Ever wonder what our nation looks like to folks from afar? Here we look at how a uniquely American story--the kind of news we have trouble explaining even to ourselves--is being told overseas. Want to see a particular topic covered here? Let us know.
Voyeurism has long been a global phenomenon attached to the human condition, but there are two particularly interesting aspects to how the Arnold Schwarzenegger-Maria Shriver split, reported this morning, is being covered. One is that when we say global, we really mean global: this is where Schwarzenegger's movie career and Shriver's Kennedy origins resurface--the Japanese media were on this immediately, along Egyptian news sites, German ones, Brazilian ones, Italian ones. This isn't quite what you'd expect if Schwarzenegger's successor as California governor, Jerry Brown, announced a separation from his wife. The international news outlets are especially fascinated with Schwarzenegger and Shriver as a "power couple." In some ways the phenomenon of "Schwarzenegger and Shriver" is more interesting than the people, Arnold and Maria, choosing to split up--arguably the opposite of what you might see, say, with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie gossip.
"The power couple also confirmed," writes Frank Siering for Die Welt, "that though they no longer live together, they will work further on their relationship in the future. Schwarzenegger and Shriver, who comes from the Kennedy dynasty, have four children together," he adds. "Twenty-five years of glamour-marriage is over," offers German broadcast network ZDF. "For twenty-five years they were California's glamour-couple," writes Christiane Heil for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, similarly. Bild.de calls them "THE show-couple in Hollywood and politics." Meanwhile, government-affiliated Xinhua in China appears to call the pair the "envy of millions of Americans," as infotainment site Sina describes the pair as the "model couple" in the public eye. Or there's the wording from Le Parisien: "it was a couple emblematic of Hollywood and the news will set flowing plenty of ink across the Atlantic." Sure, but plenty of ink apparently on your side, too, guys.