Monday, January 06, 2020

Ari Behn

I facetimed with my son in Norway today, who told me that the ex-husband of the Princess Martha Louise committed suicide Christmas Day. Chris tells me he was well-liked by the people.  The articles say he had alcoholism, and what seems to be some sort of anxiety disorder, and the couple were divorced about three years ago.

He tells me people in Norway are very worried that we are about to have war in the Middle East because of Trump. I reminded him that the European press hates him almost as much as the American press does, and if there is no war, would love to portray it that we just barely avoided it, it was this close, and Trump is still dangerous.  Chris also says that Norwegians are very concerned because of the joint naval exercises between Russia and China who are going to have WWIII and go after the US.  I hadn't heard a thing about it, but there is an actual story.

This may not be Norwegians in general, but just the Norwegians in Tromso who Chris hangs around with. I keep that in mind.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is one of the things that I noticed in my decade+ living in Great Britian – the British press, including the broadcasters, the daily "broadsheets" from all parts of the political spectrum, and the financial press like the Economist and the Financial Times – only know the beltway/coastal conventional wisdom.

If there is detail or nuance to a story that doesn't appear in the New York Times or Washington Post, they don't know it. If the story doesn't appear at all in the NYT or WP, they don't even know about it. The US based reporters are all buddies with Americans, but only Americans within Arts & Humanities crowd.

And in spite of the advantage of being native English speakers, they lack even the Arts & Humanities crowd's abilities to read-between-the-lines of the NYT/WP reports to know what is not being explicitly said, and they don't have practical knowledge of the American "system" that Americans do.

I describe this as "the discount". When I read in the WP that the result of some bill or court-case will be that (X) number of people will "lose health care", I take it as a bad thing, but I know some of the parameters and limits of that. In the British press, this turns into "if you have an accident with no insurance, you get no treatment" and "if you develop a disease that is expensive to treat and prevents you from working, you die". American's read the words and apply a "discount" based upon the experiences of their friends and family, the Foreign press should be pointing out some additional things to that their readers understand the true scale of the problem, but don't

So when I say those interpretations are not 100% true, and point out to my British friends such things as Medicaid and EMTALA, I am disbelieved, because those programs have never been mentioned to them in reporting on US health care.

That's not to say that the no-health-plan/loss of health-plan issue is not a big problem, but it is in my impression at least 4 orders of magnitude smaller than EU people think based upon what their press tells them about America.