Friday, July 12, 2013

NY Times Vacations in France

It must be summer when the New York Times starts running articles on France every day of the week. The paper's reporters and columnists know how to enjoy themselves by writing about French malaise, starting with Maureen Dowd, who invented a quote from Camus to bolster her case. Today finds not one but two pieces, one on sullen consumers avoiding the Clignancourt flea market, the other a column by the inevitable and ineffable Roger Cohen in which he cites another column he wrote 16 years ago, which also found the French to be morose, hence, he concludes, French moroseness is a "myth," but a useful one, always available to be illustrated by profiling an in-law's gruff uncle.

The kernel of the "sullen France" story is always that the French are ingrates. Blessed with natural and created beauty, glücklich wie Gott im Frankreich, they nevertheless insist, so we are told, on stewing in an existential funk. Why is it that none of these junketing journalists ever reports on the theater festival in Avignon, the opera in Orange, the skateboarders at Trocadero, or the sunbathers on Paris Plage? Frankly, I'd rather be morose in France than forced to watch the George Zimmerman trial nonstop on CNN.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for confirming my feeling that the Camus quote is fake1

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right about the NYT 's seasonal biases. It also reports on "the Hamptons'" quirks and local poltics every summer. There is hardly ever an acknowledgment that they are purveying stereotypes or a particular slant on a person or issue,

As economists Paul Krugman and Dean Baker have recently pointed out in their blogs , NYT portrayed the French unemployment problems and
The economy 's health incorrectly--in my mind, dishonestly.

DHMC said...

Thanks for this. A refreshing reminder. This line of reporting is yet another example of the far-too-common tendency in the US press of the press creating a narrative and then reporting to match the narrative, rather than looking at matters objectively.