Operation Undercover in Paris : Read The Newspapers

PARIS (Herald de Paris) – Every press room is growling with one sentence: “La presse va mal!” Well, yes. But let’s be honest, it can’t be worse than the other media.

Nicolas Sarkozy is now officially the one who can appoint the directors of both public TV (France Télévision) and public radio (Radio France). We also know that he’s a close friend of Vincent Bolloré, and that guy owns Direct 8 (TV channel famous for relying on 50% interns), Direct Soirand Direct Matin Plus (free written propaganda leaflet which some people call a newspaper), and la Société Française de Production (where they shoot a lot of the TV shows).

I could speak for a long time of the Italian inspired relationship of the government with the media. Suffice to say I’ve always thought that the first characteristic of a democracy was freedom of the press. I won’t say more because I may be followed – I’m positive there were two creepy men in black following me yesterday and if they want to arrest me, I can’t run away because I’m wearing Chanel high heels every day (sometimes at night, too, when I sleep with the make up and hair perfectly done). But that is another story. I was telling you how to read the newspapers.

Yes, though it slightly troubles me to write this, people still do read newspapers in France. But it’s not a really cool thing to do. So if you expect to drink coffee under the Eiffel tower while reading a French newspaper as you’re smoking a cigarette… Good news: I’m here to teach you how to read properly, or even better – frenchly, the newspapers.

You must have a reason for reading the newspapers. A specific, detailed reason. Because, to be honest, you could just watch TV at 8 PM for the news. Why would you bother to read? Reading is difficult. You have to move your eyes from one line to another. TV is much more accessible. The pictures move for you. TV is a great invention. I love TV. I pray TV every day.

So the reading you will be doing has to be in accordance to your reason for doing it. I know that’s a difficult concept. You’ll get it, don’t worry. I’m here to explain.

For example, your reason for reading is seduction. You have this wonderful intellectual look that makes all the *insert preferred gender here* go wild and get naked. Well, then, a heavy book will be much more efficient than the newspapers. I advise Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s “Les Confessions” or anything by Jean-Paul Sartre. If you’re being asked anything about the book, just launch in a theory about how you are fascinated with the written transcription of mental instabilities and the relationship with nature (Yes, I read both of those books. Yes, I know that’s impressive).

You want to hide from the Mediterranean mother of your last conquest. I understand. Then I suggest reading “L’Equipe”, the number one sports newspapers. Great advantage of its topic: you can actually watch the pictures, so it’s a little bit like TV. That newspaper was historically conceived (I suppose) for those who are into recycling. You can make a tent with it, or a blanket; you can patch the walls of your home and shelter more than five people under one page… Whatever the reason for making it this size, people never thought to make it readable in le Métro.

You are looking for the newspapers because you have just stopped smoking and you need to have something in your hands. We have lots of free press for that. They’re called Métro, 20 Minutes, Direct 8… You can wrap up sandwiches in them too. And when you’re done reading them, you’re expected to throw them either in a trash can or on the floor. It says a lot of the respect people have for the journalists…

And if you’re actually really intending to get educated and read what’s inside the newspaper, well I suggest you go on the Internet. And please remember that any financial appreciation for this chronicle is to be sent at marine(at)heralddeparis(dot)com. Please send it before I’m in jail.

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