WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

European anger over latest U.S. NSA spying allegations

Average Americans may not be talking about it at the water-cooler - and it's hardly a major staple on talk radio shows - but the latest allegations that U.S. intelligence may have targeted German Chancellor Angela Markel's mobile phone have sparked a firestorm across the pond. (One wonders what goes through Merkel's mind, considering she grew up in the old German Democratic Republic - East Germany!)

The Obama Administration denies the United States is monitoring Merkel's phone conversations NOW, but that leaves the recent past.

This line from an editorial in the British newspaper, GUARDIAN, is telling:

"With each leak, American soft power hemorrhages, and hard power threatens to seep away with it..."

From Der SPIEGEL on line...


Peter Beinhart at The DAILY BEAST notes the lack of any concern, let alone outrage, in conservative U.S. media...


Posted at 8:11am on October 24, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Oct 24, 2013 10:23am
Allan, you are one of the few in the media who has a strong interest in world news. Perhaps it is an audience/ratings driven issue. Few people care, so why devote time to it? Few people cared about the Beetles before their records received air play. Perhaps media could create interest if they devoted time to it.

The news media are ignoring our over-the-top intrusion into the private communications of world leaders. Likewise, they ignore the murder of thousands of Christians in the Arab world. But other countries are paying attention. And their people are not happy. Americans need a wake-up call to what is being done to our image abroad.

Allan Loudell
Thu, Oct 24, 2013 10:59am

You're correct. Broadcast consultants, in particular, strongly discourage extensive treatment of international news because of the perception (and probably a reality) that the younger audiences sought be advertisers (particularly younger women) don't give a damn.

I've been battling this all my life. (Even did international interviews on my talk show on WPGU, student-run commercial station at the University of Illinois, in between treatment of local & state politics, etc., and yes, even hosting 'Dating by Radio'.) But I never ever wanted to be a bombastic, ideologically driven host and I never wanted to be a shock jock. I just wanted to a local newsperson who integrated the international stuff with everything else.

In truth, international news will never be a ratings blockbuster.

I've noted before in this blog how even Al Jazeera America hired substantial U.S. staff and is offering many more domestic stories, which, if you think about it, more or less defeats the purpose of a vast international network which can give us a different window on the world.

Yet EVERYWHERE I've been on-the-air I've found folks who appreciate my interweaving of international content with local/regional/national content. They become loyal listeners and, in turn, patronize advertisers. That's how it works.

It came up again last night as I was addressing an audience at Silverside Church. Doubtless, it will come up again tonight as I attend a WDEL advertising clients' event.

The minority of younger people who care about the world reach out to me. For example, I was the keynote speaker earlier this year for a Model U.N. tournament at Archmere Academy.

I constantly beat the drum for offering international perspectives on a local station precisely for the reasons you mention above.

Allan Loudell

Thu, Oct 24, 2013 11:34am
Peter Beinhart of the DailyBeast needs to check out some more "conservative" news sites...there happens to be at least one site (sounds quite similar to Beinhart) that is outraged about this latest NSA story...Breitbart is also reporting on the ongoing extermination of Christians throughout the Middle East.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Oct 24, 2013 3:29pm
People can get overwhelmed by all the bad news. I know bad news sells. But we've got more than enough of our own bad news in America, why import it, especially the Middle East bad news?

I can't speak for others, but hearing about stuff from across the pond in Europe is one thing [those are countries that have similar values as ours], and Asia and South America are places of interest, so why not? But most of the international coverage is from places like "Sandland" [the Middle-East] where they just seem bound and determined to kill each other off; frankly that gets old after awhile.

They share no common values with us; they hate us; they hate our lifestyle; their primary religion is all about taking over others and forcing them to become part of their faith [thus the prosecution of Coptic Christians]; plus the desire to import Shiria Law into the US, and the repression of women, etc.

Kind of difficult to get any interest in such places other than let's keep our distance, allow them to fight each other over there since that seems to be their desire and no amount of American goodwill, money, weapons, soldiers dying there, etc., is going to change that.

We have two choices as far as I can see, #1 go in and take over their nations and kill off all those folks who are the troublemakers [probably most of the male population] and make those nations American states [this I'm NOT seriously suggesting]; or #2 leave them alone as long as they are not a DIRECT threat to the US, not Israel, the U.S. Israel has its own weapons, its own money, its own soldiers, and its own agenda.

The ONE OTHER thing we might want to consider doing would be to work out a deal where we'll take THEIR Christian population and bring them here to the U.S. Then after that, they can have at it, as long as they aren't a direct threat to the U.S.; we'll just leave them alone, other than trading with them [with our new oil that's less of an issue too].

For me that's the turn-off to international news. If international news meant more coverage of Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa [not the Middle-East part] then sure I'd be interested. But that's not what gets covered; it's all about the Middle East. So I just tune out. I realize that's a narrow-minded view, but I've had enough of it.

Thu, Oct 24, 2013 5:51pm
Here's a very interesting take on NSA spying and our privacy from MIT:

"As Web companies and government agencies analyze ever more information about our lives, it’s tempting to respond by passing new privacy laws or creating mechanisms that pay us for our data. Instead, we need a civic solution, because democracy is at risk.

Thu, Oct 24, 2013 8:52pm
Hopefully, if the NSA is busy spying on foreign leaders, that will give them less time to spy on us.

Thu, Oct 24, 2013 10:03pm
Mozilla is offering a tool tomorrow to let you see who's watching you on the internet via LightBeam. The curtain will be pulled back on the Wiz of Oz.

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 7:57am
Switching over to trivia, I totally got this one wrong. Wondered how well you would do?

What is Africa's most populous nation?

Fri, Oct 25, 2013 8:19am
For the record I was trying to guess the answer between the 3rd and 4th and 5th. That's how much things have changed....

Allan Loudell
Fri, Oct 25, 2013 9:00am

Easy! Nigeria. Nigeria is also the world's seventh most populous nation, following China; India; the United States; Indonesia; Brazil; and Pakistan.

Allan Loudell

Sat, Oct 26, 2013 3:07pm
With the news out of Germany this week, it's becoming quite obvious that not only does Obama want to set up a dictatorship in the USA, but he now has his sights set on becoming WORLD DICTATOR.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Sat, Oct 26, 2013 7:28pm
No. he is going to retire in 3 years. Become a philanthropist.

Thinking Obama is dictatorial is a dream not based on either facts or reality....

Sun, Oct 27, 2013 12:30am
I don't have to think anything. All I have to do is listen to what he says. I don't even need Rush Limbaugh to interpret that for me.

Mon, Oct 28, 2013 8:16am
I saw this today and thought it fit this talk concerning dictators...Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator does an excellent job in his SPEECH about Hitler/dictators. Sounds familiar...

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Oct 28, 2013 9:13am
It wouldn't play for me, but I've heard it before. That was a great movie and yes Chaplin's speech was great.

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