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December 19, 2005

Media Start-Ups, The Last Refuge of Scoundrels

From the Wall Street Journal's email newsletter:

From the Wall St. Journal's daily email newsletter:

Broadcasting Waterloo?

What do French President Jacques Chirac and former Vice President Al Gore have in common? Just lately, dreams of a media legacy.

Mr. Gore decided to pick up the post-presidential-run pieces by starting a current-affairs cable station called Current TV. Now, with a recent poll showing that only 3% of French voters are enthusiastic about President Chirac seeking a third term in 2007, the veteran politician has announced a grand plan to start a government-funded international news network, nicknamed "CNN à la française." The station is slated to hit the airwaves late next year, and French diplomats say it will "make France radiate" around the world.

The new channel is in part the brainchild of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.... In 2003, Mr. de Villepin announced plans for the channel while he was serving as foreign minister. At the time, he announced that the world was thirsting for the French view. "Never has France been so listened to, and never have so many hopes been placed in it," he declared.


This latest Chirac venture is based partly on the premise that giant "Anglo-Saxon" news operations such as CNN broadcast news from a perspective that shortchanges the French. "France believes it has a point of view, which is not represented in international channels like BBC and CNN -- to say nothing of Fox News," says David-Herve Boutin, who helped design the channel's blueprint.

-- John Fund

It's amusing to me that Gore/Chirac/De Villepain believe that CNN, the BBC, and all the American network newscasts are not sufficiently solicitous of the liberal/French view of the world.

Thanks to the mighty Slublog.

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posted by Ace at 12:51 PM

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