Sometimes the French astound me. A country that has given birth to such astonishing intellectualism, culture and romance has also given us some very funny moments at its expense.
The latest is the French blogosphere going ‘up in smoke’ about a politician doing what we have for years been suggesting they should do: monitor the blogosphere to get a sense of what the people are really thinking.
Yes, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is monitoring the blogosphere.
Hardly rocket science, you would think, but that didn’t stop the French quarter of the blogosphere from erupting in a blue haze of Gauloise. Allegedly.
One blog went as far as to say the appointment
"can only be another sign of a hardening on the part of the authorities towards one of the last sources of completely free information."
Oh, come on! Give me a break! The man gets about 10,000 posts a day about him according to the Yahoo! News article, of which 80% are critical. So he hires some young gun who ‘gets it’ to monitor the live web and suddenly it is an infringement of basic human rights? What, Sarkozy is suddenly going to bring in a French equivalent of the KGB?
Lighten up, mes collègues français — light up a
Winfield Gauloise and relax!
Thankfully, there is a breath of sanity amongst the Gallic madness. Journalist Pierre Haski apparently remarked that the new move by the President "marks the recognition by the Elysee that what is said on the Internet is more important than might have been thought."
It seems that at least someone has been listening to us!
Hat tip to Sallie Goetsch for the heads-up on this, and I look forward to listening to her comments about this in her report on For Immediate Release, and Shel & Neville’s discussion, which hits the podwaves Tuesday morning Australian time.