Isn’t this just absolutely gorgeous?

The New York Times can be spectacularly stupid (via Guido):

“He could not tell his readers exactly what Mr. Macron said, however, because, as he boasted in the article, he does not really speak French, although he studied it in school. But why should he make an effort, seemed to be the idea, when it is so easy to ridicule the French for being French, and when to be English is to feel superior to your neighbors?…

“Mr. Kidd’s hauteur isn’t surprising, given that Mr. Murdoch’s papers and the rest of the country’s right-leaning news media have spent decades nurturing an ancient anti-Europe narrative long reflected in the Conservative Party’s Euroskeptic wing. If London, or at least much of London, has welcomed or tolerated all the changes, many people around Britain, particularly from older generations, have lamented that they no longer recognize the country of their childhoods.”

Patrick Kidd is no the political columnist, he’s the sketch writer:

My masters at school, I will be honest, had not properly prepared me for the task of following an hour-long speech in rapid French. Mr Macron did not ask for directions to la gare once, for example.

Nor did he invite anyone in the audience to come to une boum chez lui ce week-end. He didn’t even say “zut” or “bof”. One wondered if he was French at all.

Ten years ago he married his French teacher, who is 24 years his senior, which may explain some of these rudimentary gaps in his knowledge. Too much sitting at the back of class sighing at madame and writing poetry rather than learning such essentials as “le oiseau est dans l’arbre”. Still, he struggled by and with the help of a friendly interpreter so did I.

A spectacular missing of the point I think.

15 thoughts on “Isn’t this just absolutely gorgeous?”

  1. NYT criticising Englishman for not understanding French culture turns out to know nothing about English culture.

    The great thing about celebrating diversity and other cultures is that it releases you from the need to know anything about them.

  2. Newspaper in world’s second most famous city tries and fails to strick knife into world’s most famous city.

    (In, I have to say, a very oddly-formatted piece. Just the text, love, thanks.)

  3. Americans who show signs of recognising irony tend to be shunned by their peers for being “just plain weird”.

  4. Misses the point on many levels.

    London isn’t going to stop being a “world city”. Europeans aren’t being expelled, they are just being put on the same footing as all the non-Europeans people in London (including Americans)

    London isn’t a world banking centre because the UK is in the EU. London was a world banking centre years before we were in the EU.

    And even the most Francophile Englishmen make fun of the French.

  5. The NYT is in the same boat as the Graun (I mean in terms of content, not financially). A decade or so ago it was left-leaning, but still fairly sensible. As time has gone by, though, and as both newspapers have been outcompeted by HuffPo and the like, soft-lefty histrionics have taken over to an ever-increasing degree.

    Obviously papers like the Mail have always had a right-wing political slant and newspapers have carried opinion columns for decades. But the NYT and the Guardian compound their natural bias by a developing conviction that if they believe something, all rational people must do so as well. Increasingly they just don’t seem to understand the difference between their opinions and fact.

  6. As explained elsewhere, U.S. newspapers are sold on subscriptions; UK newspapers are sold daily. This means the Yanks do their best to not offend anyone, lest they receive hordes of angry letters threatening to cancel their subscription; whereas the Brits aim for the most scandal possible (while remaining within legal boundaries), to sell copies on the day.

    This explains why the Americans always use the passive voice and avoid blaming anyone – NY Times: “United Airlines Passenger Is Dragged From an Overbooked Flight” – whereas the Brits put the meat in the headline and use the active voice – Daily Mail: “United Passenger Traded Drugs for Gay Sex with Patient”.

    As the UK gradually shifts to a paywall + subscription model (as per the Times, and bits of the Telegraph), we can expect UK papers to become boring too.

  7. Idiot stupidity. He doesn’t know where tellurium comes from now. There’s a little bit in most copper ores. So, once we take the Cu, Ag and Au out of cooper ores then as it happens the tellurium concentrates at one point in the process. So, we send that concentrate off to a plant (in the Philippines) where we exract the tellurium.

    We just don’t go digging holes for it, it’s a by product.


  8. But the conventional wisdom is that nothing can survive outside the EU. Hence New York is doomed. Or something.

  9. Telluride was a mining town in the Rockies. Tellurium was probably a by product ot the lead mine.

    Now it’s not a mining town, it’s a ski resort.

    The frogs do still say Ooh la la! and Zut alors!

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