« The Sky Is Falling–Or Is It? | Main | Decrypting French Culture »



Oh my goodness, I can't believe that there are people out there still like that. And this yahoo probably even thinks he's smart, too. Ick. I think I'm going to make your site required reading for my French students next year. Would you mind terribly if I turn your posts into worksheets? With appropriate credit, of course. . .


Sure--use it as you wish. Since there is so much mindless France-trashing in the talking points of trolls of a certain political stripe, it is good to show students in any way we can that these are only unsupported opinions. Don't know if you have checked out Tennessee Bob, who provides a wealth of informative resources. (See the link to his "French Language and culture advocacy in the US".) Good luck with helping your students develop their critical thinking skills!


Consider the source - Fox News is scum. However, the danger is that a good number of Americans consider Fox News reliable and trustworthy. This type of racist rhetoric does not belong in journalistic discourse. Period.


How right you are. But I encounter lots of students and professionals for whom O'Reilly, Hannity and their ilk have taken on a rock star-like aura. Their discursive style is formulaic and based in stereotypes, but perhaps delivered with a swagger that attracts a large viewership. The playwright John Patrick Shanley says that doubt requires more courage than conviction, but the Fox crowd seems to believe otherwise. Maybe these folks are tired of struggling with ambiguity and have decided to abolish it, at least in their little world. If one questions the consequences of such flawed thinking, one is smeared with the "politically correct" label. So anything goes, especially if the person on the receiving end is French, Muslim, or "liberal".


Under the brittle surface of this hateful screed, there is emptiness

I read the cited links to Gibson's Fox news columns at Miquelon.org and no where did Gibson say: "They'd blow up Paris, and who cares?" as you claim. When did he say that? Did Fox edit their site after the fact or what? Read the links for yourself

Having read his two columns, as far as I could see, he is simply saying in tongue-in-cheek fashion, that he wishes the French would take terrorism more seriously. Personally, I think the French are doing much more to fight terrorism than they are given credit, but I fail to see how Gibson's opinion here in any way qualifies as "hateful screed".

It equates French Muslims with terrorists and French non-Muslims with terrorist appeasers

He did not equate all (or even most) French muslims with terrorists. You seem to be engaging in the same tactics that you accuse others of doing.


Thanks for weighing in. You can find the quotation in a July 9 article by Julian Borger in the Guardian, also on Miquelon.org. Even if Gibson had not said that, France-bashing would seem to be his stock-in-trade. I hate to rely on using bits and pieces of quotations to illustrate this, but it's hard to ignore that Gibson seems to have a pattern of doing scathing, but not-very-factual pieces about France. He said this on August 4: "The good news is that the French are about to have a few years of troubles and that might occupy their thoughts and attention. And maybe we won't hear so much complaining about us for a while. A break would be nice." I don't understand why he feels personally antagonized or what he thinks he needs a break from. He has the right to his opinion, as we all do. His just does not make sense to me, although at least it is consistent.

Keith Abbott

Can I just say what a wonderful blog. The "France is weak on terrorism" slur is a nonsense. It is little known that an Algerian terrorist group tried to mount a 9/11 attack on France by flying a plane into the Eiffel Tower (this was several years before the WTC outrage). The plot was successfully and very firmly dealt with by the French security forces.

Now Jacques Chirac is hardly most people's idea of a decent politician. However his refusal to allow his country to be sucked into the mess that was Iraq (unlike our superpoodle Tony Blair)and his critique of the war put every US politician to shame.

France's tradition of laicisme (secularism) also means a robust approach to militant Islam.

The comments to this entry are closed.