German satire magazine’s cover with an edited picture of Pope Benedict supposed to be funny has triggered controversy across the world: What are the boundaries of satire and why does German humor always suck ? Pope Benedict XVI has sued after being offended by the German satirical magazine.
Berlin, Germany / NationalTurk – The cheap front page of Titanic satire magazine : Pope Benedict XVI shown with a yellow stain covering his white cassock below the waist while on the back of the same issue, the pope is pictured from behind with a brown stain on his cassock this time.
The headline the German magazine saw fit to publish the issue reads ‘ Hallelujah in the Vatican: The leak has been found.’ The text reads: ‘ Another leak found.’ Our applauds for this fine presentative of German humor :
We dare to say : ‘ Sheisse ! German homour is non-existent, yet again. ‘
German satirical magazine : Pope Benedict mocking or criticism is tasteless
Germany’s satirical magazine Titanic was embroiled in a legal row with the offices of Pope Benedict XVI after it published a photograph of the pontiff wearing a urine-stained cassock with a headline proclaiming that it had finally ‘sourced’ the Vatican leaks. A fine display of German humor mentality, of..wait for it..Germans do not have any sense of humour.
Even though he is German, Pope Benedict was evidently not amused by the brand of pathetic humour employed by the German magazine. He sued the magazine. We don’t know the main reason for it. Was he really offended or he is protecting the sense of humor stained by alleged urine on his cassock.
The distribution of the issue of the Titanic magazine has been stopped as a temporary sanction against the satirical piece of paper. A Hamburg court in Germany banned the humour(less) magazine from publishing the pictures and from further distributing the issue. The magazine has to suspend further distribution of the July issue featuring the Pope’s stained image.
But the Pope satire has stirred controversy and sparked a hot debate over the boundaries of satire. They are also banned from publishing the image online.
Yesterday Titanic satirical magazine website displayed its Vatican leaks issue blacked out. A newly designed front cover depicted a stain-free pope clasping two foaming bottles of the popular fizzy drink Fanta. ‘ Titanic banned – Pope overcome with joy!’ was the new headline, again we see why Germans should quit doing humour and continue to buil automobiles!
Titanic sinks ! Humour killing Editor chief of magazine Leo Fischer invites the Pope to come by and discuss the matter
The editorial team at Titanic has been unfazed by the Pope Benedict incident. ‘ It’s not everyday that you get a letter from the pope, so we actually celebrated this a bit. We had champagne, a small catholic glass each,’ said Leo Fischer, editor in chief of the satirical magazine.
He claims to not get what the fuss is all about. ‘ If those stains are in fact – as we suggest – from a soft drink that was spilled out of exuberance at a party celebrating the end of the Vatileaks affair – then surely it is possible to display such a picture.’
Titanic’s chief editor : We invited Pope to come and discuss it with us
Leo Fischer also denies the July edition of his garbage has violated the Pope’s personal rights and says the image is offensive only in people’s minds, as it shows that the Pope has spilled a drink. ‘ Everyone knows that the Pope is a big fan of Fanta,’ Spiegel Online quotes Fisher as saying.
Leo Fischer added that ideally they’d rather desire to settle this incident quietly, and man to man. ‘ We’ve invited the pope to come for a private talk on this. We’ve invited Pope to come to our editorial offices here to talk about everything.’ He says he would offer him coffee – or a soft drink since he thinks he and everything his magazine stands for are still funny.
What are the stylistic devices of satire? Exaggeration, polemics and distorted facts..Sharp and polemic satire is ethically permissible, mentions Edda Kremer from the Germany’s Presserat, an umbrella organization of publishers and journalists’ unions.’ Press freedom is valued as of major significance, but from experience we know that religious satire is problematic and often polarizing,’ states Kremer.
By Wednesday lunchtime, some 40 complaints had been made to the German Presserat. ‘ People feel that their religious feeling has been violated and they also believe that the Pope’s human dignity is being violated by that image,’ Kremer adds.
Personal rights though have to be respected, however, says Hendrik Zörner, spokesman of the German journalists union DJV. “There are of course boundaries – for instance you mustn’t violate a person’s privacy sphere.” ”But this cover picture is not about the person of Benedict XVI but about him as a representative of the Vatican bureaucracy,” he says
The new cover of the Titanic’s issue shows a less controversial picture the controversial stain on Pope Benedict
But that’s hardly something that Matthias Kopp, press spokesman of the German Bishops’ Conference, can find amusing. “Disgusting. I think that there are boundaries to what is tasteful and boundaries to what is acceptable satire. This is a disgusting violation of privacy.”
Media and satire magazines should have a certain level of respect for religion, Kopp argues. “If the pope, who after all is 85 years old, is depicted as being incontinent, then this is a violation of privacy. It is absolutely unacceptable.”
The edition’s impudence infuriated some Catholics including clerics in the Vatican.
Christian Weisner of the Catholic reform movement We are Church agrees that the pictures are tasteless. “For a Catholic, seeing these pictures does hurt, but the church or the pope should not feel like martyrs because of that.
“This stained robe is a message and it says that the church is not always innocent,” Weisner says.
The discussion about the cover picture where Pope look like he wetted and soiled himself is also spreading across online social networking sites. ‘ I’m glad to see that insults, defamation and humiliation can no longer hide behind the cloak of satire,’ words from one Facebook user.
Others are even more critical. ‘ The pope is violating my religious feelings by claiming that a magazine that I religiously adore might be fallible. What a conman!’ another collection of words, this time from a Twitter user.
German magazine who mocks Pope Benedict : Our subscriptions have skyrocketed !
So far there’s no clear victor in the matter – but Titanic on Wednesday celebrated somewhat of a success. The magazine says that subscriptions have ‘ skyrocketed,’ since the case first began to get media attention on Tuesday. There is apparently no such thing as ‘ bad ‘ promotion!
The satire from Titanic refers to the recent Vatican scandal in which private letters to Pope Benedict were leaked to the Italian media,