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.
Up until yesterday, foreign newspapers were largely uninterested in Weinergate, with just a few giving the bizarre story a mention. But Anthony Weiner's extraordinary press conference, in which he admitted that, in fact, he did send photos of himself to young women online, tipped the scales in the global news judgement. Now the foreign papers are officially just as weirded out as the American press. In China, the government's Xinhua site played up the foolishness of Weiner with the headline, "US Congressman Weiner admits 'dumb' exchange with women." They note the admission came "after week of sometimes indignant public denials and insistence that he was the victim of an Internet hacker. ... He said he had never met or had a physical relationship with any of the women and was not even sure of their ages." Last night Bill O'Reilly (who's had his own embarrassing sex scandal) said the whole affair "makes the United States look bad." On this one, we're going to have to agree. Here are some other ways this story is being explained overseas.
They Do This in America Apparently
"The name of the picture was 'package.jpg,'" begins Michael König, attempting to tell the full story to readers of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung. He covers the full tale, complete with apology to Andrew Breitbart. "Actually Weiner's case isn't all that serious compared to other American sex scandals," writes König, mentioning John Edwards's legal troubles regarding the coverup with Rielle Hunter. This sentiment would seem to be echoed in El País Washington correspondent Yolanda Monge's headline for her Spanish audience: "Another Congressman, another sex scandal." She opens by saying that "the saga of Weinergate had, late Monday in New York, its most dramatic and almost pathetic staging yet," exaggerating slightly when she says that Weiner admitted "between sobs," that he had lied. "The whole story was very confusing," she says simply of his previous statements alleging hacking.