Getting What You Need, Part I
Radu Lupu Opens the Schumannfest

Bush and Bild and Breasts

George W. Bush can't get many breaks these days (approval ratings here), but one place he can always turn is Bild ("Picture") Germany's biggest-circulation daily tabloid newspaper. They support him foursquare, and even ran a "10 Reasons why Bush is the Better President" editorial before the 2004 elections. In Bild, German-American relations are about what they where in 1965. The big strong Amis are protecting us from lots of threats, sending us glamorous Hollywood movies, and buying our high-quality product.

Now Bild's publisher, Kai Diekmann, has gotten an exclusive invitation to the White House, a personal tour of the oval office, and a chance to interview "the world's most powerful man," as the heading has it. Here's a link to Part I of his interview. Diekmann poses some questions about foreign policy --nothing confrontational -- and a few softballs: "The U.S. economy's booming now, thanks in part to comprehensive tax cuts. Are Germans correct to be raising taxes now?" Bush answers demurely, taking credit for U.S. economic growth, but declining to give other countries advice about tax policy. He also praises Germany for having a deep horror of war and making high-quality products (good, they love that!), and admits that he never saw a single soccer match when he was a child (shocking, but disarmingly frank). Not only was Bush well-schooled for this interview, he also sounds more coherent in German than he does in English.

But here's the funny thing about this interview. Bush is, as we all know, a conservative Christian. Bild is, as we all know, a tabloid newspaper, and a pretty tangy one at that. There is a bare-breasted Page 1 girl in almost every issue of Bild, and that's just the beginning. On the same website as the Bush interview, for instance, you can also find Bild's review of a dance piece by a Belgian choreographer featuring the Korean dancer Sung-im Her. (You have to look; the website is crap).

Why is this news to Bild readers? Because the gorgeous, nubile young thing covered herself in olive oil and danced around naked, for obscure Belgian-artist reasons! Plenty of pictures, naturally! Bild's review consisted of the remark that her performance made the whole theater smell like a Greek restaurant. The headline: "Hard to Believe -- Korean Woman in Oil!" [1. Why is her race nationality so important? 2. Would, say, a Finnish woman in oil be any less surprising? An Australian? An American? --ed.]

Bild also recently featured a long, extremely graphic accounts of Eurovision Song Contest contestant Severina's "private porn video," noting that in many scenes, she could be seen "satisfying" her partner orally. The report was accompanied by with not just 1, not just 10, but 21 video stills of the lusty, buck-naked Croatian chanteuse writing in ecstasy as she was serviced "in all imaginable positions" by a "millionaire entrepreneur."  In the side-bar: "69 Things [har har] You Didn't Know about Porno-Videos!"

And I haven't even gotten to the tell-all confessions of German stars, complete with intergalactic drug binges that leave them covered in vomit in toilet stalls, relentless adultery, hot-tub orgies, alcoholic auto crashes, the whole 9 yards.  Oh, and a while back, Bild ran its own service allowing readers who wanted to cheat on their spouses to hook up with each other secretly.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have no truck with the prissy Bild-bashing so popular among the educated classes over here. Let the people have their naked, oil-covered Korean dancers, I say. For that matter, let me have them, too! 

But really, is this the sort of publication a decent Christian -- a decent Texan Christian -- would give an interview to?


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Doug K

Mark B, I think the person you're talking about was actually a Jew...

Tilman Baumann

Nice story about BILD in the Spiegel Online German Survival Bible.,1518,412021,00.html


Perhaps your readers are interested in the transcript in English:

Bild folks are hypocritical Schleimers.

What they did not print, but is this: Before the 45 minutes long interview with Bild editor Kai Diekmann started, President Bush gave him an extensive tour of the Oval Office and Diekmann told President Bush about the pledges all Bild employees have to sign: "Since September 11th, we have a new belief -- you have to be for partnership with America. Otherwise, you can't work for us, you can't come -- you have to sign it in your contract."

Bush's repsone: "My kind of guy. (Laughter.)"


Koreans dancing in oil?!!!hhehehe I wonder what kind of articles and pics they will be publishing by the Time of FIFA-World-Cup: "Antje mit Frjtes", "naked brazilian swimming in Caipirinha pool", "Kieko as sushi table". We definitely cannot take BILD´s Headlines serioulsy.


I wonder whether it sometimes doesn't come down to different kinds of temperaments and philosophy. Whether one seeks to unite and find common ground or to find fault and exclude. Clinton was an extreme example of the former. It's almost an instinct with him.

Bush tries but with him it's more learned behavior than a talent. Al Gore and Kerry were even less talented than Bush is at this kind of thing.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that one takes one's allies where one can find them. A few bare boobs and some olive oil is a small price to pay.

Bush might prefer to be allied with Der Speigel or another quality German publication but that isn't going to happen in 1000 years.


the complete interview is online here:

Mark B

Die BILD - Zeitung ist wohl das was man einen Heuchler nennt.

Ja, sie haben ihre Grundsätze (Freundschaft zu Amerika (wurde 2001 aufgenommen), Existenzrecht und Versöhnung mit Israel, Unteilbarkeit Deutschlands) an denen sie sich ausrichten. Ansonsten versucht sie - wie jede andere Zeitung auch - möglichst viel Geld zu machen. Und dazu gehören natürlich auch nackte Frauen (seit den 60ern) was aber im ausziehfreudigen Deutschland niemanden schockiert.
Schockierender sind da eher die Heucheleien - z.B. im Hinblick auf die Pornos der (wie immer sie jetz auch heißt) Schauspielerin die in "Gegen die Wand" mitspielte - die sie verurteilt und verrissen aber natürlich die Pornos selbst angeboten haben.
Dazu zählen weiterhin Versuche Politik zu machen, Minister zu stürzen (Vgl.: Die BILD - Trittin - Affäre als sie versucht haben dem (sicherlich alles andere als kompetenten, realitätsnahen oder sympathischen) Trittin anzuhängen er würde auf gewalttätigen Demos mit einem Schlagstock auftreten.

Ich könnte jetzt noch ewig so weiter machen aber BILD ist halt BILD - wer jede Schlagzeile 2 mal überprüft lebt auf jeden Fall besser ;)


I suppose that would depend upon whether said 'decent Texan Christian' was a stuffy puffed-up jerk or not. I recall another Christian (though not from Texas) who associated with a known prostitute. When taken to task about it he replied 'Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone'.

Does that answer your question?


If you went and told the BILD people this, they would be shocked, shocked! that you think they are any less papal than the pope himself., a weblog trying to correct all of Bild's mistakes, (I know, I know, "prissy Bild-bashing" and whatnot; at least these guys make it funny) once had a humorous BILD To-Do list that included "breasts on page 1, priest on page 2, horoscope on page 3".


Bild is very Christian, they print their own bible (Bild Volksbibel), have a special correspondent just for the vatican and love to denounce people's dirty sexual and drug affairs. Also they have clear journalistical and ethical guidelines.

How can you condemn someone just being creative to gain well deserved commercial success?

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