French parting shots

I watch the Roland Garros Tennis Tournament here in France this past week and I’ve decided to finally write about something that concerned me about the French media and how they portray the world.

France2 ,which televised the games everyday, almost always took shots, sometimes very rude shots at the non French players. And sometimes, their shots went beyond rude.

On Saturday night after Justine Henine won the women’s final match, France2 had a piece on Rafeal Nadal. Throughout the piece, France2 superimposed his face over a poster about how steriods were against the nature of the game. They did that repeatedly throughout the piece. They were saying it with the picture but without the words. France2 was saying that Nadal was a roid user, all because he has a muscular structure. Throughout his match on Sunday, the commentators on France2 drew comical depictions of Nadal being “pumped up” like Arnold or even after the piece on Nadal and his home of Marorca, ended the piece with a siren-like sound only to focus on a picture of the various kinds of steroids. Course naturally they never directly said he was a user but they would try at every instance to make a comment about his muscles and a funny drawing of him and needles.

Maybe France has more liberal freedom of speech laws than we do but where does a person draw the line at respectability and derrogatory?

I know that any kind of imagery would not be stood for in the United States nor in England. It would be considered defamation of character and slander.

Matt Luria