Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sarkozy: Then and Now

I can’t be sure when and where I first heard the name of France’s current President, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Thinking back, it must have been sometime in the 90s in France. I’m pretty sure my impression was positive.

Then came early 2003 and France’s effort to prop up Saddam while undermining our diplomatic efforts to get him to go into a luxury exile.

Anti-Americanism was popular among French politicians. President Chirac went out of his way to denigrate America and our allies.

Most French politicians followed Chirac’s lead. Almost all the French media and a good deal of the MSM here cheered them on. Sarkozy stood apart.

I appreciated that.

A few years later, when riots broke out in Paris and other French cities, the leftist French press found many reasons for them.

Sarkozy found one they’d overlooked: the rioters.

When he ran for President, Sarkozy made no secret of his admiration for this country. Mon dieu!

Now we read:

French President Nicolas Sarkozy lost his temper with two American news photographers covering his vacation Sunday, jumping onto their boat and scolding (sic) them loudly in French.

The confrontation came Sunday afternoon as Sarkozy and companions were headed for open water in a boat on Lake Winnipesaukee when he spotted Associated Press photographer Jim Cole and freelancer Vince DeWitt aboard Cole's boat, which was outside a buoy barrier monitored by the New Hampshire Marine Patrol. [. . .]

Hours earlier, Sarkozy had spoken to reporters and said in French, "I am naturally ready to answer all your questions, and maybe afterward you will resume covering the news and other topics, and leave me tranquilly with my family."

An AP reporter taped Sarkozy's remarks and had them translated, but the photographers did not hear the translation until after the altercation.

After Cole and DeWitt promised to stop shooting photos for the day, Sarkozy calmed down, reboarded his boat and continued out onto the lake with his party, followed by a boat carrying U.S. Secret Service agents.

The French government in Paris had no immediate comment.

Sarkozy and his family have been vacationing at a lakefront estate in Wolfeboro owned by former Microsoft Corp. executive Michael Appe. The president was previously photographed relaxing dockside in his swim trunks.
You’ve got to know I was disposed to like Sarkozy before the incident with the bothersome photographers.

Now I’m more so disposed.

Sarkozy had spent some of a vacation day giving the press “a story and photo op.” He asked to be left alone for the rest of the day.

Who wants camaras pointed at them all day, especially when they’re on vacation?

These photographers weren’t “recording history” or engaged on behalf of “the public’s right to know.”

They were trying to make money at the expense of Sarkozy's privacy. If he had tripped, patted someone on the bottom or opened a beer can, they'd have "caught it" and their day would have been made.

I’m with Sarkozy on this one.

You can read the entire AP story here.

Message to those photographers and the AP: How about coming to Durham and taking pictures of the bathroom in which the Duke hoaxer Crystal Mangum said she was ….. ?

We need to see those photos. You should have provided us with them in March, 2006.