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Words cannot describe how disappointed I am in our government's reaction (or lack thereof) to the riots in France. I had some great discussions with my high school classes, but had a really hard time finding articles that were talking about what was really going on.

Thanks for a magnificent post, as usual.


Jean - thanks for a very lucid analysis of the U.S. media coverage of the French riots, which I followed very closely as well. It is also interesting to read about how the French reacted to the U.S. coverage of the riots.


Actually, it was not Jacques Chirac who said "Nous sommes tous américains" (we all are americans) after 9/11 but Jean-Marie Colombani, Le Monde's chief editorialist.

Thnak you for the post !


Thanks for the fact-check, tcheni. I remember that the statement of solidarity came out very soon after the attacks on NYC. I had a student who had just gone to study in Toulon in the fall of 2001 and was still struggling hugely with the French language when the terrorists struck. He was amazed at how he was embraced the minute people there became aware that he was American. Shopkeepers even hugged him and gave him free stuff. We shouldn't forget that despite the ugly political rhetoric that has flowed since, there is a franco-american bond that is deep and lasting. The bond will survive the attacks of manipulative politicians, just as it always has.


Hi Jean !

/*/The right-wing and even moderate press coverage in the US generally reflected a pervasive intellectual laziness and certainly did not provide a serious critique of the societal challenges faced by France./*/

Spot on. A big part of the problem, in Amerloque's view, is the sheer inability - or unwillingness ? - of the press to realize that things are just not the same in France as they are in the USA. To put is simply, (smile) the country is organized in a different fashion, for people who don't expect the same things from society as Americans do and who - for want of a better expression of the concept - don't believe in the same dreams ...



For the first time in my blogging life, I deleted a comment that referred to this posting and the comments following as "drivel." Francofile has nothing against divergent opinions, but does not suffer incivility to commenters on this blog, whose insighfulness, astuteness, articulateness continually amaze me.


The American media is pathetic...making the news say what they want. The problems in France aren't nearly as bad as the media would like us to think. Even I, who is a strong Republican and also a Bush-supporter, have got to say the US was so very wrong about this one. Great entry.


Hi Jean!

I've just discovered your amazing blog, and i think i'll pass my evening going throught it!
I just wish i was able to write a blog like that on America, when i was in the USA! :) (i'm the exact opposite: a French girl going to the USA).

For the riots coverage: i was surprise by the dramatization of the facts. If it wasn't for my mother explaining me the situation on the phone, i would have believed whole France was burning and dangerous.
Of course Us co-workers were asking me a lot about it, and were surprised that all the streets weren't exactly in civil war.. For the record I even received a letter asking me if I wasn't dead! :)))

Nancy L Wood

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