France has launched its own answer to the BBC and CNN. The new 24 hour news channel entitled France 24, goes live tonight.
The new station is being championed as a way of forcing the international community to listen to French opinion, this may however be hampered by the channel’s insistance on broadcasting in French.
The new station has the vocal support of President Chirac who yesterday lamented the “absence of a French voice in the global battle of images”. Mr Chirac was famously reduced to stamping his dainty pieds in frustration when, in the build up to the invasion of Iraq, America and Britain completely ignored everything M. Chirac said or did.
The new channel, which has an operating budget equal to about 8% of that of CNN, promises “All the news you’re not supposed to know.” And to this effect all of the channel’s 170 reporters have signed a mission statement to “to cover international news with a French perspective… and to carry the values of France throughout the world”.
One can therefor confidently predict teams of reporters throughout the globe speaking with insouciance whilst flying high the banner for decadent indolence.
Former American General Norman Schwarztkopf, who commanded Allied forces in the Gulf War, once said “Going to war without the French is like going hunting without your accordion.”
I would like to ask for submissions for the similar analogies for this latest venture – Getting your news from the French is like…