No ‘bling bling baby’ for Sarkozy – the French don’t give a hoot

When Carla Bruni-Sarkozy told the BBC this week that the French didn’t find her pregnancy interesting, we thought she was being modest. Take a look at the response from French web users however, and it’s all too clear that that she was actually making an understatement.

 

“Carla Bruni is absolutely right,” piped one commentator on the website for Paris Match, a weekly with a focus on news and celebrities. “We couldn’t give a sh** about her pregnancy. The country is going to sh**, there are people dying in Ethiopia… Why should we bother about this spoilt presidential baby?”

 

That was just one of thousands of outraged comments on gossip, news and women’s websites; almost every one of them ending in an angry exclamation mark.

 

News of the BBC interview itself was bemusing enough. The French first lady, interviewed by a famous French journalist in… English, for… an English-speaking radio station? “Can I please remind everyone that we are not in India, we are in France,” huffed one reader on the online comments section of conservative daily France Soir. “France is not one big reality TV show”.

 

PR potential? Not in France

 

The issue is a pricklier one in France than it might be in India, the US or the UK. It reflects a general hostility towards “celebrity gossip”, which has nonetheless seen a gradual growth over the past decade. It was, after all, the paparazzi who brought us the tale of Sarkozy’s whirlwind love affair with ex-model Bruni. But while the “happy couple” initially seemed content in the glare of the spotlight – Sarkozy surreptitiously flashing his Rolex at the cameras – the healthy interest quickly transformed into a case of serious overexposure. Sarkozy became the “bling bling president” that nobody wanted to see hanging around on a yacht anymore, let alone with his Botoxed fiancée and her cringe-inducing flats.

 

Back to the present, and Carla has managed to keep details of her pregnancy largely under wraps, despite the PR potential of the first-ever baby born to a French president while in office, just a year before Sarkozy is to run for another term as president. “I think it’s great that she’s being discreet,” wrote one woman on French Yahoo’s ‘For Her’ news forum. “The French don’t vote for soap stories, they vote for economic, social and moral reasons.”

 

If the president were hoping to score any points from the new arrival, he’d be mistaken. Surveys show that even in the UK, France’s gossip-gripped neighbour, neither Gordon Brown nor David Cameron earned a popularity boost after the respective births of their in-office babies. Sarkozy has clearly taken note.
 

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7 Comments
One wishes Mr. Nicholas Sarkozy & Mrs. Carla Bruni-Sarkozy a very very beautiful and happy time. I had no idea that she was pregnant. Hope that they together can find greater heights than pay the price for others having turned India into a big reality show. I am not a part of it. But the French usually are very kind and considerate people - even if sensitive towards any suggestion about opinions. Hope France does itself proud. One is happy for the First Family of France. Even if from me.
"The French don’t vote for soap stories, they vote for economic, social and moral reasons.” So what of those reasons got Sarkozy elected?
very refreshing that the French are above the imbecile celeb-worship symptomatic of their rosbif neighbours. maybe the Brits should try and grow up and develop something more worthy to occcupy their minds, newspapers and airwaves
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[ SOS ] Complaint with IBM China CSR on Centennial [ Review ] How Much IBM Can Get Away with is the Responsibility of the Media http://wp.me/p1hDC3-aL IBM Advised to Treat its People with Humanism in China http://wp.me/p1hDC3-aW Tragedy of Labor Rights Repression in IBM China http://wp.me/p1hDC3-92 Scandal stricken IBM detained mother of ex-employee on the day of centennial http://wp.me/p1hDC3-8I
Well the French are not like our moronic masses in Britain and America,Irrelevant news is not fasinating to them.A child born is welcome news for Family and Friends, and is personal.Not of universal interest.
If the French worried less about what is going on in Ethiopia and India, both of which have their own, post-colonial governments, France would not be, so much at any rate, going to sh**t. Furthermore, even though the Sarkozys' baby is not the reincarnation of The King of Rome, to rally the French, like Napoleon displayed as a portrait, to his troops, at Borodino, the French should make some effort to be proud, in lieu of being a lumpen, begrudging mob.