In a recent article that appeared in Der Spiegel we find that the editors are “shocked, shocked,” about Halloween portrayals of Obama as a zombie with a bullet wound in the head. The piece is a classic of its kind, and follows a familiar MO. Spiegel headlines are often scurrilous misrepresentations of the truth, especially in matters touching on the US. The editors then “correct” the disinformation somewhere in the body of the article that follows, well aware that many visitors to their site never look beyond the headlines.
In this case, the headline blames the entire Republican Party for the pic: “Republicans Portray Obama as Zombie with a Head Wound.” Those patient enough to glance at the byline discover the news is rather less sensational. Only the Republicans in the State of Virginia are to blame: “Republicans in the US State of Virginia issued an invitation portraying Barack Obama as a zombie with a head wound.” But wait, there’s more! Those curious enough to actually read the article find that only the Republicans in a single one of the thousands of US counties are to blame: “In the race for the White House, the Republicans of Loudoun County in the US State of Virginia seem to have overshot the target.” The article never does quite get to the real truth: that the zombie portrayal was the bright idea of a single imbecile, who has since resigned after being denounced by the rest of the Republicans in the Loudoun County Committee.
No matter, the editors shake their heads sadly over the regrettable affair, noting that it has,
…inspired great outrage. “Repulsive” and “disgusting” are only a few of the comments about the picture of the President.
They should know. They’re experienced in such matters. Here’s a portrayal of another US President that appeared on the cover of Der Spiegel a few years back.