Friday, December 19, 2008

Good Cartoon


Hmmm ...

The brigade financière has conducted a search of Julien Dray's home in connection with an investigation of "suspect" movements of funds involving an association of lycéens and SOS-Racisme. The sums allegedly involved are substantial.

So--yesterday we had Bruno Julliard, only yesterday a student leader, saying that the place of the PS was in the streets alongside the demonstrating students. Not in party chambers attempting to develop a school reform policy better than that proposed by the government, but in the streets alongside students whose program does not seem to extend beyond "no reform," even though they are the first to complain about the status quo. Now we have the suggestion--which may be a manipulated one, to be sure, engineered by a government that has the power to cast suspicion when it will--that the PS was not only accompanying the students but perhaps egging them on, disruption being at this point the party's only road to visibility that doesn't involve its own internal dissension.

Copé Emulates Coppola

Jean-François Copé is out to emulate Francis Ford Coppola. He wants to make a film to expose the opposition's parliamentary antics in opposing the bill to end advertising on French public TV. Well, I'm sure that will be a major hit. But antics are what you get when parliament is reduced to a rubber stamp on le fait du Prince, and this measure was one of Sarkozy's more high-handed presidential prerogatives, sprung on even his own party without prior discussion or preparation and pushed through at an accelerated pace for no good reason even after numerous reasonable objections were raised both by the leaders of public TV and the opposition, not to mention some of the president's own supporters. True, the Socialists have often called for an end to advertising on public TV in the past, but presumably they would have compensated for the loss in finance, as Sarko has failed to do. But the most offensive part of the president's move is the subordination of the media to the whims of power. He now gets to hire and fire at will. Not that he didn't already have--and use--his influence in the past. But now he wants the kind of power de Gaulle had--and indeed, one of the "antics" of the opposition was to pun on the name of the Gaullist-era ORTF with the appellation ORTS: Organisation Radio-Télévision Sarkozy. Not very elevated as political debate, to be sure, but only too accurate in its depiction of what might reasonably be feared as a consequence of the change.