Les Guignols de L’Info: Les journalistes les plus professionnels en France
It is awkward to watch French journalists interviewing Nicolas Sarkozy. They look nervous, flustered, incoherent, and most importantly, they look like a bunch of amateurs. They don’t ask the questions that need to be asked of an incumbent president. They don’t talk about his record. They let Sarkozy lead the interview, answer the questions he wants to answer, and ask himself questions and then answer them, and so on. It’s a pitiful spectacle. It is no longer journalism; it’s idolatry.
Take for example Franz Olivier Giesbert, supposedly a famous journalist with the magazine Le Point. In his last interview of Sarkozy, Mr. Giesbert asked the incumbent president–it wasn’t really a question, or a comment or rhetorical question, quite honestly, i really don’t know what he was doing–about his sad eyes. He said, “je vois de la tristesse dans vos yeux!” Oh my goodness! Is that a question or a love declaration? Instead of asking the president about his flip-flopping on many of his previous positions and policies, or on the aggressive tone of his campaign, or on his numerous lies on the campaign trail, or on his record/plan to fight France’s chronically high unemployment rate, Mr. Giesbert asked about the president’s eyes. Wasn’t that a heartwarming question? I literally cringed when i heard that comment/question/whatever you want to call it. Would that be a question that Joe Nocera or Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times would ask? Would that be a question that Mike Wallace or Steve Kroft or Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes would ask? No, they would not because those questions allow the interviewed to gain control of the interview, to lead it, to have the upper hand, and therefore, to escape and avoid answering the most pertinent questions. Instead, Sarkozy gets asked softball questions and he gets to knock them out of the park. The man has yet to answer one hard question on his record or on his campaign. No one has yet to date to ask him the tough question(s).
Don’t get me wrong, Franz Olivier Giesbert is not the only stupid journalist in France. There are plenty of them–especially on television–and all of them seem to be awestruck when they have the incumbent president Sarkozy in front of them. They really remind me of those teenage girls who yell and scream and cry when they meet Justin Beiber or their pop music idol. They are ridiculous. It’s a shameful spectacle that degrades the noble profession of journalism.
However, there are still journalists in France who do their job and ask the real questions, and try to highlight the flagrant inconsistencies and contradictions of Sarkozy the candidate. They are just not human. They are figurines made out of rubber, foam, plastic, and fake hair. Yes, those journalists are the puppets of Canal Plus, also known as Les Guignols de L’Info. They are the only professional journalists in France or what is left of professional journalism in that country. They wrap and mix serious questions with satire, laughter, and jokes, but their questions are right on the money; and they are deadly serious.
These two short clips posted below show one very important thing that no journalist in France has yet to highlight. Les Guignols point to the most obvious, to the biggest elephant in the room: the contradictions, the lies, and the inconsistencies in Sarkozy’s campaign and record. They do that in a very clever and yet accurate way. I think that all journalists in France should sit down, shut up, watch a few clips, take notes, and then try to be as professional as les Guignols de l’Info.
En 2012, je change tout sauf les shoes (courtesy of Canal+.fr)
Nicolas Sarkozy peut-il faire oublier Nicolas Sarkozy (courtesy of Canal+.fr)