Sunday, December 12, 2004

The French Press "Must Spread Healthy Ideas", Says…

Serge Dassault. While the National Assembly was working towards the creation of a French CNN (will the CFII ever risk being as loathed in l'Elysée as Ted Turner's news-only channel is in the White House?), the head of the Dassault armaments group made the above remark (on the France Inter radio station), adding that healthy ideas are "ideas which make things go forward" (scroll to bottom). And the UMP senator goes on to explain that newspapers cannot only report that leftist politicians and organizations have said so-and-so and such-and-such (which he calls "fiction"), they also have a responsability to say "stop, we are going in an erroneous direction. That is not what is working."

Not much of a problem here. So far. The problem comes in that Serge Dassault makes his comments exclusively in regards to 1) economic ideas on 2) France's domestic scene. How about a press not only refusing to letting leftist politicians off the hook, Monsieur Dassault, but politicians and organizations (and armaments makers — hint, hint, nudge, nudge) in general? And that, in relation to diplomatic and international relations as well?

Thus, when Dominque de Villepin, say, declares that America must be opposed in Iraq (and everywhere else) and that, with a bit of dialogue, Saddam Hussein can be made to come to terms, a newspaper (a French one) might tell him that "halte là, on va dans l'erreur. Ce n'est pas ça qui marche" — that psychopath is not our friend and ally, and there is no way democracy can ever be made to work if it involves keeping a mass murderer in power.

Or if a politician (say, the senator from Essonne) says that a good idea would be to lift the embargo on selling weapons to China, a member of the press (say, Le Figaro) could jump in, and say "stop, we are going in an erroneous direction. That is not what is working."

Oui, je sais : it's hard to imagine. N'est-ce pas?