While going over the Danish news this morning I came across this photo:
The caption says “When thousands of people stormed Congress, 138 officers were injured in the fight. Five people died during the storm itself or in the days following, as a result of the fighting.”
The caption is a lie. It is an untruth. It is the-thing-that-is-not.
Even Wikipedia, which is hardly a repository of MAGA talking points, describes the five deaths matter-of-factly:
Five people died either shortly before, during, or following the event: one was shot by Capitol Police, another died of a drug overdose, and three died of natural causes. Many people were injured, including 138 police officers. Four officers who responded to the attack died by suicide within seven months.
The one death that can be directly attributed to the events of January 6 was the shooting of the unarmed Ashli Babbitt by a capitol police officer. The only killer on January 6 was the U.S. government.
The picture is included in an article about the various legal cases stacked up against Donald Trump (“A ‘legal nightmare of huge proportions’ awaits Trump. He has one way out, says the correspondent.)”
The “one way out” described in the article is for Trump to win the presidential election and shut the various investigations down.
The article appears in Berlingske Tidende. The correspondent being cited is Jacob Heinel, identified as “Berlingske’s US correspondent.” Does that mean Mikkel Danielsen has parted ways with the paper? No such luck: Danielsen’s his new title is Nyhedssouschef, which translates to something like “Deputy director of the news division.” Given Danielsen’s track record as Berlingske’s US correspondent, I don’t think that bodes well for Berlingske’s standards of journalism. (For all I know, his new duties may include the approval of photo captions.)
It certainly doesn’t look like we can look forward to any improvement in Berlingske’s coverage of America from Heinel:
Whether Donald Trump will win the election is, of course, impossible to predict at this time. Berlingske’s correspondent nevertheless gives it a shot:
“There is a probability or risk—depending on how you look at it—that he will win, but I don’t think there is much to suggest that it will happen,” he says.
Is there also a risk that Biden will win, depending on how we look at it?
That’s certainly how I look at it: I consider a Biden win in 2024 a huge risk for America and the world.
But is it appropriate for a journalist, a US correspondent writing for a major Danish news daily, to speak of the re-election of a former US president as a risk?
Yeah, sure, he tossed off the “depending on how you look at it” parenthetical to suggest he was just conveying how different camps might view a Trump re-election, but I’ve never seen such a formulation applied to any other presidential candidate in any establishment Danish news outlet.
But never mind all that: let’s get back to the photo caption.
If even Wikipedia is now capable of acknowledging that the dread insurrectionists of January 6th were not responsible for a single death, why can’t Berlingske?
It gets back to the question that’s become the central thread of this blog: what value are Danish news media providing by feeding Danes a view of America defined exclusively by the American left?
I can understand American media biasing their coverage of America, and I can understand Danish media biasing their coverage of Denmark. But how does it help Denmark, how does it even help leftist Denmark, to clap an American Leftism filter over the lens whenever the camera is trained on America?
Aren’t even Danish communists better served by understanding the reality of America rather than one side’s view of it?
I’m actually contemplating shutting this blog down because in three years of covering the Danish media’s misrepresentations of America I haven’t seen a single sign that anyone in the Danish news establishment is at all concerned about it. In America at least the bias of the press is a topic of debate across the political spectrum: the left gets frothy talking about the distortions of Fox News, talk radio, and the rise of alternative conservative media; the right remains critical of the almost monolithically leftist establishment media: the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNCBC, NPR, PBS, and the old networks. Both sides agree that bias is unhelpful if not actually destructive, they just disagree on where that bias is most pronounced. (The bias is everywhere in American news, on both sides, and is only problematic where it isn’t acknowledged.)
So maybe it’s time to accept that the Danish media have no interest in covering America as anything but an outgrowth of the Democratic Party and move on.