In Rostock, where I lived for several months, a 23-year-old state-level politician has lost his job and been fined 200 Euro for publishing this photo on the German rip-off of Facebook:

His crime was "Verunglimpfung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland," or denigrating the Federal Republic of Germany (that's a German flag in there). In the newspaper article, he claims the photo was intended to counter the nationalism that is accompanying the ongoing Eurocup.

Imagine how Westerners would react if the country were some South American autocracy, say, rather than Germany. Wouldn't it be criticized--even haughtily so--as deeply illiberal and wrong?

A good way to check for bias is to perform that little thought experiment when considering your stance on any given policy.  Consider if your opinion on e.g. trade, torture, immigration, going to war, etc. would change if it were not your home country advocating it but some unfamiliar foreign land. If your opinion would change, or reverse, it's worth attempting  to pin down why that is. You might discover your rationale was as soggy as a flushed flag.


Update: What about state-run media?