Saturday, 8 November 2008

A glass of milk and water

The telephone at Austria's ORF TV station was said to be 'red hot' as outraged viewers bombarded the station after remarks, described by Austrian Times as a 'racist tirade' were made by an experienced journalist of 61 years standing.
Klaus Emmerich, 80, a former ORF chief editor and US correspondent made the controversial comments on the US Election show. And he followed them with similar remarks in broadsheet newspapers.
On the ORF show Emmerich said, "I do not want the Western world directed by a black man. And, if you say that is a racist remark, I say you are damn right." He added that Obama was "a talented but branded man with a devilish talent to present his rhetoric so effectively."
In an interview in the Austrian daily Der Standard he explained that he saw Obama's election as "a highly disturbing development" because "blacks were not as far advanced in the process of civilisation and political progress."
In another Austrian newspaper Die Presse he said, "Americans are racist so the situation in the USA must be very bad if they send a black man to the White House. That would also be the case in Austria if the next Chancellor was a Turk." He went on, "I am no racist. I've written a book in which I describe a scene when as a child in 1928 I walked through my home town of Frankfurt with my parents and a young black. I'll never forget the hate in the faces of the people of Frankfurt who didn't want to see a small white child walking with a black. The point is not Obama. The point is the emotion in politics."
ORF spokesman Pius Strobl's glass of milk and water reaction was that the moderator Andreas Pfeifer was "too weak" and that the other panelists had failed to react because they "were tired after the long election night."
In 3 days time Austria will mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the 1st Republic on 12th November 1918 following the fall of the Habsburg Monarchy after World War I. The 1st Republic lasted 16 years. In 1934 following on the heels of a civil war the Republic was replaced by a system known as Austro-Facism until 1938 when the land became part of Nazi Germany.
Austria regained it's Republic status in 1945 due to the sacrifices of millions of non-Austrians, including thousands of black Americans, and not through any sacrifice on Austria's own part. The majority of Austrians were more than content to be loyal inhabitants of Ostmark in Adolf Hitler's 1,000 Year Reich; but only until it all turned sour at Stalingrad.
It is only because of the great sacrifices of peoples "not as far advanced in the process of civilisation and political progress" as white man Emmerich, that Emmerich and his ilk at ORF TV have their freedoms of speech and reporting.
In Austria's recent general election the far-right populist parties, the BZÖ and FPÖ, received a combined 29% of the votes.

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