Monday, June 9, 2008

The French EU Presidency ...

... as seen by Justin Vaïsse.

The CFCM

Justin Vaïsse and Jonathan Laurence defend the Conseil Français du Culte Musulman against its critics. They make good sense.

Livre Blanc de la Défense

World Politics Review today begins a series of articles examining the defense white paper reviewing France's strategic posture, which Sarkozy is to release next week. Have a look.

Lacorne prize

Denis Lacorne has won the Senate's history prize for 2008 for his book De la religion en Amérique, which I reviewed here.

Beauty and the Beast

PPDA is out. Laurence Ferrari, the ravishing speakerine whose chemistry with Sarkozy in a bare-shouldered interview led to rumors that she would replace Cécilia, is instead to replace the French Walter Cronkite, Patrick Poivre d'Arvor, who had seemed to be a permanent fixture of TF1. The advent of a "news babe" in the most visible post in telejournalism may add fuel to the fire reported here. I've seen too little of Ferrari to know if such criticism is warranted. On the other hand, I've seen too much of PPDA to worry unduly about his demise.

The gossip now comes full circle. It was rumored that Ferrari left TF1 when her then husband, Thomas Hugues, was passed over as PPDA's heir-apparent in favor of Harry Roselmack, the station's first black anchor. Then Hugues and Ferrari divorced, fueling speculation that she was the object of Sarkozy's affections, a rumor scotched by his marriage to Carla Bruni. Now, presumably, it's Roselmack's turn to feel miffed and Claire Chazal's to feel threatened. Ah, quel monde! Et si petit.