In a new editorial, the head of the German daily broadsheet Die Welt has called on Germans to oppose U.S. President-elect Donald Trump by being more multicultural and more “gay.”
Head of Die Welt Ulf Poschardt wrote a combative editorial in response to an interview Mr. Trump did with the Bild tabloid on Monday. The highly negative reaction from many online forced the paper into changing the world “schwuler” or gay to ” more creative” after hundreds of comments were made on the paper’s website and over one thousand more on their Facebook page.
In the editorial, Mr. Poschardt claims that Germans need to oppose Donald Trump because he threatens the system of globalisation he says has greatly benefited Germany.
“Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Cabinet have been right to promote, popularize, and engage in global politics in tough diplomatic struggle,” he wrote, saying that it was good for Germans when neo-liberal globalisation ideas were spread across the world.
“The distribution of global prosperity will, in the future, be aggressively decided by the US in its favor – if we do not resist and become better, more courageous, more diligent, innovative, free, open, gay and multicultural,” he wrote initially with gay being replaced with “creative” after the torrent of comments online.
Facebook user Kirsten Zander slammed the editorial saying, “Why this martial rhetoric? To defend ourselves against the US president. Did he declare war on us? First of all, we need to take care of our own country instead of squinting at the whole world, as our chancellor does.”
Others took exception to the word gay being used with another Facebook user commenting, “What has this man smoked? Why do we become more successful when we become “gay” and STILL “multicultural”? Is there a correlation between being gay and growing multiculturalism and success?” Another wrote: “Why should we be gay? More open in dealing with gays in our society, I could understand that. But why gay when it comes to Trump?”
The comments caused Mr. Poschardt to explain why he chose the word gay which was, according to him, “was meant in the sense of the theses of Richard Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class. When this one detail became vital and threatened to cover the rest of the comment, I changed it.”
After the change, pro-LGBT website Queer.de slammed Die Welt saying Poschardt had given in to “right-wing populists” and called it “embarrassing” that he replaced gay with “creative” rather than “more tolerant” or “more diverse.”
The reaction to the election of Donald Trump among German media and German politicians has been highly negative since November. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went as far as to claim that Russian hacking directly influenced the election and warned it could influence the upcoming German federal election later this year.
Hans-Hermann Tiedje, chairman and primary shareholder of communications consultancy WMP Eurocom AG, slammed German media for its coverage of the President-elect saying, “whatever he says, whatever he does, it’s never right according to the German television class.”