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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy baby rumour and the fawning journalist

Is she or isn't she? Speculation that France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, is pregnant has been circulating for several weeks now.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (screenshot from TF1 news)

Of course she has given interviews and steadfastly refused to comment on what for her "is a private matter" but that hasn't prevented journalists from asking her - directly or indirectly depending on their style.

Except for one - "journalist" that is (and there's a reason for using the inverted commas).

Jean-Pierre Pernaut is, among other things, the anchor of the lunchtime news programme on TF1.

He is, to put it politely, not exactly the most hard-hitting of journalists, preferring a cosy, non-confrontational and almost ingratiating style when he has a guest in the studio.

So perhaps viewers knew what to expect when he interviewed Bruni-Sarkozy on Monday, primarily about her Good Deeds and in particular her campaign against illiteracy.

But Pernaut reached new lows in his already questionable journalistic standards while winding up the interview when he said, "I know you don't like talking about your private life, but I just want to congratulate you."

Bruni-Sarkozy looked somewhat taken aback, at a loss for an appropriate response, smiled and said, "Congratulations (to you) too."

No, it doesn't mean Pernaut is the father.

If you have the stomach for it, take a look at the accompanying clip - and try not to cringe.

Meanwhile Bruni-Sarkozy might not be talking about the likely patter of tiny feet, but her father-in-law is.

Pal Sarkozy told the German daily tabloid Bild that he was going to be a grandfather - again. And he's delighted.

"The couple don't want to know the sex of the baby," the 82-year-old indiscreetly told the paper.

"But I'm sure that if it's a girl, she'll be as beautiful as Carla."

Which raises the question perhaps, if it's a boy it'll be as "what" as his father?


Anonymous said...

Pernaut's a great journalist. Love the hair.

Anonymous said...

I like him. I'm a retired woman living in Dordogne, and watching the TF1 news at 1 o'clock every day gives me great pleasure, as well as a good overview of what France is really about: life in small villages, farming communities, tradesmen of a bygone era who are still making a living in today's modern world. And he's always charming and smiling, which is a change from all the other gloomy newsreaders.

Debbie, Merveillac, Dordogne

France Today said...

Debbie from Merveillac, thank you for your comments.

There are undoubtedly many in France who would agree with you and who appreciate Pernaut's style of presentation.

But equally there are those tired of being fed a diet of "journalistic" pap and would probably say that Pernaut is far from being a real journalist of any recognisable quality and more a talking head and a television personality

In general, few television journalists in France seem to pursue or follow through on a question once the guest has said their piece, giving the impression that they're simply being interviewed as a public relations exercise and that the journalist is complicit in maintaining the status quo.

As you're probably aware right now in France there's a whole debate going on among journalists , following the DSK affair, as to how much information they should keep to themselves even though it may be common knowledge within the profession and how much should be made public.

In the specific case of Carla Bruni-Sarkozy's pregnancy rumours the media is talking about it both in France and abroad. She had been asked the question several times, but refuses to answer because it is a "private matter". And journalists are happy with that response.

Remember this is a woman who has lived most of her adult life making the most out of being a very public figure - and happily so.

All that said, it is hard to deny just how awful and sycophantic Pernaut appeared at the end of the interview.

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