Friday, May 20, 2011

France2 Does Its Job

I just watched the France2 JT de 20h, which is aired here at 6PM. Laurent Delahousse had two French lawyers accredited to the NY bar to explain American procedure, and they were excellent. After all the astonishingly stupid and obtuse things I have read and heard today about American justice, it was good to see at least one French news operation do its job professionally and correctly. Bottom line: there is nothing unusual or brutal about Dominique Strauss-Kahn's treatment by the police or the court. So far, the case has unfolded in a totally "normal" manner, said one of the lawyers. He repeated the word: "normal." May the French hear this and calm down.

I did my own small bit in a brief interview on France24, which aired at midnight, ensuring that no one will hear it.

Bravo, le Canada!

It takes a Canadian woman to tell France things it needs to hear.

Denise Bombardier by franceinter

Words Fail Me

Tristane Banon refuses to testify in New York because "the presumption of innocence does not exist in the United States." Les bras m'en tombent, or, to put it in Internet Esperanto, WTF?!!

More Details and Timeline Rectifications


An American Defends DSK

So far, everyone I know to be a defender of the idea that DSK was brought down by some sort of international conspiracy is French. Here's an American--a former Reagan Treasury official, actually--who leaps from discrepancies in the reporting to a conspiratorial thesis. Take it for what it's worth.

Oh, Mother of ...

So now it appears that François Hollande was apprised of DSK's attack on Tristane Banon and was "kind ... superb," according to her mother, but nevertheless didn't feel it was his business to "police the PS." And he says that he "jamais eu connaissance des faits de la gravité qui ont été évoqués". The syntax here is a bit twisted, but since he did know some of the facts, he appears to be saying that he was not aware of the full gravity of the situation. So why did he call Tristane Banon to comfort her? Oh, what a tangled web ...

Can a Fool Make an Even Greater Fool of Himself?

If he's BHL, of course he can.

Sarkozy vs. Cyber-Dissidence

A blockbuster of an article by Frédéric Martel, who contends that the Élysée did what it could to prevent Bernard Kouchner from encouraging "cyber-dissidents" in China and elsewhere:

Le président met son veto aux projets Internet de son ministre : « Vous m’avez fait part de votre intention de réunir une conférence internationale consacrée à la liberté d’expression sur Internet. Cette problématique doit être abordée de manière globale. » Suivent deux pages de commentaires critiques et de détricotages. Alors que Kouchner évoquait les « cyberdissidents », Nicolas Sarkozy répond en termes de « cybercriminalité ». Kouchner met en avant la « liberté de la presse », le président craint, lui, les « zones de non-droit », propose de « bâtir un Internet civilisé, respectueux des droits de tous ». Le ministre militait pour défendre les « droits de l’homme » et un Internet « ouvert », Sarkozy lui répond que cette conférence doit être «l’occasion de promouvoir les initiatives de régulation, en particulier la loi Hadopi ». Sarkozy choisit un Internet fermé !
Selon les nombreux témoins interrogés par Marianne, cette lettre est un point de non-retour dans les relations entre Sarkozy et Kouchner. Ce dernier aurait même menacé de démissionner, une nouvelle fois. Surtout quand Levitte lui fait savoir que la conférence doit être impérativement annulée, sauf à en modifier « substantiellement » les thèmes : l’Elysée ne veut pas entendre parler de cyberdissidence, ni de liberté d’expression, il veut du « contrôle ». 

Schneidermann: DSK "lourdingue"

Daniel Schneidermann tells us exactly what he knew about DSK's behavior with women before the arrest. He was "lourdingue" (oafish) in his approaches to two friends of Schneidermann's, not exactly a crime. And he had read in the book Sexus politicus that DSK had been observed by the RG at one or more clubs d'échangistes.

Schneidermann accuse DSK d'harcélement [ITW]... by peanutsie

Inaccurate Reporting of DSK Affair

Discussed here.

Valls Loses His Temper

I still haven't been able to find the whole Pujadas DSK special, but here's a link to one particularly interesting segment in which Manuel Valls blows his stack (h/t Kirk).

Chirac Trial Can Resume

Le procès de Jacques Chirac va pouvoir reprendre

La Cour de cassation a donné son feu vert à la réouverture du procès de l'ancien président français, poursuivi pour des emplois fictifs à la Mairie de Paris. La plus haute juridiction française a rejeté la question prioritaire de constitutionnalité qui tendait à faire déclarer ces faits prescrits.

Lovely. Former French president on trial. Would-have-been future French president on trial. Current French finance minister moves to IMF, possible, while case involving her also moves through the courts. France's low international profile has been raised dramatically, and not in a good way. And let's not forget that the Libyan intervention hasn't worked out all that well. One may have reason to regret the good old days of relative obscurity.

Finkielkraut Déconne

Here. C'est du Finkielkraut pur sucre.


Daniel Cohn-Bendit says that he and other DSK backers should have been more concerned that he would eventually do himself in. (h/t Arun Kapil)