An American observer comments on French politics.
The French have a way of clarifying the debate that is inimitable and, yes, often lots of fun. And I in no way intend to trivialize the issue at all in making this statement.
I like Ferry, a lot. He has a way of going against the grain, but, in most cases, making a lot of sense. He's very much against the "pensée unique" and doesn't shy away from saying so. I think he wanted to make a point here, but he has no "evidence," only hearsay. In US courts, hearsay doesn't count.
Except it appears that it is all ungrounded rumour. On Europe1 radio tonight there was an interview with a journalist who years ago wrote an unofficial bio - Dr Lang, Mr Lang - which, after thorough investigation turned up 'rien' on pedogate except that it was a 'blood libel' fomented by Socialist Lang's Socialist enemies. Nothing as bitter and dirty as a war among fractious Socialists.
Anonymous: Ferry did utter the name, off camera, and Jean Francois Kahn who was present vouches the name wasn't Lang's, and that it was indeed something/someone "everybody knew".All of these high-level people who keep saying "everybody knew/knows" make me very uncomfortable.
Ferry’s "riposte," as Le Monde describes it, is already amusing. I suppose that having really put his foot in it, Ferry can’t admit as much without getting himself even more into trouble. When the LCI interviewer asks him to specify who exactly told him the story, Ferry replies “a certain number of people that I won’t name so as not to put them in a difficult position.” An understandable reluctance, given that this affair stems entirely from the fact that he had named names! Among them, the prime minister (when Ferry was minister). When the LCI interviewer specifically asks about the prime minister, all Ferry can do is look down and say, Ah…you’ll have to ask him (“vous lui demanderez”) -- and move on as quickly as he can. I seem to recall that Ferry displayed a similar talent for communication during his time as minister.
What Ferry cannot suggest, although it seems pretty obvious, is that "everyone who knows" (Raffarin to start with) will naturally deny that they know because knowing about a crime without reporting it makes you an accessory. Am I wrong? So if omerta like this is self-sustaining, it follows that we'll never get the truth here. However, I can't fault Ferry for putting his finger on this. To jump on him for not going to the police or call what he is doing hateful rumor mongering is just another hypocritical effort effort to quash the whole issue - see today's Libé. So wrongheaded in my opinion.
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