Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Tristane Banon Interview

Here. (h/t FLN)

0:04:05 Je ne peux pas... ça va au-delà évidemment. C’est pareil, j’ai lu beaucoup de bêtises, disant qu’on peut être impressionné plus que de raison par de la drague un peu poussive et peut-être maladroite de la part de personnalités connues. Pas quand on est journaliste, et pas quand on est une femme, en France, journaliste, on sait ce que c’est la drague un peu poussive d’une personnalité un peu connue, très connue ou pas connue du tout. En l’occurrence, je pense que la personne dont on parle a un problème. Il y a beaucoup de journalistes qui le savent depuis longtemps, et ça je le sais, puisque j’ai eu affaire à beaucoup de journalistes qui le savaient... Maintenant, je pense que c’est un problème grave, que cette vidéo du reste ne reflète pas du tout dans la façon dont elle est montrée. Parce que... et dont elle s’est déroulée d’ailleurs, je ne reviens pas du tout là-dessus, mais faut voir que cette émission, 93 Faubourg et le dîner de Thierry Ardisson, c’est une émission qui se passe le soir, qui est dans un contexte assez festif. On boit du champagne... enfin le but n’est pas de faire pleurer dans les chaumières. Moi, quand Thierry Ardisson me lance sur ce sujet-là, il s’agit pas de plomber l’ambiance de tout le monde. Voilà, donc effectivement je leur raconte avec un air assez, voilà, sur le ton potache, etc. Il est intéressant de mentionner que personne ne pousse des cris d’effroi en me disant quelle horreur, qu’est-ce que tu racontes là ? Donc, chacun en tirera les conclusions qui s’imposent. Tout ce que je sais, c’est que contrairement à ce qu’on peut croire quand on voit cette vidéo, ce qui s’est passé a été très difficile à vivre, que je souhaite à personne les mois de psychanalyse qu’il faut derrière pour s’en remettre. Donc voilà...

UPDATE: So now it turns out that this interview was actually given in 2008, at the time of DSK's problems with the IMF over an "affair" with a subordinate.  This makes the media's failure to propagate this information in 2008 more than a little puzzling. It would be interesting to know if the IMF's investigators knew about Banon's two public statements. (h/t Alex Price, see comments)


MYOS said...

Thanks for the link.
Mitch, I hope you can read this.

Alex Price said...

To be clear, this is not a new interview with Tristane Banon. Rather, it is the publication of an interview -- video and transcription -- from 2008 that occurred just after the publication of an AgoraVox article about Banon’s appearance on Ardisson's Paris Première show in 2007. The article and interview took place in the context of the scandal of DSK’s affair with an economist at the IMF. The article here provides a full explanation:

I’m not sure exactly when AgoraVox posted this interview video and transcription –- very irritating that they don’t attach dates to their articles! But it’s been up there for a few days.

Anonymous said...

Let us contrast Tristane Banon's interview and Bertrand Delanoë's:

Mitch Guthman said...

@Myos, I will start on it over lunch in a few minutes (I am in Los Angeles). I gave it a quick glance just now and I am certain it will be a hard slog because it's quite a bit above my level. But it looks like it will be well worth the effort. I will, therefore, endeavor to perverse out of my desperate need to feed my fixation with this case. (Although, in fairness to us obsessives on the French Politics blog, it’s seems to be a pretty widespread obsession. This morning, everyone at the café where I take my breakfast was talking about nothing else.

Perhaps, if there is anything good to come of the affair and the many wasted hours, it will be that I will become more serious about learning French.

@Alex Price, thanks very much for the link. Having both the video and the transcript is very helpful because I have real difficulty with comprehending spoken French.

By the way, I think this is more of the interview that was posted on the Libé web site that I had trouble with so this will really help a lot.

Alex Price said...

The AgoraVox article “Tristane Banon, DSK et AgoraVox : retour sur une omerta médiatique”

is well worth reading for the details it provides about the functioning of the omerta médiatique we have been hearing so much about in the past week.

The author(s) explain that late in the afternoon of October 22, 2008, the *same day* Agoravox published an article about Banon’s story on Ardisson’s show, an article in which DSK is named publicly for the first time (his name had been bleeped out when the show was broadcast in February 2007), Agence France Presse (AFP) published a dispatch in which DSK threatened legal proceedings against those who would spread “des rumeurs malveillantes” about him. Before the publication of this dispatch, the Agoravox article and video excerpt had been picked up by the news site Bakchich but somewhat buried. When the Agoravox editors contact AFP to ask why AFP hadn’t picked up the story, they are told that Banon didn’t press charges, so there is nothing to report. Apparently the editors contacted other journalists at that time as well and distinguish between those who simply didn’t believe the story at all and those who thought she was probably exaggerating. The editors then go on to explain why they didn’t publish a follow-up to their original story in October 2008 based on the interview they conducted shortly afterwards with Banon (the video recording and transcript of which they have just published on the site and which Art quotes from in the blog entry I’m commenting on):

« Après avoir reçu un refus de l'AFP, après avoir reçu le jour-même la dépêche des avocats de DSK, après quelques conversations avec des journalistes et des avocats plus ou moins catastrophistes et oppressants, nous sommes tombés dans le même panneau que nous reprochons aux journalistes traditionnels : l'auto-censure alimentée comme d'habitude par le marketing de la peur... »

A credible, serious legal threat, an absolute lack of interest on the part of their peers, that was enough.

MYOS said...
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MYOS said...

hopefull it'll be a small "thanks"

I cannot... It goes beyond (a prank) obviously. It's the same, I've read a lot of BS, stating one can get impressed more than is rational by oafish flirting, perhaps unwelcome flirting, from famous people.
Not when you're a journalist, and not when you're a woman, in France. Journalist, we know what "oafish flirting" is whether it's from a vaguely known, a very well-known, or a not-at-all well-known person.
In the case we're discussing (bad translation of mine) I believe that the person we're talking about has a problem. Many journalists have known about it for a long time, and this I know for sure, since I've met many journalists who knew.... Now, I think it's a serious problem, something this video does not reflect at all in the way it's been shown. Because.. And in the way it happened, BTW, I won't go back to it, but, you need to see what that program is, it's a nightly prgram, in a merry setting. We drink champagne... the goal isn't to make people cry in their house. When Ardisson asked me about that topic, the way I see it, it isn't about darkening the mood... So here I go, indeed, I tell them with an air, an air quite, well, like a sophomoric story, etc. It's interesting to point out that no one screams, no one says it's horrible, no one says "what in the world are you talking about?" Therefore, everyone will draw the only conclusions that they can. All I know is that, conversely to what you see in that video, what happened then was really hard to live through. I don't wish anyone the months of therapy you need to start pulling yourself back together. So, here you go....

Mitch Guthman said...

@ Myos,

It was a mighty struggle and I’ve only just finished (with a bit more still to do tomorrow). Even with the subtitles and a transcript it was a long and difficult business. But well worth the effort.

Yes, I was also drawn to that same passage where she explains the Thierry Ardisson interview of which Arthur Goldhammer was so critical in our discussion the other night. Now that I know what she said and watched her say it during this really extended interview, I think I know what she’s saying. It's so very sad. I don't see how anyone could listen to her and not feel sorry for her and what was done to her (and not just by DSK, if I read this right)

In 2002, Tristane Banon was apparently a very pretty, well educated, reasonably affluent and reasonably well connected young woman just starting out as a journalist. These are the things that gave her entrée to the social and political set of which she obviously wanted very much to be a part. Certainly, I would be willing to bet real money that it was her connections and her looks that allowed her, a virtual unknown, to arrange a series of private interviews with someone as important and powerful as DSK. And I think she was saying that, yes, she understood that her looks were important in her acceptance into that society and that a certain role was expected of her as a woman in a man's world. That sort of thing. She knew the game and, at the time, accepted the necessity of living by the rules, and, if I'm reading the subtext correctly, (rather sadly) this was apparently done under her mother's tutelage. Yes, she drew the line at giving herself to DSK but she seems to have understood that, even so, if she wanted to get ahead in that society of powerful men it was essential to keep her mouth shut and to flatter rather than attack.

She had a lot of reasons for staying silent and even when she was on the Thierry Ardisson show (which I’ve never seen) for seeming to airily, even cheerfully dismiss DSK's attempt to rape her. What she said about the Thierry Ardisson business and her regrets was very moving and it seemed very heartfelt to me. I think she was very honest in also saying that she had political reasons, family reasons, reasons related to her personal life. And, of course, I think she just wasn’t willing to take a bullet for the team. She had a lot to lose by going to the authorities and very little to win. The bottom line is that she wasn’t willing to be the Mohamed Bouazizi of French feminism. I can’t say that I blame her.

(Unless, as may be the case, my extremely limited, not very good French and the difficulty of appreciating subtle, subtext in any language and especially a language other than my mother tongue, has led me to take a very wrong turn somewhere. I certainly recognize the possibility and would be interested in how others understood her interview).

FrédéricLN said...

" So now it turns out that this interview was actually given in 2008, at the time of DSK's problems with the IMF over an "affair" with a subordinate. This makes the media's failure to propagate this information in 2008 more than a little puzzling."

oops, indeed. But it has just been published now by Agoravox, as they explain on the page you link.

The reason not to publish that in 2008 is obvious: the fear of a complaint (by DSK) for defamation. In order to publish, you need a good lot of evidence.

Alex Price said...
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