The Olympics don't sell in France. But sex does (you think I'll get extra hits for this post?).
I turned on the TV when I got home from work last week, hoping to catch a glimpse of Michael Phelps or the 10,000 meters mens final, but instead I got poorly Chinese-style dressed reporters and Guy Carlier, who is definitely not as strapping as Phelps or even Kenenisa Bekele.
In the US, the Olympics are serious business. They interupt the regular primetime schedule so you can watch the world's best atheletes. But in France, the Olympics are transmitted live at 2:15 am and in the late afternoon while most everyone's at work. I've had to content myself with watching table tennis in Arabic on Aljazeera on-line. So working folks like myself don't get to see anything. The first day, I came home from work and turned on the TV at 6pm and got some of the recap (ie French atheletes only). At 8pm, I tried again and got Inspector Derrick, the legendary 1980's German TV detective beloved by all self-respecting French citizen.
The above report really caught my eye. My mother was bemused and confused; I just thought it was funny. Granted he has a point - it is offensive to turn world class atheletes into sex symbols. But in the US, this would be an instant lible suit against the reporter, the photgrapher, the producer and the TV station (which in this case is State run so against the State), especially for the "gay" scene with Alain Bernard, the 6 foot something French gold-medalist who also happens to be a gendarme...