German TV Report on Bush’s Biloxi Visit

Thanks to tips from readers Donna and John, and via Blah3, War and Piece and Kevin Drum, we read about this:

Dutch viewer Frank Tiggelaar writes: There was a striking discrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV.

ZDF News reported that the president’s visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of ‘news people’ had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.

After some research, editing and translating, we bring you the text of the report above. The translation, including any errors, is ours. For those who wish to perform their own translation, the video file is here. (Full broadcast on ARD’s website here.)

Anchorwoman: For the latest live from Biloxi, Christine Adelhardt:

Christine Adelhardt: The President drove by here in his convoy 2 minutes ago. What happened today in Biloxi however is truly unbelievable. Rescue teams suddenly appeared, recovery vehicles were suddenly here, one hadn’t seen them here over the course of the entire day. And this in an area where it really wasn’t necessary to clean up much because pretty much nobody lives around here. The people are further away into the city. The President travels with a press pool, the pool has thanks to this very nice pictures which should say the President was there and help is on the way. The extent of the natural disaster shocked me. But the extent of the staging [Inszenierung] today shocks me at least as much. With that, back to Hamburg.

As you’ll see if you look at the clip, sadly no footage of the staging. So we’ll close with an old Insta trick: Disturbing, if true.


Comments: 17


The phrase “Potemkin Village” comes to mind.


which came first, the dog, or the wag?

Modern Major-General

It’s sad that this doesn’t even surprise me.


Could you translate the one from ZDF too, I heard that one is even more damning, although it doesn’t show the staging either.,4070,2370903-0,00.html


I not only believe it, i’m not at all surprised remember that fake gigantic turkey he served to the troops in Iraq?
From his allmost ironic backdrops that proclaim over and over “homeland security” to the pep talk he gave about the economy where he had piles of empty boxes stacked in front of him marked in humungous letters “made in america” when the “made in China” marker was secretly taped over in the bottom left corner, He has become the only american president i’ve ever observed using that kind of mindless (yet rarely questioned) propoganda.
Sure other presidents did it to some extent but this one doesen’t even seem to think enough of our intelligence to do it skillfully. Maybe he just knows CNN and Fox won’t try to cover it.


Yeah, the complicity of the media is a big factor in this.


So this is separate from the OTHER staged event Senator Landrieu reported at the “repairing” of a levee?


Yes, Anne. The ones the German stations are reporting happened in Biloxi, Mississippi. Mary Landrieu is talking about the levee in New Orleans, Louisiana. The whole tour of the gulf coast was nothing but propaganda, P.R., a series of photo ops, a sham. I’m finding it so hard to accept that they handed out a little bit of food and water to these people then just took it all away from them and left them with nothing but despair again. The cruelty is simply inhuman.


Re: the ZDF-clip, my German’s a bit rusty and I don’t have time to do a full translation at the moment but the gist of it (the good bit starts around the 3:15 mark) is that rescue workers had been lined up all along Bush’ route in the morning, and then moved out as soon as Bush did.
I don’t know if it’s more damning than the ARD clip, they make a pretty good tag team, methinks.


Btw. am I the only one getting screwy sound on the .avi file?


I got bad sound also. I don’t speak German, though, so it was just as well. The sound was fine on the full broadcast, though.


Full Translation of Relevant Segment of ZDF broadcast:

ANCHOR: How have the residents of Biloxi reacted to the President’s visit?

Claudia Rueggeberg: Very differently. We’ve spoken with people here after this visit. One woman stated that such a symbolic gesture is better than none at all, and it is good that the president is here at all to view the situtation. Others were despairing. One woman broke down in tears and said angrily that the president shouldn’t have come here but rather should finally be making sure that the aid gets through. The entourage of SUVs should have come loaded with supplies and not bodyguards. (Missed a few words here)… and such a staged (inszeniert) visit wouldn’t help. Actually, suddenly this morning Aid-workers came, who cleared away the debris and searched through houses for bodies, exclusively along the route of the president. About two hours ago the president left Biloxi, and with him the entire group of aid-workers.

ANCHOR: The president promised quick help. Do you sense any such help where you are? Is there for instance water and food?

Rueggeberg: There’s nothing at all here. In Biloxi the rubble and debris that were not removed by the aid-workers remain lying in the streets, just as they were immediately after the storm a few days ago. There is no sensible plan, there is an emergency medical facility, but otherwise nothing. The smell of death and decay hangs over the entire city. Unrecoverd corpses lie in the buildings. Everything lies in ruins, and as far as what we can observe and what other cities are saying, the help is not arriving.

ANCHOR: Thank you. In Biloxi, Claudia Rueggeberg.


Another take on the “briefing” photo op is here:

Where, in front of idle helicopters on Friday, Sept. 2, Bush is briefed by Brown, using a weather map. They point at the map and talk, and he nods.

The map is a map of Katrina in the gulf, before it hit the coast. The map is 5 days old.

Why would he need a 5 day old weather map for a briefing about relief efforts?


That’s truly disgusting, though as others have mentioned, par for the course. It’s too bad American news reporters allow themselves to be swept along like leaves in a storm, rather than report what’s really going on. Strap-on McFlightsuit counts on people getting their news on these inadequate “news” providers, and thus never catching on to the real story.


The ZDF thing is bunk. Someone messed up the translation or they were trying to spread a rumor.


Really? You mean that either ZDF actually said that george W was doing a great job, and that his photo ops were perfectly calculated to egg on the relief effort? Or, if it actually said what the above translation says it said, then ZDF was engaged in a disinformation campaign to discredit him? What interesting hypotheses. Evidence would be marvellous.


Hey Pantsless, habe ich die Sendung falsch uebersetzt? Bitte sag mir, was nicht richtig ist. Sagst du, dass es schlecht ist, weil du unglaublich gutes Deutsch spricht, oder weil du es nicht gern liest, wenn der Affe nicht gelobt wird?


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