Required: 1 Strucutral Transformation of the Public Sphere
It is slightly dismaying though that such an influential figure seems to rehash the usual Murdoch-esque arguments against the Lisbon Treaty--national sovereignty is being transferred to Brussels; democratic representation is being sacrificed in the process; the EU is a cover for American-led neoliberal globalization, etc. If this sort of thing sounds familiar, that's because it's the message that's relentlessly pounded day in and day out by the likes of Rupert Murdoch's Times of London and the Sun. Topless women on page 3, apocalyptic visions of European unity elsewhere pretty much sums up the level of sophistication of much of the debate.
Leaving aside the fact that this seems a bit of a mis-characterisation of Habermas (and possibly Murdoch - "the EU is a cover for American-led neoliberal globalization"? Has any Murdoch paper ever tried that argument?), I'm inclined to agree with all this as far as it goes. I'll go toe-to-toe with anyone on my hatred of The Sun, and spend far more time than is healthy worrying about media concentration. But saying that Murdoch's poisoning public opinion is not an argument for closer EU integration against the inclinations of the public, it's an argument for sorting out the press.