Stung by the global popularity of CNN and BBC television chanels in english, France’s President Chirac (remember, the chap that singlehandedly convinced the IOC not to award the games to Paris?) promised a “CNN à la française” in the 2002 election campaign
However, the dream of mounting a challenge to CNN and the BBC has suffered an embarrassing setback after it emerged that the new channel would broadcast mostly in English.
It was always known that part of the channel’s output would be in English and Arabic but champions of the French language were appalled at suggestions that its output in the language be less than four hours a day.
President Jacques Chirac promised a station that will “spread the values of France and its global vision throughout the world”.
What value would that be then? A work ethic that only manages to produce about 4 hours of native language telly per day? Or a global vision of a predominantly english media with a bit of francais for light relief? Or a vision of a pompous and arrogant twit who addresses the very neighbours who provided salvation in two wars, with a condescenidng “Nos amis anglais….”
A spokesman for the channel was reported to have defended the proposal on the grounds that English was a universal language, adding: “We are hardly committing an act of high treason.”
Ooooh. I doubt your President agrees mon ami.