Tuesday, December 16, 2008

TNR Article

The New Republic asked me to write an article about the Socialist Party leadership contest. I confess that the "hook" in this story--the device of comparing the French Socialists to the American Republicans--was the editor's idea. I wouldn't have written it that way myself, but I suppose it might grab the attention of readers otherwise uninterested in the PS. What do you think?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it libre marché rather than marché libre ? The latter sounds weird to my French ears.

Unknown said...

Yes, sorry about that. There are a few other hics that crept into the article during editing. I'm trying to get them changed.

Anonymous said...

Another minor factual error is that at no point was Laurent Fabius a candidate this year and did not even entertain the idea whatsoever. So while his endorsement of Aubry is obviously crucial, that was a shorthand that sort of misstated the facts.
But once again, as in with the silly hook, your problem is that your audience does not know all these people and presumably does not care beyond your piece.

All this forced comparison and minor mistatements bother me as someone who knows you know better but it is a fine recount for an audience unfamiliar with the story.

Anonymous said...

No problem. Don't worry ! I know how magazine article can go sometimes. As I just said above, they are asking you to write up a complicated situation for a general audience in a limited amount of words.
That's the beauty of blogging vs traditional media (as necessary as they are in their own right).

kirkmc said...

"Recriminations began immediately after Royal's 2007 presidential election"

She wasn't elected; readers will think she was, and be very, very confused.

It's a good article, but I don't think many people will understand it. You can't add all the cultural baggage necessary for it to make sense in such a short piece.

Boz said...

Good stuff, though I'd take issue with Nicolas Canteloup being in any way cruel - he's a genius! Kirkmc, the phrase could be clarified to "campaign", but it's already mentioned several times previously that she lost. Besides, TNR should have some inkling of Sarkozy and Royal.

Leo said...

Art,
although some comparisons are reasonable, I believe, like your barely hidden inner-self, that the GOP and PS are in very different situations.

In the case of the GOP, an incumbent executive has been sent back to the woods and its remit is clear: chose between Palin/Robertson/Phil Graham Republicans and Rockefeller/Bush 41 Republicans. A clear ideological choice. Given the way it chooses its leadership, there is no doubt this will happen within the next 4 years. Of course, nobody can yet foresee what the consequences will be.

The PS is an altogether kettle of fish. Here is an opposition party that could not manage to come back in power after 12 years of miserable Chirac presidency. And all that because of its sclerotic apparatus, which prevents real challenges for leadership. The ideological differences you mention are minor compared to fights of personalities and party concept (militant vs supporters). Who can say Royal, Aubry, Strauss or Delanoë (R.I.P) stand on entirely separate sides of the ideological divide?

So yes, your New Republic piece might attract reader attention, but probably for the wrong reasons.

Unknown said...

Leo,
Yes. Sigh. I'm glad that my inner self was barely hidden.

Leo said...

Art,
OK, just call me Sigmund.

Anonymous said...

éminemment lisible, though. the comparison may have been a leetle forced on you but the article made sense to moi.