Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Other German TV Report

There's a lot of blogospheric fuss about the "ZDF tape", the German TV report that describes relief equipment and personnel rolling up to Biloxi immediately before George W. Bush was due to visit and rolling right away again once he left. Everyone's being terribly careful, Tim Ireland went so far as to ring up ZDF and get confirmation, but no-one has picked up on the *second* tape...

Because, on the same day in Biloxi, there was another German TV crew in town, from ARD in Hamburg. ARD is roughly equivalent to BBC1 in Germany. ZDF(for Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) is a second publicly-funded channel independent of ARD, analogous to Channel 4 in the UK. Their reporter, Christine Adelhardt, can be viewed here saying exactly what ZDF's report says - and then some. She describes Bush's convoy driving up, and diggers (Bagger in German) suddenly arriving and beginning to clear rubble from the streets whilst emergency services search the streets - uselessly, she says, because all the survivors are in the town centre - and then pulling out once the motorcade leaves. She remarks that the president is travelling with a Pressetross - a tail of pressmen - and that they got "schöne Bilder" (beautiful pictures), and concludes by saying that "not only did the scale of the destruction shock me, but the scale of the Inszenierung shocked me even more - now, back to Hamburg." "Inszenierung" translates into English as mise en scene...let's try that again! It translates into English as staging or stage-management.

That makes two independent sources, and two independent sources equals a "go". I'll post a full translation later today..

Update, I've finally got around to transcribing and translating the thing, so here goes...
[ARD Studio]
ANCHOR: ...and now with the latest news on the situation [zum letzten Stand], Christine Adelhardt reports live from Biloxi.

[handover to reporter]

ADELHARDT to camera: Two minutes ago the President drove by in his convoy. What went on [hat sich abgespielt] in Biloxi today has been really unbelievable, unbelievable [wirklich unglaublich, unglaublich]...

[images of rubble]
Suddenly recovery units [Raumtrupps] and earthmoving vehicles appeared [auftauchen - could also be "turned up" or "showed up" or literally, "surfaced"] everywhere - we hadn't seen anything like that all day. And this in an area where it was in fact unnecessary, because there were no people for miles around. [weit und breit lebt kein Mensch] The people are all in the town centre.

The president is travelling with an entourage of pressmen [a Pressetross], and this entourage got beautiful pictures [schöne Bilder] that said "the President was here, and help came with him" [der Präsident war hier, und die Hilfe ist auch mit ihm gekommen].

The scale of the natural catastrophe shocked me, but the scale of the stage-management [Inszenierung] shocked me just as much.

And with that, back to Hamburg[where ARD's studios are located]."

[Handover to studio. Ends.]


Anonymous said...

Bush is surely reprehensible, but the media going along with this obvious fraud is appalling. I can't say surprising, but appalling.

Gary said...

First of all, ARD and ZDF are the equivalent of the BBC. ZDF could be compared to BBC2 but it is just as good as the ARD but has to live in the shadows of the ARD. Channel 4 - no way.
Your translation is good if not perfect. What she also said (not shown but written about) was that a stand that was built (in this area) to hand out rations and clothing was closed down as soon as Bush was gone. Christine Adelhardt has been interviewed by just about every single TV Station over here in Germany since and she has said that she could have said something else but just couldn't have done it because she is a reporter. Regards Wugsy, Yorkshire expat.

Anonymous said...

I'm from the USA and its amazing that the President is so used to doing this stage management thing that he can't stop himself from trying to make himself look great, even at a disaster site. The man knows no shame. But the fact is that he is a wimp and a very bad president. It's ironic that just a few short months ago Bush cut one of his many his vacations short and flew back to Washington to sign legislation affecting just one white woman who had been brain-dead for over 14 years, so that her life could be prolonged. But the people dying in Louisiana get his attention after the fact, and his first response to any of the devastation was to fly OVER it 2 days after it happened. Please, Europe, help us out by more honest news reports like this one!

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