Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bush Message

I met with a French friend this morning for coffee. After catching up we ended up talking politics as we sometimes do. She asked me my opinion on Bush's "advertisement" as she called it. Apparently, yesterday there was a "message from Bush" to Europe printed in some French papers, including Le Parisien.

The article my friend was referring to was a newspaper opinion piece signed by President Bush and sent out to foreign newspapers. I guess it is an effort by the Administration to improve public relations abroad. Parts of the opinion piece include: "Americans join all those who cry for the tens of thousands of lives carried by the violent tsunami..... The principal source of generosity of America is the heart of its people ... the Americans will do all that they will be able to help the people of Asia .... We offer the durable engagement of America."

I was taken off guard when my friend asked me about the "ad" because I hadn't read anything about it from the internet news that I check daily. When I got home and knew what to look for, I still had a difficult time finding details about the editorial from English news stories. It's times like these when I feel a bit disconnected from both the US and France.

On the way to coffee this morning, I took this picture of the Opera Garnier where the sun was hitting the famous building. The "N" stands for Napoleon III, who ordered construction of the building. Looking at the gold leaf winged sculpture on the roof is amazing... it's almost too bright when the sun is hitting it right.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
6:18 PM



What a beautiful statue! Blazing and glorious.
Thanks for sharing.

# posted by BohemianMama : 7:39 PM  

Isn't it bizarre (and embarrassing) when French acquaintances seem to know more than we do about American news or politics? It sometimes seems as though what gets reported in the English press and in the French press are totally different!

# posted by Lisa : 11:35 PM  

I stumbled upon your blog. I really like it!

# posted by Scubes : 4:36 AM  

Hi Auntie !

Actually Le Parisien is a pretty good daily paper to read (in Paris) if one's French is not up to Le Monde standards or if one doesn't have the time or inclination to wade through the French in Libération.

LP is generally considered to be a "taxi drivers' paper" – its coverage of horse racing, for example, is only exceeded by its coverage of the Tour de France (which the paper owns outright, tiens, tiens). Not too many "real" French people read Le Monde or Libé, which are both highly influential despite their small readerships. (smile). Outside Paris and the région the LP publishes as "Aujourd'hui" and its competition is the local champion: La Montagne, for example, or Ouest-France – papers like that.

Reading LP is a good way to keep up with events and politics in the capital. LP is where all those city websites, guidebooks, "insider" newsletters and reporters pick up on the latest "in" restaurants, caterers, and "spectacles". (smile)

In the recent past (during the election season) LP published two interviews with the US Ambassador, Howard Leach, so it's not surprising that the communications people chose LP for Bush's statement, which was directed at non-Americans. They could've done far worse.


# posted by L'Amerloque : 9:18 AM  

Auntie M-

Thanks for letting us other clueless Americans know about the "advertisement." I am going to have to quickly find it, because I am meeting with some French friends for lunch and I don't want to be caught offguard.


# posted by Anonymous : 10:36 AM  

Look at the blue and gold contrast! Wow-- you have a great eye-- and a most frabjous subject (Paris) . . my favorite *sniff* ~bluepoppy

# posted by Anonymous : 12:56 PM  

BM and BP, I always look forward to your comments. Thank you for being faithful and encouraging readers to my blog.
Lisa, I think it is a bit strange. I felt kind of foolish for not having a clue about what she was talking about.
Scubes, Welcome to the blog and thank you for commenting.
L'A, Good to hear from you again. You make me want to read Le Parisien, but I'm afraid it's been a goal I haven't met. I'm just working on my children's T'choupi books at this point:)
Jason, I'd be interested to know whether your friends mentioned the article.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 9:46 PM  

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