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Another "Don't Forget to Hate France" Booster Shot

Reported by Melanie - November 16, 2004 -

The lead segment today (November 16, 2004) on Your World w/Neil Cavuto was about something France's Jacques Chirac said about Tony Blair. During the several-minute segment, we never did find out precisely what Chirac said, but Cavuto and his two guests sure had a good ol' time slamming France and "old Europe" anyway.

Cavuto opened the segment with this dignified statement:

"Well, to the French, we're fried. Welcome everybody, I'm Neil Cavuto and this is your world. Kum Ba Yah, not. So much for Tony Blair's idea of the US and Europe making nice. To Jacques it's a crock. French leader Jacques Chirac all but saying Blair got zippo for supporting the war against Iraq and that the rest of Europe wouldn't be so trusting or gullible of the US. The fallout, fast and furious today. European markets in a Transatlantic tizzy amid signs bygones won't be bygones."

Cavuto then went on to discuss the matter with his two guests, Georges LeClere identified by Cavuto as being from the International Council of the National Accademy of Television Arts and Sciences, but identified by the label at the bottom of the screen as a former TV anchor, and Nigel Gardiner of The Heritage Foundation.

During the discussion, (again, viewed without ever knowing precisely what Chirac said), the group claimed Chirac just wants to be re-elected, that he "discovered this power he could have among the French by being against the war in Iraq," that "two words sum up" Chirac's comments, "jealousy and resentment," that Chirac has an "intensely anti-American, but also intensely anti-British outlook," that he is a "very unpopular figure in Great Britain" and is seen as "someone who constantly stands in the way of British interests," and he resents France's "declining position" on the world stage in contrast to the "rise in British power, globally."

Cavuto said, "I suspect it's a little more than that. It's not just the French, it's the Germans, it's now the newly-elected Spanish government. This troika is making itself very clear in arguing that it's the British who are actually in the minority." We learned Chirac is trying to rally support for the European Union's constitution which is "deeply unpopular," and which the British see as a way of limiting British "influence and freedom," and that "there's also growing opposition to the [EU] constitution in the United States as well." [COMMENT: There is? I say more power to them. Maybe there's "growing opposition" within the Bush administration. I'm sure it feels threatened by the growing unity in Europe and would love to derail it.]

Cavuto said Chirac has "a crappy economy. He's got a growing budget deficit. He's got retail sales that are slowing, so is this what [sic] he's hanging on?" LeClere said "this is common in old Europe." Cavuto said, "In fact, among all these [countries] who opposed the war, they're hardly ones to judge on fiscal stability" [COMMENT: Neither are we!] so what's going on here? LeClere said Chirac needs to show himself as strong [COMMENT: What politician doesn't] and that "France is declining now" [COMMENT: They are?]

Gardiner ended the segment by saying in the future the relationship between Chirac and Blair will be "increasingly tense" and there will be "a very bad relationship between Chirac and Bush as well." He then pointed out that Chirac will be meeting with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle this Friday.

COMMENT: First of all, isn't it amazing that the viewer is never told exactly what Chirac said? Here's an article I found at the BBC's site about it. Maybe this is the Chirac quote that the Bush administration (and thus Fox News) is so upset about:

"That is to try to obtain in exchange a relaunch of the peace process in the Middle East... You absolutely have to obtain something in exchange for your support.'

"Well, Britain gave its support but I did not see much in return. I am not sure that it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically."

Second, checking the market moves across the planet for today, I don't see any sign of what Cavuto said early on about European markets being in a "Transatlantic tizzy." They may be in a tizzy because numbers were released today showing we might be heading into an inflationary period, the value of our dollar has dropped roughly 20% since Bush first took office, and our deficit makes the deficit of any other country on the planet look tiny in comparison. There is talk that Europeans and Asians are pulling money out of our market, which would leave us in very, very bad shape. Maybe that's the reason for all Fox's fuss - if that happens we can blame it on France, Germany and Spain!

Otherwise, it never hurts to slam France and "old Europe." The leaders of those countries actually followed the will of their citizens and didn't support the war in Iraq, so according to the right, that's enough reason to hate them right there.