Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mélenchon Shuns Quatremer

The leader of the Front de Gauche, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, seized the opportunity when Marine Le Pen refused to debate with him. He demonstrated both impressive debating skills and an instinct for the jugular in capitalizing on Le Pen's refusal to debate with an opponent she detested. But now we learn that Mélenchon himself feels that he can pick and choose his debate opponents. Invited to appear on Salut les Terriens!, he refused to go on the show if the journalist Jean Quatremer was included in the panel as scheduled. It seems that there is an old bone of contention between the two, having to do with Quatremer's criticism of the position of the Front de Gauche toward Belarussian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.

I don't know what Quatremer said or what Mélenchon's position on Lukashenko is. An open debate might have clarified the matter for me and others in the dark about this, but Mélenchon, who is given to occasional outbursts against members of the press he does not like, preferred to avoid the confrontation.

UPDATE: More details here.

1 comment:

Robert said...

Marine Le Pen was pathetic. The penchant for avoiding the question, the indignant attacks on the moderator, her saying she wouldn't debate Melenchon when she was doing nothing but: All this reminded me of Georges Marchais in his most tense and ridiculous TV "contre-performances" in the early '80s.

I haven't yet read a media analysis of the 1981 campaign, so I don't know whether Marchais' antics contributed to the Communists' steep losses that year -- although I can't imagine they helped. Likewise, I get the sense Le Pen may soon find herself painted as a lightweight and thus remain in her father's still very-present shadow.