A German linguists’ panel has chosen a Nazi-era term “Luegenpresse” (lying press), which anti-Islam protesters have revived and shouted at the media, as the country’s non-word of the year.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned the demands – an end to multiculturalism – of the grassroots “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West” (PEGIDA) at weekly rallies as “reprehensible” and said her conservative-led government would use all constitutional means to fight intolerance.
“Luegenpresse”, first used in Germany by critics of the free press during World War One, earned the dubious “Unwort des Jahres” (Non-Word of the Year) honour in the eyes of a panel of experts out of 730 terms submitted by 1,250 contributors.
“‘Luegenpresse’ is a word contaminated by the Nazis,” said Nina Janich, a professor at the Technical University Darmstadt and head of the six-member jury that selects such terms each year from the submissions.
“It’s used deliberately in the PEGIDA movement to steer it against those (in the media) who criticise their movement.”
The announcement of the “Unwort des Jahres” is a major news item in Germany and holds a special resonance in a country whose language is filled with words and concepts tarnished to the point of taboo status by their use under the Nazi regime…
Just because the Nazis accused the press of lying does not mean they are not lying now. Both cases must examined separately on the merits.
We know that press in the Anglo world, although they do not – usually – exactly lie outright, their coverage is slanted and they can be accused of “lying by omission.”
They are shot through with political correctness and they do not give an accurate insight into the state of affairs in the world. In some cases, they believe their own lies. Does this make them liars or just stupid?