With still a week to go until the French go to the polls and the networks’ attempts to bring the election to life has already grown tres thin; never before has there been such a thin selection of ideas – and parading of such gross stereotypes.
You see, for many top correspondents assigned to cover the elections, the truly unpredictable battle between right and left, Sego and Sarky, just months after riots in Paris…. is actually a chance for a leisurely promenade through the delights of rural France in the spring.
“As Charles De Gaulle once said,” ponders CNN’s European Political Editor and Harry Enfield’s dad Robin Oakley at the top of a package today, “‘How can you govern a country which has 243 different types of cheese?‘”
That’s right: for the top hacks in Paris this week, it’s all about the food.
Every report I’ve seen about the upcoming vote, and the social debates behind it has been set in a food factory.
So the BBC’s Jon Sopel started off News 24’s coverage last week sitting in a cafe in Dijion. For no apparent reason it seems, other than it was sunny and nice looking. And to begin us on our journey through racial tensions and mass unemployment, let’s go visit a mustard factory. Jees.
Meanwhile back with CNN’s Robin Oakley who took us for a grand Keith Floyd style meander through the vinyards of Bordeaux on Friday, and thought to mention the elections at least once or twice.
And after what was clearly a tough weekend of eating food, he was back today reporting from….a patisserie.
Expect great insight throughout the week from Jon Snow, petite pain in hand and Peter Snow illustrating the split of the parliament on the side of a wheel of Brie.