L'Express, one of France's leading news weeklies, similar to Time Magazine or Newsweek, was ready for anything. Two separate editions were prepared, with two covers. At the top we see the winner with the headline: Barack Obama: The man who can change the world. Below we see the alternative with this ominous headline: McCain, Palin: The couple that arouses fear; their conservatism, their failings, their militarism. (Source: Nouvelle Formule)
Whew! Thank goodness the gods were vigilant and the European press is happy! And aren't we all relieved to see iron-clad proof of the media's objectivity?
Oh, but wait. Here's a column by Jean-Michel Demetz published in the same L'Express that is ALREADY expressing doubts. Oh, please don't be a killjoy:
We almost hate ourselves for spoiling such a planetary festivity. Everywhere one goes, there is amazement and sheer delight. The election of a young, black president, sexy, moderate, intelligent, is dazzling the world.
Not since John Fitzgerald Kennedy has a democratic leader aroused so much hope. Everybody is identifying with Saint Barack just as, yesterday, everybody mourned Saint Diana.
Obama, or the mirror of our fantasies: the cursed and the powerful alike can project onto this awesomely telegenic image his or her hopes and dreams.
Such infatuation is touching. It's a strong bet however that this passion for Obama, from the Arab street that is now dreaming of a re-centering of Washington in the Arab-Israeli conflict to the French UMP party that welcomes this "rupture" (ha, ha, ha!), from the poverty-stricken dwellings of Kinshasa to the higher circles of Iranian power, will surely end in disillusionment, the hopes having been unattainably high. For politics has no worth outside the precinct of realities.
Rapidly, the world will learn that this man was elected to defend the interests of his country above all. It's fine if, for now, the universal order of the day is that what is good for America is good for the world. It remains to be seen how long this illusion will last.