It doesn’t seem to be the most constructive comment ever, but there it is in emails, internet forums and social networks across the German internet. This e-dirt campaign is not only slung at public figures, but also companies and political parties. The term ‘shitstorm’ seems to have originated in the United States. In slang English (though some sources scream ‘american’ and ‘canadian’), it best translates to the saying when the shit hits the fan.
The German media widely reported on king Carlos of Spain's April expedition to Botswana on an elephant hunt, at a critical time of austerity and unemployment of his subjects, as a shitstorm. The French politely branded it a media storm (temperierteren tempête médiatique). Upon waltzing out of hospital, which is how the world knew of the royal’s little pre-Olympics sporting accident, Charlie appeared humble at the legions who had thrown shit at him (tirar mierda encima de alguien, in Spanish slang), and even made a striking schoolboy apology. See? Just a storm in a teacup.
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Mud slinging is the operative word for a German ‘shitstorm’ in other European countries: Poland often throw this substance to discredit their politicians (mieszać (zmieszać) kogoś z błotem), whilst the Italians have to fight the mud-slinging campaigns gloriously called macchina del fango (as used expertly by writer Roberto Saviano). Meanwhile, the linguistic phenomenon reached its peak in Munich when an ‘anti-shitstorm hotline’ ('Hotline gegen Shitstorms') was launched for the victims of web hounds. You can call between 8am and 8pm, for a starting price of 500 euros for a morsel of advice. However it was Germany's green party politician Volker Beck though who shone the best light out of the mud-slinging-shit-storming, with this gem of a British anthem: