The New York Times on Tuesday unveiled a new (we won’t say improved; that would be rude) German president, much to the surprise of Germany-watchers.
While in fact there has been no change of key figures in Germany lately, the figure identified by the venerable paper in a large front page photo certainly does look different.
The caption, “Chancellor Angela Merkel with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday in Berlin,” seems straightforward. The only problem? The man to Merkel’s left looks nothing like the federal president.
From an earlier report by Financial Times, which features the same picture, we can learn that Steinmeier hasn’t been spending his salary on plastic surgery. Instead, Merkel is shown walking with Stephan Steinlein, head of the federal presidency’s office, after a meeting.
The NYT probably erred in reading the AP caption of the photo, which notes that Merkel was coming from a meeting with Steinmeier. Details, details. Perhaps the paper shouldn’t have been so ruthless in streamlining its copy editing section this summer.
There are no comments regarding whether Mr. Steinlein is aware of his unexpected promotion.