Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lesley Stahl Does France

Sarko apparently stormed out of his interview with Lesley Stahl because she asked him a question about Cécilia, but he should have refused to meet with her because she is so utterly ignorant of France, as this "reporter's notebook" makes clear (click on the "Lesley Stahl's notebook" link). She states that France "used to be anti-American but is now pro-American and pro-Israel" and that the French are "prohibited by law" from working more than 35 hours per week. This misunderstanding may make it difficult for her to comprehend Sarkozy's reform of the tax on overtime work.

Regular blog readers will be interested to learn that they have been joined today by hundreds of newcomers who are discovering "French Politics" for the first time, apparently because the news that Sarko walked out on CBS is spreading around the United States like wildfire. Today will set a record for hits on this site, most coming from people searching Google for "French president storms out of CBS interview." With one impulsive action, Sarko may have wiped out much of his carefully planned seduction of America. Or maybe not. Although Stahl opines that the French may like their politicians on the macho side, she seems to have forgotten what mileage Bush got in the good old days with lines like "Bring 'em on."


gregory brown said...

IF Sarkozy's tantrum gets a lot of those googlers, who may be journalists prepping for Sarkozy's visit, to discover this site as well as other sources about information on French current affairs other than the Economist it might be a good thing.

I am convinced that most of the misunderstandings about Sarkozy's election, program and government that are repeated ad infinitum in the American press, including Stahl's errors, derive mutatis mutandis from the Economist's laudatory but error-prone feature story on Sarkozy from last April.

yabonn said...

The scary thought is that this imbecilic reporter :

- is in France, interviewing the french president, but still manages to phantasize completely the country
- is mainstream

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Greg, You may be on to something. Here is a journalist who has picked up the post:

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Right on. It is scary that a major network can promulgate such nonsense.

FReeper from France said...

I found your Blog on

I like reading it alot. There has been a lot of coverage about the French elections and Nicolas Sarkozy.

Your coverage of Sarkozy's first few months is very informative. I am looking forward to your coverage of the French Presidents visit to the US.