Almost ignored, almost overlooked

This piece of news was buried at the bottom of page 2 of the daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende Monday (sorry, no link to the actual item) and was almost overlooked:

A poll conducted by Zapera on behalf of the “think tank of news” Mandag Morgen that was carried out on April 24 – 25 showed that 41 per cent of Danes support that Danish troops should stay in Iraq as long as it may be necessary, while 25 per cent want their stay to be fixed by a certain period, whereas only 30 per cent want them withdrawn immediately. Thus, two thirds support our troops in Iraq and less than a third wants them out.

Imagine if it had been the other way around. It would have hit the front page. As it is, you can’t even find it on DR (the Danish equivalent to the BBC in respect of public service, oh, and bias of course).

Last year in January, a similar poll was spun by adding the take-them-home-now crowd with the take-them-home-within-a-fixed-period-of-a-year-or-more bunch, which made it possible to suggest that a majority of Danes were against Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen, because he wanted them to stay as long as necessary. But in fact, the take-them-home crowd was even smaller then, some 22 per cent, while 76 per cent supported keeping the troops. A few bought it, though. Here’s a quote from The Economist, Full Fogh Forward (Feb. 3rd, 2005) (restricted):

Public opinion has swung against the Iraq war, and two-thirds of Danes want their 500 troops home soon, …

Well, you can’t fool The Economist completely, so they added: but they are unlikely to punish Mr. Fogh Rasmussen for sending them. And indeed, he won the election later that month nicely.

Why, one may ask, are Danes different from so many others? They are bombarded with solely negative news on Iraq by the MSM like most others and yet it has hardly had any effect.

First of all, it appears that Danes are less naïve than many of their blue and starry eyed European cousins. They may buy the leave-it-to-the-UN stuff, Danes don’t. Second, the anti-Americanism that is a primary driver behind the let’s-skip-Iraq movement is less popular in Denmark than in, say, Germany, France or Spain. It’s here alright, but it always looks quaint.

One case in point is Mr Mogens Lykketoft, who in his youth way back in the last century nurtured an intense dislike against the USA, while praising the “samba-socialism” of Mr Castro. Mr Lykketoft became the leader of the Socialdemocrats only to be defeated spectacularly by Mr Fogh Rasmussen last year as mentioned above. That has not stopped Mr Lykketoft from arguing that we should skip Iraq, nor has it prevented his party from making him their shadow foreign secretary, effectively making the party’s policy on Iraq under their (very) new but otherwise quite sensible leader Ms Helle Thorning-Schmidt follow a Brownian motion. If Mr Lykketoft thinks that he’s on to a winner by calling for immediate withdrawal, he and his party may be disappointed. Danes are no quitters.

8 Kommentarer

  1. What nonsense. You defenitely need to learn more about the press before telling stories like that.

  2. Who’s speaking nonsense here? (In a sense we all are, since people with strikingly Danish names are corresponding in English for no apparent reason, but apart from that?)That the MSM has a left-wing bias compared with the general population has been demonstrated time and time again. Not just in Denmark, but in other countries as well. Indeed, it’s a bit of a recurring theme on this very site. So Poul, if you are accusing Mr. Law of spouting nonsense about that bias, let’s hear some qualitative reasoning to support that allegation.On the other hand, if you’re alleging nonsense on the part of the Economist, I will, more in sorrow than in anger, be bound to agree with you. Even ten years ago, that fine publication was a voice of reason in the World. But no more. They too have succumbed to third-worldist multiculturalism and substituted emotion for argument.A more subtle point could be made about Zapera. I’m always a bit wary of political opinion polls, as they all contain some form of bias in the process from the framing of questions to the presentation of findings. Zapera is web-only, which means that their respondents will generally have a broader news intake than the population at large, and therefore be more skeptical of conventional wisdom. Yes, Zapera have consistently predicted elections much better than the phone-based pollers, but this is precisely an issue on which their method serves to produce bias.In conclusion, I think Poul has a bit of a challenge proving allegations of nonsense, but let’s hear it anyway!

  3. You defenitely cant call a page 2 story for buried.And calling Berlingske Tidende sort of leftwing biased is laughable.

  4. Your observation would have fit, if it was Politiken you where talking about.There’s a difference between those two.;)Det er for nemt at skære hele pressen over een kam og smide standardanklagen “venstresnoet” i hovedet på alt og alle.comprende?! 😉

  5. –> PoulI forhold til USA og Irak-krigen er der ikke meget borgerlighed over Berlingske Tidende. Det har ‘Mr Law’ iøvrigt dokumenteret bedre end de flerste.Politiken bragte historien: http://politiken.dk/visArtikel.iasp?PageID=452423DR Online fandt ikke plads til historien – istedet leverede de ‘Britisk helikopter styrtet i Basra’,’Optøjer efter helikopterstyrt efterforskes’,’30 dræbt af bilbomber i Irak’,’Endnu en blodig dag i Irak’ and on and on…

  6. Nu må dette holde op. Fra engelsk over dansk til spansk; hvor skal det ikke ende?Nej, Poul, vi er netop nogen, der beskylder Berlingske for at have et venstreorienteret perspektiv på en række emner. Vi har også, i dette forum, argumenteret grundigt for denne påstand. Prøv at søge under tags som “journalistik”, “Plame” eller “MSM” i den meget effektive liste til højre for kommentarfeltet.Ved flere af disse lejligheder er det også lykkedes Mr. Law rigtig godt at forklare, hvorfor vi er nogen, der dyrker dette emne. Nemlig at Berlingske i det danske mediebillede opfattes som borgerlighedens intellektuelle flagskib. Så når de pludselig på et par mærkesager rykker markant til venstre, skabes der en opfattelse af, at det danske samfund som helhed har foretaget dette ryk. Selv om det modsatte meget vel kan være tilfældet: Netop det krystalliserede budskab af det indlæg, der startede denne tråd.På den anden side er det fuldstændig legitimt at påpege, at vi igennem længere tid har stillet os selv spørgsmålet “Hvorfor er tante rykket så langt til venstre vedrørende Irak og amerikansk indenrigspolitik?” uden at vi er kommet synderligt tættere på et svar. Hvis der var en skjult dagsorden om at undergrave regeringen og gøre Helle T-S til statsminister, ville vi da i det mindste kunne forstå det. Men det mener jeg ikke, der er belæg for.Er det bare intellektuel dovenskab i Pilestræde og ude hos korrespondenterne? At de simpelt hen følger med strømmen i MSM? Det er der meget, der tyder på, men det er da en banal og kedelig forklaring. Er der nogen, der har et spændende bud på en skjult dagsorden hos tante?

  7. Tjae, den sammensværgelsesteori må stå for egen regning. Tror næppe, at den redaktionelle ledelse på Berlingeren har små Leninstatuer stående skjult i deres kontorer. 😉 Jeg synes i det hele taget, at man skal være varsom med at beskylde den samlede danske presse for “venstresnoethed”. Denne “trend” er i mine øjne en smule til grin.Jeg ved ikke, hvad der ellers stod på forsiden og i indlandssektionen af den bemeldte dag eksemplar af Tanten. Men jeg er frisk på en analyse, hvis nogen stadig skulle ligge inde med et eksemplar.Med hensyn til rundspørgen kan jeg dog ikke se den helt store nyhed. For den siger jo intet, om det var forkert at gå i krig i Irak. Kun at vi har en forpligtigelse til at være med til at stabilisere landet, når vi nu har været med til at kaste det ud i kaos (hvis jeg må formulere det lidt provokerende).At DR bringer om vold, blod osv i Irak er i mine øjne heller ikke et udtryk for “venstrsnoethed”. For der kan næppe herske nogen tvivl om, at landet er godt på vej ud i en borgerkrig (hvis man da ikke allerede kan kalde den daglige trummerum dernede for en sådan).Men derfor kunne de da godt have bragt undersøgelsen på deres hjemmeside, men at lade være med at berette om den daglige vold i Irak ville i mine øjne være at lukke øjnene for sandheden.

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