Mainstream American media are amateurs when it comes to exposing politicians. The European press has done it longer and better.
From the British tabloids to the muckraking papers of continental Europe, no elected official is safe from investigations, spoofs and pointed barbs.
Just ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Wprost, a conservative newsmagazine published in Poland put a artist’s composite of Merkel on the cover this week — blouse open, breasts exposed and Poland’s governing Kaczyski twins sucking away.
The headline: Europe’s Step-Mother. Imagine Newsweek with former President Bill Clinton on the cover, trousers down around his ankles and Monica Lewinsky on her knees, noshing on the First Member, or current President George W. Bush with his pants down and Tony Blair kissing his naked butt.
It’s not exactly how one expects to see German Chancellor Angela Merkel: The broad, friendly smile seems completely at odds with her open blouse, two bare breasts spilling out. On each breast, one of Poland’s governing Kaczynski twins is affixed — Prime Minister Jaroslaw is suckling on the left, President Lech has attached himself to the right. One of them is holding up the “victory” sign right in Merkel’s cleavage.
The image is on the cover of this week’s Wprost, a conservative Polish newsmagazine that has not shied away from firing barbs at Germany in the past. The headline reads: “Europe’s Step-Mother.” As current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, Merkel, the magazine seems to be saying, is treating the rest of Europe like her step-children. And during last week’s EU summit in Brussels, the article inside makes clear, she has been particularly condescending to the Poles. The magazine writes of Germany’s “post-colonial reflexes” and says that six decades after the end of World War II, “the Germans still aren’t able to treat Poles like partners.”