EU vs. US


The EU officially came to Yale this weekend via the European Student Conference who obtained funding from the European Commission’s ERASMUS program for higher education students. The European Student Conference brought to the United States members of the EU Commission and Parliament and other EU heavyweights to officially launch their think -tank European Horizons. Yale via the European Student Conference now takes the lead as the first US university, which aims to make its mark on EU affairs and the future of the European Union.

This event was a journalist’s dream, but surprisingly there were no journalists representing any of the US news organizations.

Among the speakers was chief EU political architect Andrew Duff, a leading EU federalist and figure in the under-reported European Movement. Mr. Duff wrote the outline and oversaw the drafting of the Fundamental Law treaty to revise the Lisbon treaty, which he also took part in writing.

When I read the Andrew Duff was going to be attending this conference I could not believe that a chief EU architect was coming to the United States to speak at Yale and I immediately sought to book an interview with him. He is currently speaking on his recently published book Pandora, Penelope and Polity: How to Change the European Union. His book is a call to action in light of the EU’s recent problems and deals with the need for an intergovernmental conference to move the EU towards federal union and the treaty revision, which he drafted. Mr. Duff is an EU constitutional specialist among his many accolades. During my interview with Andrew Duff I asked him questions about certain articles in the Fundamental Law for a clearer picture on where this treaty will take the EU. In addition, I have Mr, Duff’s contact info and he agreed to answer any future inquiries that I might have. I now have an open door with a man who is both one of the EU’s chief architects and an EU insider. He is one of the “elite.” At the moment Andrew Duff handed me his card I went to journalist heaven.

If this was not enough I had a conversation with Pascal Lamy, a two time director of the World Trade Organization and our chatting while walking toward the reception area about the TTIP only added to my journalistic heavenly bliss. There were more notables and discussions and email exchanges. I had a great discussion about the euro, the UK and Greece with Richard Tufft, the Managing Director of Global Investment Research for Goldman Sachs. Then there was the conference itself which was unprecedented and put Yale on the map as the 1st US University to take a lead in an endeavor to influence EU policy. Yale brought EU heavyweights to the US in its historic launch. Need I mention again that there were no journalists present from the major US news rags at this newsworthy event?

If the WSJ or NYT offered any real EU news they would have covered the European Student Conference. If they had any knowledge of the European Union and it affairs they would know of Andrew Duff and of the Spinelli group he helped found. They would have been at the conference stampeding over me to interview him. He was within an hour and a half’s hour drive from their headquarters in New York City. If they didn’t want to drive they could have gone to Grand Central and hopped a Metro North Train east of the Hudson to New Haven.

The US Media ought to be walking with their tail between their legs. NBC’s leading anchor Brian Williams made up stories while reporting. Other major news outlets do not make up stories but fail to report newsworthy news. When it comes to the European Union the US media misleads the public with continuous headlines of the EU and euro falling apart. Overall their EU reporting is not in-depth and riddled with misconceptions. I contacted the owner and editor of a conservative news outlet for their lack of EU coverage even though they state they are providing world news and the response was essentially that the EU was not newsworthy of any coverage in world news. I will not provide the name of that news outfit because they are not worth a mention even in a negative context with that opinion of European Union news.

In one corner we have NBC whose anchor makes up stories and on the other the US media outlets whose reporting on the EU is scant, relaying shallow and misleading information while the European Project is one of the most news worthy endeavors of men and women in our times. It is far from boring and I can think of many headlines that would have grabbed a reader’s attention while also informing the public. As Meagan Trainer sings, “Its all about that bass,” in the US media today its all about page hits. How many times did CNN overuse Breaking News on insignificant stories to get viewer’s attention, which by the way would have been a great article in itself, listing the meaningless stories CNN headed with “Breaking News”. CNN’s EU coverage ranks abysmally with the other US news outlets. In Nina dos Santos commentary, “The EU Needs a New Vision,” she claims the original vision unraveled with the fall of the Berlin wall. With a statement that erroneous, untrue and misleading she ranks along with Brian Williams.

This lack of EU reporting or the reporting of inaccurate misleading facts has occurred because the editors who work for these US publications do not have any real knowledge of the European Union. Sending their writers to Brussels or hiring someone from within the EU who does not have a good grasp of EU affairs does not guarantee the US media will be able to provide good EU coverage. I recently read an article in the New York Times on the EU that was absolute junk, which I call junk journalism. This is a piece written by someone with the skill to write, and it will have an attention grabbing headline, but the writer does not have any real knowledge of the topic and the topic misleads in the pursuit of page hits. On the totem pole of bad journalism the rung lower than junk journalism is taken by those who make up stories or facts such as the Brian William’s and Nino dos Santos who wrote that the Monnet’s vision for the EU ended with the collapse of the Berlin wall. The lowest on the totem pole are the conspiracy theorists because their articles border on delusion. I have been written by conspiracy theorists and they are a belligerent bunch as well.

The US news rags while they are at least are a rung above Brian Williams should feel ashamed for producing junk as they pursue the almighty page hit.

Meanwhile since I was not stampeded over and I entered the cruise ship the US news rags missed, while this event took place on their soil, I have articles forthcoming that will provide you with information on the EU that is not being reported by any of the mainstream US media. The articles that will come from my interview with chief EU architect Andrew Duff will provide insight into EU federalism and the EU’s move forward. You will also want to see my article, which will follow this one on the Yale conference itself which was at a fever pitch and learn about Yale’s historic launch to influence EU affairs.


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