Greece in the Mainstream Media

I note with interest that after a considerable period of media frenzy, the American and international mainstream press essentially has stopped paying attention to Greece.

No more banner headlines, or continuous coverage by the electronic media. Even the teasing from our American friends and acquaintances has stopped.

You might say this is good thing, that they have stopped focusing on Greece since the news about the crisis and its ramifications was overwhelmingly negative.

I am not sure, though, that this is necessarily a positive development. Usually, media focus shows interest. That they stopped covering Greece might mean that international public opinion and foreign officials are sick and tired of Greece. That, in turn, might be due to frustration over the fact the country’ s progress, however improved, is slow.

The same is true the with the book publishing industry. Even though it has never produced that many books on Greece, one would expect that after many years of a deep and largely unprecedented economic crisis, journalists, economists, and political scientists would rush to write books about Greece. Incredibly, that is not the case.

Even when Greece is mentioned in a book, it is usually just a casual reference. For example, in his celebrated book titled Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, all former Defense Secretary Robert Gates writes about Greece is: “In what appeared to be a dress rehearsal for an attack on Iran, one hundred Israeli F -15 and F-16 fighters flew from Israel into the eastern Mediterranean to Greece and returned.”

That is the only thing a U.S. Secretary of Defense seems to remember about Greece. That’s it.

But in The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War, written by former New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer about Eisenhower’s Secretary of State and the Director of the CIA, there is a longer – and more interesting – reference: “One of his favorite friends, Queen Frederica of Greece came to the United States [in 1953] on a tour with her son, the future King Constantine II, and just as her trip was about to end, she announced without explanation that she would stay for another week . She came to Washington, discussed ‘spiritual values’ with President Eisenhower in the Oval Office, and then visited Allen [Dulles].

“They had been alone in his office for nearly an hour when an aide knocked. Hearing no response, he entered. He found the office empty but heard noises from the adjoining dressing room. Later, Allen and the Queen emerged. As she was being driven back to the Greek Embassy, the Queen suggested one reason why Greek-American relations were so strong: ‘We just love that man [Dulles], she said.”