-EDIT 6/9/2008- For just this one time, the Korean will indulge the idiots who need everything spelled out. [By the way, if you still think this post is about comparing Germany to Korea, please leave now and don't come back.]
Consider these factors:
1. Germany is an undoubted economic leader of Europe; if we are comparing EU to the U.S., Germany would be like California or New York. As economic leaders do, it sets a trend for the rest of the union to follow.
2. Germany is also the race relations leader of Europe. Given its own history, it bends over backwards trying to quell any level of racism, even at the expense of free speech. (As racist hate speech is illegal.) Other European nations, relatively free of its past, do not take racism as seriously as Germany.
3. The object here was not any random person, but Barack Obama, who is now the world's most famous black politician since Kofi Annan. Any coverage about him in the wrong direction would be certain to become worldwide news.
4. Die Tageszeitung is not some basement-printed flyer, but a major daily newspaper with a circulation of about 86,500 as of last year. Given that German population is about 82 million, slightly more than 1 in 1,000 Germans read the Taz. Considering that the current U.S. population is 304 million, these are some of the newspapers that about 1 in 1,000 Americans read: Orange County Register, Indianapolis Star, San Antonio Express-News, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Not necessarily the lineup of USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Times, but major dailies nonetheless.
6. Also, the story was on the FRONT FUCKING PAGE. In a major daily, no less than five reporters and three editors check the front page headline before sending it out to the printer. And not one of the presumably well-educated people working for a politically correct workplace thought there was anything wrong with it.
Now, consider this situation. The year is 1996, when Kofi Annan became the first black Secretary-General of the United Nations. (Not the first African, mind you, because Boutros Boutros-Gali was from Egypt.) Orange County Register (in California) runs a front-page story that had a picture of the UN HQ, with a headline that reads: "Uncle Kofi's Cabin". Would this ever happen in America?
Not a chance.