Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A German newspaper nastygram about Sarah Koenig's podcast "Serial"

That was a bit of a surprise.

German center-right daily Frankfurter Allgemeine has a hit piece "Murder as a spectacle" on the podcast "Serial".

The article is a two pager, with the lede: "Journalist Sarah Koenig has turned a real murder into a spectacle with her podcast "Serial". Now, the murderer is getting a new trial. The victim's family has great difficulty to understand this." *

The actual content of the article is an utterly forgettable compilation of basic facts coupled with outrage about such things as "Team Adnan" stickers going on sale as a result of the publicity of the case framed within a few statements on the family of Hae Min.

Needless to say, the podcast "Undisclosed" gets a mention with regard to the cell phone tower issue, but the main complaint is not about dysfunctional law enforcement and the many other failures of a system that produces more Adnans than you can count.

Instead, the German writer takes a swipe at various other "True Crime" shows, even daring to declare a long running German show along the concept of "America's most wanted" to be a reasonable way of enlisting the public's help. Which is something of a joke, if you have ever watched it.

You wouldn't expect a German to understand much of American culture, and even less the law enforcement and justice system of the U.S., but there is a problem.

The writer lived and worked as a journalist in new York for some time.

The blogster for one, will probably be tempted to simply skip future pieces by the honorable journalist, no matter how enticing the lede. Not least because the blogster doubts that the German author actually listened to "Serial" and "Undisclosed". Because both series show profund respect for Hae Min and her family.

* [Our translation of Die Journalistin Sarah Koenig hat mit ihrem Podcast „Serial“ einen realen Mord zum Spektakel gemacht. Nun bekommt der Mörder einen neuen Prozess. Für die Familie des Opfers ist das nur schwer zu begreifen.]

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