DSK Affair Sanitizes ‘French Bashing’ in New York Media (Le Journal du Dimanche au Quotidien, France)
Have the anti-French headlines in New York’s tabloid press since the arrest of the disgraced Dominique Strauss-Kahn gone too far? Marie-Christine Tabet of Le Journal du Dimanche au Quotidien writes that the blood-sport of New York newsgathering is such, that chances are, the ‘French bashing has only just begun.’
For Le Journal du Dimanche au Quotidien, Marie-Christine Tabet reports on how New York media is covering the story:
The big story. For Charles B., the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is “the” great affair of a career. At New York Post headquarters, just blocks from the Sofitel in Times Square, he’s one of a pool of reporters who feed on the daily chronicle of DSK. Since May 15, his newspaper, a trashy tabloid, has devoted almost all of its front pages to “The Perv.” And for 50 cents, every morning the reader is served juicy revelations, always taking aim at the French. The presumed crime of the “rotten frog,” of the “crybaby,” of the “repulsive fat cat” is described in detail, as is the splendor of all of his successive lodgings. Again on Saturday he was called a “bad tipper” – a cheapskate who doesn’t tip. Unimaginable in the French press.
It was the New York Post that broke the story in the United States via an Internet alert at around 6:30pm May 14 (12:30am French time). The tabloid has every intention of maintaining its lead, even if it means sometimes publishing information that is quickly refuted: contrary to assertions that day, the accuser didn’t have AIDS. And besides, having a man from the left – a French man moreover – pinned to the front page of one of his company’s publications, doesn’t displease the very conservative Rupert Murdoch.
The New York Times sent a team of ten reporters into the field. The daily newspaper of record that has the motto, “All the News That’s Fit to Print” – progressive and rather Democratic – has a great deal of space dedicated to him. Its cruelest attack came from one of the newspaper’s editorial stars, Maureen Dowd, who castigated the French media for being shocked by photos of Strauss-Kahn handcuffed and for the support shown by his “friend,” Bernard Henri-Lévy. “At least he didn’t mention Dreyfus” she wrote – referring to the emotions of French who suspect a conspiracy. The French-bashing has only just begun.
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