German politician does a Barbra Streisand

I’m seldom impressed by the press, and I seldom laugh out loud when reading news articles. But today I was, and did!

Berlin paper Tagesspiegel has a story on politicians who, like the German president Christian Wulff, have attempted to tell the press what they should publish and not.

The first example is that of senator Sybille von Obernitz, whose press person sent Tagesspiegel this e-mail along with a photo of the politician:

When you publish photos, only use this one. You can delete all other photos from your archive. Thanks for your understanding.

Tagesspiegel writes in their article:

See for yourself why we don’t have any understanding – and which photos of the senator we found in our archive.

Yes, take a look at them here – the fun starts after about 5 photos.

I didn’t bother to read the other examples – I should be OFFLINE now! – but I just had to share how happy this article made me. It reminded me of how a free press should work: Always the sceptic, always mistrusting the power. If only power was acknowledged and criticised outside the obvious arena of politicians – I’m thinking companies, lobbyists, and NGO’s.

PS: The title of this post references the so called Streisand effect, where an attempt to silence something instead spreads it thousandfold.

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