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Switzerland has moved.
October 5, 2001 3:32 AM   Subscribe

Switzerland has moved. At least according to the folks at CNN. May be regarded as offensive ... Received this picture by e-mail, so I have no better link than to my own site.
posted by vowe (58 comments total)

 
Oops. That would be the Czech Republic.
posted by Summer at 3:40 AM on October 5, 2001


How very, very embarrassing.

At least they still don't have a navy.
posted by Dagobert at 4:01 AM on October 5, 2001


Probably because Swiss acronym is CH(Confederation Helvetica or something)and someone punched in "CH" for the Czech Republic? Definitely an improvement, though.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:04 AM on October 5, 2001


What do you mean an improvement? I was wanting to go to Prague, and now they've gone and moved it...
posted by iain at 4:10 AM on October 5, 2001


Damn! And all that time I lived in Constance, Germany, I thought I was 1 km from the Swiss border. Guess I should have been watching CNN.

This reminds me of something I heard several years ago. I was listening to Rush Limbaugh (I was suffering from temporary insanity) when he confirmed his ignorance. He was slamming the Swedes for their 'socialist' government; he said something to the effect, "And they don't even have a military--well, there are the guards at the Vatican--but..." Problem is, the guards in Rome are the Swiss guards. Oops.
posted by tippiedog at 4:32 AM on October 5, 2001


> Probably because Swiss acronym ...

Or because the dorks who put together the map have never been to Europe and wouldn't be able to find Switzerland on a real map.

By the way, that picture was one of several I have received recently in e-mail from friends. (The sort of friends who, unfortunately, forward too many lame jokes to everyone in their address books.) Another popular photo forwarded around Europe these days is one of W frowning as Osama does him Afghan style. A printout (not from me) of that one was also a big guffaw-getter among patrons of my local. People asked for copies.
posted by pracowity at 4:44 AM on October 5, 2001


I'm not defending CNN - as a news broadcaster they really should be getting their geography right - but some people are just crap at geography (me). I've seen maps of Europe a million times (I do live there after all) but it's still a bit hazy. It's those pesky balkans that always get me. As long as a country's got a funny shape I'm OK. If they're in the middle of a land mass it gets more difficult. I suppose I'm just a bit retarded. I can't do numbers either - I'm incapable of remembering a date or doing more than basic maths. I do really badly at trivia quizes as you can imagine.
posted by Summer at 4:54 AM on October 5, 2001


http://hardocp.com/new_img_01/sept/cnn_geography.html
posted by Darke at 5:10 AM on October 5, 2001


ahhh.... the wonderful accountability and quality that we receive from our news services!
posted by presto at 5:18 AM on October 5, 2001


Well, I guess this shows the extensive influence of the media, the enormous power of the networks. News is not reported, news is made. When me and my colleagues over here in the Middle East want to report on something (we have to make a living, you know) we ask the locals to do something interesting and then we report on it. That is why it is such a mess in the world. ;-)

Now the media has started moving countries. I wonder what my next assignment will be.
posted by igor.boog at 5:37 AM on October 5, 2001


Actually, the Swedes moved their country themselves. It was in response to Charlton Heston trying to set up an NRA office in their Presidential residence after the recent shooting spree. Can't say as I blame them. Next time we catch him passed out drunk we should move the White House!!!!!
posted by nofundy at 6:07 AM on October 5, 2001


As someone who works in "the media," as people here constantly call it (I'm a reporter for a web site), all I gotta say is: The next time you make a mistake at work, please broadcast it to a worldwide audience so we can make fun of you. Unless you never make mistakes at work, stop being so holier-than-thou.
posted by Holden at 6:12 AM on October 5, 2001


as a foreigner, I've always liked the way American TV networks, during the Olympic Games, give you those great captions, like "Switzerland is the size of Delaware", or stuff like that
it's a nice geography course, isn't it?
posted by matteo at 6:14 AM on October 5, 2001


Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Israel will not be Czechoslovakia (NYTimes - registration required). I guess Switzerland had second choice.
posted by bragadocchio at 6:28 AM on October 5, 2001


It's the equivalent of a typo. Funny? Yes. Damning? Don't drown in your own significance.
posted by geronimo_rex at 6:43 AM on October 5, 2001


The map must've been made by some AOLer...
posted by spilon at 6:53 AM on October 5, 2001


Mistake? Holden, there's a WORLD of difference between labeling the Czech Republic as "Switzerland" and me forgetting to turn my timesheet in on time.

If we put up a map in front of one of our international clients (I work for an architecture firm) mislabeling a country, you could BET they would be looking for a new architecture firm.

Details matter. If your details aren't right? Don't run the story. It seems there are far too many various MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS (to not say "the media") that are more intent on hysterics and pushing anything out the window. I have simply stopped watching the damn news.

Have you HEARD some of the questions reporters ask at White House briefings?

White House Press Guy: "And we're not going to comment on wheter or not the bomb was a terrorist bomb. Okay, questions?"

Reporter 1: "Yes, I'd like to know if the bomb was a terrorist bomb."

Which will be followed by a string of idiots trying to rephrase the question. Reporters no longer report news, they want to make news from scratch to sell adverts.

[/ rant]
posted by eljuanbobo at 6:57 AM on October 5, 2001


Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Israel will not be Czechoslovakia.

You mean a state carved out of the remnants of an old empire in the aftermath of a world war? Oops. already there, Ariel.
posted by holgate at 7:03 AM on October 5, 2001


Actually, the Swedes moved their country themselves

...Sweden's been moved too?
posted by normy at 7:09 AM on October 5, 2001


And yet...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:33 AM on October 5, 2001


just another fine example of the lack of American education about the rest of the world....
posted by themikeb at 7:52 AM on October 5, 2001


How many Swiss could find Nebraska on a map? I'm guessing very few, and that includes their journalists. Of course it's the Swiss' own fault. They're too damn peaceful. As Harry Lime said to the best of my recollection, "400 years of peace and what have they produced? The cuckoo clock."
posted by prodigal at 8:02 AM on October 5, 2001


...well, and fondue. I mean, we can't forget the fondue.
posted by aramaic at 8:28 AM on October 5, 2001


"How many Swiss _JOURNALISTS_ could find Nebraska on a map?" you surely wanted to ask ...
posted by aureliano buendia at 8:30 AM on October 5, 2001


...well, and fondue

...and my watch. I like my watch.
posted by arco at 8:32 AM on October 5, 2001


Chocolate, the best chocolate.
posted by bjgeiger at 8:36 AM on October 5, 2001


Opps, another one. The cuckoo clock is from a different country. I am sure you will find other things the Swiss have achieved besides food.
posted by vowe at 8:40 AM on October 5, 2001


Eljuanbobo,
Are you saying that no one at your firm, not even you, has ever made an absent-minded mistake, or are you saying that the occasional absent-minded mistake has consequences? Do you intend to imply that the architects at your firm never make mistakes?
I get annoyed at the questions that are asked in White House news conferences, too. Reporters tend to get promoted to the White House beat because they're good at office politics, not because they're good reporters. Remember that Woodward and Bernstein were on the night police beat when the Watergate break-in occurred.
But I think you're exaggerating the coneheadedness of White House reporters. It's OK if you exaggerate, but not OK if journalists exaggerate.
As for your statement that reporters don't want to report the news, they just make it up to sell ads: I'm a reporter and I don't make up stuff. I have many friends who are reporters and they don't make up stuff.
Who's making up stuff?
posted by Holden at 8:48 AM on October 5, 2001


I am sure you will find other things the Swiss have achieved besides food.

One of the best banking systems in the world, for one.
posted by frednorman at 9:18 AM on October 5, 2001


One of the best banking systems in the world, for one.


Sure made a good impression on the Nazis.
posted by gazingus at 9:45 AM on October 5, 2001


And their cheese could use a little work.. it's not even water tight.
posted by Hildago at 9:47 AM on October 5, 2001


Behold the power of Swiss cheese.
Dynastar makes excellent skis. They're Swiss.
Trying to think of more condescending things to write...
posted by Holden at 9:53 AM on October 5, 2001


on a separate but similar note. my friend nicole pointed out that there was something of a geographical impossibilty in wednesday's west wing when the terrorist was caught crossing from ontario to vermonot. um, well, ontario and vermont don't share a common border. we've de-tivoed the episode so i can't be sure, but it rings a bell.
posted by heather at 9:57 AM on October 5, 2001


Behold the power of Swiss cheese.
Dynastar makes excellent skis.


Have you strayed in from the modern poetry thread?
posted by Summer at 10:10 AM on October 5, 2001


heather - ding, ding!

(two thread bells, actually)

The non-existant Canada-US border passed without a blip, (pretty much), in these threads:

http://www.metafilter.com/comments.mefi/11099
http://www.metafilter.com/comments.mefi/11090
posted by spnx at 10:13 AM on October 5, 2001


Picutre received by email. Someone want to tell me why photoshop has been ruled out?

How many Swiss could find Nebraska on a map?

I'm sure they can find the US. There's a difference between knowing where a country is and knowing which state is which.
posted by skallas at 10:13 AM on October 5, 2001


Gruyère and Emmenthal cheeses; Ricola candy; Williamine pear brandy; Vallois white wine; Omega Speedmaster watches(never right but cool); Swatches(never wrong but not); Max Frische(most underrated European writer); Lindt chocolate; Jean-Luc Godard; Alain Tanner; the Neue Zurcher Zeitung newspaper; the Red Cross; Geneva Conventions... it never ends.

It's just annoying how such a tiny country, with such smug, policeman-like citizens has so much to offer.

Only Japan gets more interesting stuff per square inch. Just not fair, but true nonetheless.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:14 AM on October 5, 2001


just another fine example of the lack of American education about the rest of the world....

????

Fer chrissakes, people, get over yourselves. CNN is run by humans, just like the rest of the world, and occasionally humans screw up. If CNN was consistently mistaking the Czech Republic for Switzerland, I'd be concerned.

But this? Some graphic artist was slapping something together quickly and made a mistake. Like you've never made a dumb-ass mistake before...

You should just be grateful your dumb-ass mistakes don't get broadcast worldwide.
posted by monkey-mind at 10:21 AM on October 5, 2001


This doesn't surprise me. I'm reminded of another thing I saw on CNN, I was looking at one of those blurbs they run at the bottom of the screen, and it said "Hijackers may have used knives purchased in Switzerland."

I hadn't seen this anywhere else, I just assumed some idiot at CNN misunderstood that the hijackers used swiss army knives as indication of some Swiss connection.
posted by bobo123 at 10:22 AM on October 5, 2001


Hey, I've got a Swatch! But only because I'm allergic to metal. Lindt 70% dark chocolate is the best food ever.
posted by Summer at 10:23 AM on October 5, 2001


The Formula 1 team Sauber is based there to.
posted by riffola at 10:26 AM on October 5, 2001


Weak, skallas. Locating the U.S.-- 10 million square kilometers, bounded on either side by two major bodies of water, 250 million people--is not like trying to find a tiny area in the jumble of European countries.

Quick, find Djibouti. Now find China.
posted by gazingus at 10:36 AM on October 5, 2001


Pardon the error. (blush) I truly meant Swiss...
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most."
posted by nofundy at 10:47 AM on October 5, 2001


Locating the U.S.-- 10 million square kilometers, bounded on either side by two major bodies of water, 250 million people--is not like trying to find a tiny area in the jumble of European countries.

Um, the borders on the map are there to help you. Tiny? Only for those with a tiny knowledge of the world.
posted by holgate at 11:07 AM on October 5, 2001


gazingus, your example is just as weak. Sure, maybe the sizes are relatively analogous to the US/switzerland, but Djibouti doesn't have nearly the geographical/ political/ etc importance to the US as Switzerland does. A better analogy in terms of size and importance might be:
Quick, find south korea, now find china.

Not that difficult (I would hope)
posted by jnthnjng at 11:15 AM on October 5, 2001


Weak, skallas... not like trying to find a tiny area in the jumble of European countries.

Funny my maps have borders and names. What is this about again? A typo made on CNN. Now its a contest to find the most obscure nation in the world?

Next up: Sealand! Go!
posted by skallas at 11:45 AM on October 5, 2001


Actually to be more accurate, asking to find Nebraska in the US is like asking to find the Oita prefecture in Japan. Not terrible important in the world scene is it?

Countries and states/apples and oranges.
posted by skallas at 11:49 AM on October 5, 2001


You're right skallas, I got off topic, had some fuzzy logic, and got sufficiently reprimanded by holgate and jnthnjng. I'm sorry.

:: goes back to studying European map ::

BTW, Sealand is too easy! It would not have been without the recent press given to HavenCo
posted by gazingus at 12:03 PM on October 5, 2001


Finding Nebraska also isn't incredibly hard, anyway. We're right in the middle. Probably easier to find on a map of the U.S., than Switzerland on a map of Europe.
posted by stoneegg21 at 1:42 PM on October 5, 2001


In reference to a post way back, Switzerland does actually have a navy, which I suppose must be on Lake Geneva and is bigger than the Irish (Ireland being an island) navy. You have to give us points for not trying in a sport which is not ours (outside bars that is, well not even outside bars if you know what I mean). Me being Irish I suppose is perfunctory. Even Yeats got lost on his rowing boat trying to find Inishfree and wrote his most famous poem (according to him) about an island he never found. Poetic in itself.
posted by Zootoon at 2:03 PM on October 5, 2001


"Switzerland does actually have a navy, which I suppose must be on Lake Geneva"

The Swiss Navy is based in Wisconsin? :)
posted by schlaager at 2:44 PM on October 5, 2001


The Swiss do indeed have a navy, and it operates on Lake Constance (which is on the border between Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and is quite beautiful).
posted by tippiedog at 3:20 PM on October 5, 2001


i miss the obvious joke: switzerland is were the banks are and they have loads of czechs.
posted by arf at 4:02 PM on October 5, 2001


Some graphic artist was slapping something together quickly and made a mistake. Like you've never made a dumb-ass mistake before...

unfortunetly, this graphic artists mistake cost him his job on-air after the anchor caught the mistake.
posted by loukas_c at 9:12 AM on October 6, 2001


Loukas_c: Do you have a source for that ? Just curious.
posted by vowe at 1:57 PM on October 6, 2001


These mistakes of geography can happen a lot closer to home, and the simplest stuff can be the hardest to catch. A couple of years ago, The Associated Press (the Portland bureau, I believe) sent out a map that showed a part of the Oregon Coast, with a large body of water west of Oregon labeled "Atlantic Ocean." Oops.

My paper published it just that way. Double oops. We still joke about that one.
posted by diddlegnome at 7:17 PM on October 6, 2001


Do you have a source for that ? Just curious.


sadly not an official source, someone had called me just after it all happened but i couldnt get to a tv fast enough, and i heard the same tale from several unrelated sources.

it does sound relatively dubious, and with no official backing....

but in high stress times, it isn't all that implausible that someone over reacted over it
posted by loukas_c at 10:19 PM on October 6, 2001


> Finding Nebraska also isn't incredibly hard, anyway.

The real trick is losing it.
posted by pracowity at 10:47 PM on October 7, 2001


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