Sunday, February 20, 2005

Pimp Ware Diplomacy

The O'Reilly Factor (Fox News)

Mon Dieu! Ici nous allons encore. Bill O'Reilly is calling for another boycott of France and all things French. This guy desperately needs some new material. Yeah, yeah, yeah. America's gotta wise up (that includes you, Mr. President) about the tres shitty French. Hey, it's O'Reilly. We've heard it all before.
When are we Americans going to wise up? How many times does the French government, led by Jacques Chirac, have to put all of us in danger before we get the picture? France is helping worldwide terrorism.
Here's the latest. France has said no to Secretary of State Rice, who asked the Chirac government to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group. If France would do that, Hezbollah could not raise money in Europe, which it is now doing through various charitable fronts.
That last sentence got my attention. O'Reilly jumped from France to Europe, and I smelled a splotchy rat....

Off to Google I went and I tracked down the missing pieces in a New York Times article (link).
The Europeans are not solidly opposed to listing Hezbollah as a terrorist group, the officials said. The Netherlands, Italy, and Poland support the Bush administration's view, several officials said, while Germany and Britain believe the issue is moot unless the French change their minds. One European diplomat said other countries were "hiding behind" France on the issue….

Ahhh. So it's not so much a France thing as a Europe thing, or more precisely, a European Union thing. But this doesn't do Bill O'Reilly any good. He doesn't sell "Boycott EU" bumper stickers on his personal web site, so there isn't much point to ranting about the EU now, is there.

Again, from the New York Times article:
A European diplomat said the issue of calling Hezbollah a terrorist organization was discussed in Brussels on Wednesday at a meeting of the Clearing House, a unit of the European Union that meets in confidential sessions to review terrorist activities in Europe. The group could reach no consensus, the diplomat said.
Well, you just know how O'Reilly would respond to that: Screw diplomatic nuance. Plus he has all these boxes and boxes and boxes of stupid vinyl, UV-resistant "Boycott France" bumper stickers filling up his garage. So France it is.
Jacques Chirac won't call Hezbollah terrorists. When is enough enough, ladies and gentlemen?... So I am again calling for all responsible people not to buy French products, not to travel to France, and to contact the French embassy in Washington, and let them know Chirac's conduct is unacceptable.
And so, the boycott of France is on. Bumper stickers are available on Get a bunch of them. Spread the word. France is helping Hezbollah and other terrorists. Until that stops, we're not buying their stuff. No spin, no whine.*
Doesn't it seem unseemly for a "journalist" to (1) sell his own editorial tie-in products at all let alone (2) promote them on his show, complete with web address? I'd really hate to think that such a "journalist" might slant his op/ed segments just to move inventory.

*"Whine" is how it appears on the transcript. Transcriptionists are well known for their passive-aggressive sense of humor.

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