magazine for culture, politics and life from a transatlantic perspective

R.I.P. Michael Joseph Jackson (Aug. 29, 1958-June 25, 2009)

Today, at close to 1:30 A.M. GMT+1, Michael Jackson officially passed away.

We mourn this tragedy. We will celebrate his legacy till our hearts stop beating.

Let his words and deeds be a lesson to us all: Start with the man in the mirror.

Michael, you’re royalty, always. The King is dead! Long live the King!

Michael J. Jackson (Aug. 29, 1958-June 26, 2009)

Scot W. Stevenson Explains Transatlantic Journalism

USA Erklaert blogger Scot W. Stevenson has been a guest on tapmag before. We were happy to have him also visit our seminar last week, where he gave a compact and informative guest lecture on transatlantic journalism.

Here is the video (in German). Scot mainly talks about the differences between American and German interpretations of free speech, the rights and duties of the press, and how the Internet undermines German privacy rights via American websites. Good stuff.

The Obama Check Vol. 2 – Oskar Lafontaine

Welcome to the second instalment of the Obama Check, where we test German politicians’ Obamaness. In our inaugural edition we checked Guido Westerwelle, today it’s Oskar Lafontaine’s turn. The chairman of the Left Party will be rated in five categories, you can read the criteria here.

Oskar Lafontaine, photo by Gunther Hißler, released under GFDL [Read more]

The Obama Check Vol. 1 – Guido Westerwelle

In the Superwahljahr 2009 and with only four months to go till the election to the Bundestag, tapmag brings you a special new series, the Obama Check.

German politicians craving for voter attention hope to get at least some of that Obama-glamour for themselves. We will test how obama (new adjective!) the candidates of the five major parties really are.

Barack Obama, portrait of the Obama-Biden Transition Project [Read more]

An Investment Banker for Germany

Several sources report that U.S. President Barack Obama will anounce Phillip D. Murphy, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs, as the new U.S. Ambassador to Germany.

Murphy, 52, has been in charge of the Democratic Party’s finances, after he left Goldman Sachs in 2006. As an investment banker, Murphy has headed the German branch of Goldman Sachs in the 90s, and was involved in several deals with the Treuhand-Anstalt.  He will replace William R. Timken, who has left Berlin in January.

Atlantic Review points out that the new man in the American embassy is a board member of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, which sounds like he might enjoy a smooth start in Berlin.

Hating on Eurovision

Last night on Rachel Maddow, Kent Jones went for a little cultural superiority talk, when discussing the Eurovision Song Contest:
“You ever wonder what happened to countries that didn’t invent Blues or Jazz or Rockabilly or R’n'B or Funk or Hip-Hop? This happens!”

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

[Read more]

Germany, U.S. Still Worlds Apart on Economic Policy?

German Lessons

As the global economic crisis questions many long-hold beliefs about American and European economic policy, the U.S. press has discovered that some answers might be found across the Atlantic. Germany offers a fine case study for the advantages as well as drawbacks of increased government interference to bring the economy back on track.

[Read more]

Update from Our Seminar


The very first seminar hosted by the tapmag crew has seen a few sessions already, so it’s time for a short update! Preparing the course has kept us all busy, so please excuse the low frequency of postings at the moment.

Highlights from “Reporting America” so far:

  • We had Michael Dobbs of the Washington Post visit the seminar. We are still thankful that he took the time to meet us and shared anecdotes and insights with the seminar. More on his visit will follow, stay tuned.
  • The first two workshops turned out great as well. We had an introduction to blogging, wordpress and the like, and recruited about ten new members to the blogosphere. The results from our first writing exercise will also be published soon.

The next few sessions promise to be interesting too:

If you are interested to attend, stop by at the John-F.-Kennedy-Institue, each wednesday, 4-6 p.m. at room 201. See you soon.

The “Other” Affirmative Action

Just around the 100-day-mark of Barack Obama’s Presidency, he is faced with a great challenge and opportunity: naming a new justice for the Supreme Court. Of course, everyone wants to have a say in that.

[Read more]

The Scent Of A Human: Eau De Schwinn?

Are we ready for the teeming masses yearning to be free? If we begin to dress well and ride astride in bicycling bliss, might we also pick up some *other* Continental character traits?

The Scent Of A Human: Eau De Schwinn?

The Scent Of A Human: Eau De Schwinn?

[Read more]

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