Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Snooze

Sarkozy's Columbia speech attracted almost no U.S. press coverage. Here is the entire Times article.


Tex_Exile said...
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Tex_Exile said...

From what I saw, that is about 18 lines more than it deserved.

The Other Elizabeff said...

Sarko delivered it in a pour-les-nuls style that suggests that if he'd just repeats "How..much..is..that..in..real...money?" a little louder and a little slower, they'll get it this time.

satchmo said...

On the one hand I concur in many ways with Arthur's commentary on the speech yesterday (in "Sarko on the Upper West Side"). The delivery was not successful and his oddly simplified French (as if he was speaking to people who might not understand him) struck me as a poor choice, etc.

On the other hand, however, it's also interesting (to me) that there is such a resounding silence in this NYT piece and generally on the central theme of his speech, i.e., the destruction created by finance capital and the pressing need to re-regulate it.

The NY Times piece is dismissive, but, tellingly, mentions only his statement about the need for more global representation in the UN and G8 frameworks, etc. That took up only 4 or 5 minutes up of a 30-minute address. The basic call for economic regulation in order to "save capitalism from itself," etc., took up the bulk of the speech, 18 or 19 minutes, but this is passed over in silence. It's sort of amazing (not really) that the Times takes perhaps the least interesting point in the speech and presents it (in the headline and body) as the central emphasis.

So while the talk was not a memorable one, my own suspicion is that the press silence it has produced is less due to any appreciation of good rhetoric, than to the fact that the NYT and other US media outlets don't want to hear people elaborating even very gentle criticisms of the current economic order, etc.

Sad to say, but perhaps even Sarko is a bit too enlightened for contemporary U.S. media.

MYOS said...

@Stachmo: the silence on that part of the speech might be due to the fact Sarko brought it up in NYC before - in exactly the same terms, about a year ago. Since Sarko made ...nothing... happen on that front since then, they took it for what it is: hot air. (At the time, unlike now, I seem to recall there had been quite a bit of discussion about that topic and his far-left tones.)

Hilarious was the F2 report: based on their segment, you'd think the entire US was abuzz with news of the great leader coming and what an important speech (Roger Cohen was quoted.)

Boz said...

MYOS, there were flowers in the streets, trust me... Perhaps TF1 shouldn't always get a bad rap if F2 is pushing the same puff pieces.

MYOS said...

Some US coverage:

"But exactly how badly did Sarkozy, who is under siege at home, want this week’s dinner? Sitting French presidents don’t normally fly to the U.S. just to speak at Columbia University or announce that their wife’s foundation is creating a $2 million French-American art student exchange scholarship at the French Institute Alliance Française—and especially not two weeks before they return to the U.S. for a formal visit. The desire to be linked to Obama is so intense that Sarkozy’s people are gauchely bragging that no other European leader has yet been accorded such an intimate honor."

Acidic coverage on the news today: the menu was not revealed, no translators were there, and Sarkozy decided he'd bring his son Pti Louis (which is an unfortunate nickname since it is a kind of soft cheese for kids), who, being his dad's son, decided he'd bring a pal.
A journalist hinted that all of Obama's compliments were in truth a way to make fun of Sarkozy (I don't think it was the case but the French seem uncomfortable with compliments, which may explain the comment).

Cincinna said...

If there was no translator present, then Carla, a very lovely and elegant First Lady who is not a diplomatic translator, was the only one present who speaks both French and English. We know the Obamas do not speak French, so how did they all communicate? We know Obama smokes, so perhaps it was through smoke signals.

The entire episode is bizarre. No pictures, no coverage.

We do know that Sarko presented a gracious and historic gift to the POTUS. The original of the papers Ben Franklin presented to the French Court when he became Ambassasor of our new Republic.

One can only imagine what he received in return.

An iPod?