Opinion, fact, mere blog spotting? All of a piece.

What does it mean to say that most in the non-US media are “left-leaning”? If, by this, you mean that the non-US media are considerably to the left of their viewers/readers, can you demonstrate this? If you mean that both the media and the viewer/readers are considerably to the left of the U.S. then isn’t it a little silly to call this “left-leaning”? The question should more be “Is Bush disliked because the U.S. political scene has moved so far to the right?”

Which is the more hysterically funny statement:

Bush, “a fully paid-up conservative”


“We still love Clinton to death though. It’s just trigger-happy, draft dodging, swaggering, lying bullies we’re not that keen on.”*

*Talk about your love-hate relationships. :smiley:

Oh, piffle, jshore. It is obvious that the US leans to the right compared to the average European country, and that, conversely, the average European country leans to the left compared to the US. I see no reason whatsoever to say that one persepective is valid and the other’s not. I must have missed the memo that went out and established that current European political thought is defined to be centrist. Has the political climate in the US shifted rightwards? Undoubtedly. Does this mean that the overall European political climate is not leftist? Well, that rather depends on what one defines as a reference, doesn’t it?

That said, I suspect mooka has pretty much nailed it, and it’s a silly debate.

I wish you would because you’ve mirrored my opinions perfectly and many many other “leftish” :rolleyes: Europeans IMO.

*Originally posted by tagos *
Perhaps you would like to show where in that article your explicitly quoted title comes from?

Wait a sec, that second sentence cancels out the first, since Clinton also lied, swaggered, draft-dodged and so on.

I am certain that the exceedingly silly question in the title reflects only one asinine European’s ignorance and not the opinions of Europeans in general. Certainly the EuroDopers seem to be a sensible bunch not given to wild generalizations about the US and its citizens, and they have heretofore demonstrated that they can separate their distaste for our present foreign policy from their general approbation of Americans.

there was a good analysis in the NY Times a couple days ago (in Thomas L. Friedman’s column)

He said that the reason so many people all over the world hate Bush , and Americans in general, is that America now affects their personal lives MORE than their own government. They can’t vote for or against the US President, and they may find themselves forced into fighting a war that they have no say in. So people fear they are losing control.

Good example: on the first day of the fighting in Iraq, a major newspaper in France (Le Monde) headlined “the American war has begun”. Not the Iraqi war, or the middle-east war, or Operation Desert Storm has begun–the AMERICAN war. They could have said “Saddam’s war”–(after all, he was the one who violated UN resolutions)but they didn’t. The U.S government was affecting French citizens personally , and they felt fear and resentment.

I’m not sure Clinton was a bully quite the way Bush is. Certainly if he was, it was not a MUCH less grand scale. Still, I’m no Clinton fan, and he was definitely a price of liars - can’t really defend him against much of anything (not that I’d normally try). Is there really anything less than legit about his student defement, though?

gobear pointed it out first, but it bears repeating:

Clinton sent more troops to more parts of the world, than any other president before him.

He dodged the draft.

He swaggared (this is said rather tounge in cheek, since i am not even sure what swaggering is)

He lied (and lied, and lied, and lied, and lied, and lied, and lied, ad infinitum)

He bullied (or at least, his administration did).

So, tell me, why is Clinton so loved, and Bush so hated, when using these standards (please don’t say anything about Iraq, or WMD’s, only using these standards that you put forth)?

We need a decembré :wink:

Not to answer someone else’s question, but the ‘personality’ difference between the two presidents (and their administrations) is vast. Clinton was a liar, but he was a smart man who at least acted like he was willing to listen. Like him or don’t, he would NEVER have been as presumptuous and blustering as Bush has been. He didn’t have a Rumsfeld around either.

Bush is also a liar, but I think he comes across as a wanna-be cowboy who dictates what everybody else should do and flagrantly ignores international opinion. Like PNAC, he doesn’t seem to think America should have to listen to anyone else. I don’t think he’s considered the brightest bulb in the box, either.
Whether these are true or not - though I dare anybody to defend some of them - I think that’s how he’s seen. It’s caricature to a degree, but in principle I don’t have an objection to it. If any Europeans disagree, please feel free to correct me.

Cite, please.

Moderator’s Note: Please see our FAQ on Trolling.

Don’t do that again.


I was lured in here by your title, which seems to have almost nothing to do with your OP. So, I’m going to address your title.

The title is not as outrageous as it sounds. Quite a few posters here have said they are fearful of being arrested for talking too opennly against the gov’t. I even made a cyber bet with someone on this board whether he or she would be interrogated by the FBI for his or her posting here. Can’t remember who it was, but it was about 4 months ago, and the bet was that the person would come back in here and retract his or her statement if he or she had not been arrested or interrogated in 6 months time (from the original post) and that I would do the same if he or she was. This person was quite serious.

Well, here’s something from the “World Socialist Web Site,” (the veracity of which I will not comment upon) written in 1999: