Did you hear the one about the Frenchman

Neither did I hear from the U.S. media the story about Francois Hollande’s continuing fall from favor with his citizens in France. It reminds me of another blog I wrote on January 14, 2014 titled “What is the old French saying?” I made the point that U.S. media was not covering the Socialist President Francois Hollande’s fall from favor with the French public because his higher taxes and more social programs for the citizen’s wasn’t working. The mainstream media of the U.S. was reluctant to acknowledge the point that the socialist policies of France weren’t working. Particularly they were reluctant to acknowledge that the Hollande approach that is similar to Obama’s philosophy was failing and comparisons of the two to the American public might be damaging to Obama.

On Monday of this week President Hollande made key shifts in his government trying to quell the unrest of socialist who are opposed to Hollande’s austerity program. That’s right Hollande the great socialist leader has started a program to cut spending, reduce taxes, reduce publicly subsidized social programs and in general match the requirements of the European Union to bring France’s debt into line with the Union’s regulations. Again virtually no coverage from U.S. media.

Still the facts are Hollande has rebels in the ranks, Montebourg was forced to step down as France’s economy minister after publicly criticizing the government’s austerity policies over the weekend. He told daily newspaper Le Monde on Saturday that France should not be “pushed around” by Berlin. “Germany is trapped in an austerity policy that it has imposed across Europe,” he said.
Then in a speech on Sunday, Montebourg said he had pushed Hollande and Valls to make a “major shift” in economic policy. “Given the seriousness of the economic situation, an economy minister has a duty to offer alternative solutions,” he told Socialist Party supporters at a rally in eastern France.
An advocate of cutting taxes and increasing government spending, Montebourg told reporters on Monday that he would not seek a position in the new cabinet – lashing out again at the government’s policies in some of his final remarks as economy minister.
“The entire world is urging us – even begging us – to end these absurd austerity policies that are plunging the euro zone into an economic slowdown,” he said in a statement to the press.
“My responsibility as economy minister is to tell the truth, and observe … that not only are these austerity policies not working but they are also unfair.”
Hollande’s struggles, this forced government reshuffle was further bad news for Hollande, a Socialist, who is already struggling with record-low approval ratings. Hollande is the most unpopular president in the history of France’s Fifth Republic, with approval ratings below 20 percent.
Now halfway through his five-year term, Hollande has also failed to curb France’s record unemployment or its ballooning debt, prompting a growing number of people on the left of his Socialist Party, like Montebourg, to question the soundness of his economic strategy.
France’s economy has stagnated for the past six months, and the government has had to cut its growth forecast to 0.5 percent for this year, half of the already modest estimate it had previously given for 2014.
Both Hollande and Valls say the answer to the country’s economic woes is their so-called Responsibility Pact, which offers businesses tax breaks of some €40 billion in exchange for a pledge by companies to create 500,000 jobs over three years.
Hollande plans to finance the programme with €50 billion in spending cuts, but the plan has angered those on the left of the party – like Montebourg – who argue that the focus should be on cutting taxes to boost flagging consumer spending.
The departing Montebourg acknowledged that he had failed to convince Hollande and Valls that the austerity measures they have implemented were misguided, but insisted that he was leaving on good terms with both men.
You may ask why you haven’t heard of this story in the American press but the only way you could have gotten the information is if like me you went to “French 24” on line. Mainstream media does not want to cover a story that demonstrates the weakness of the socialist message and could possibly have the polices of Hollande rub off on Obama who would if left with a free hand follow a similar strategy himself. Of course with his foreign policy foul-ups he is not likely to be too adventuresome on the domestic front, at least I don’t think he will.

Do you know Jason Riley?

Jason Riley
Editorial board member, The Wall Street Journal.
Jason Riley is a member of The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board. He joined the paper in 1994 as a copyreader on the national news desk in New York. He moved to the editorial page in 1995 as copyreader and later became a copy editor. In April 1996, he was named to the newly created position of editorial interactive editor and maintained the editorial and Leisure & Arts section of WSJ.com. He was named a senior editorial page writer in March 2000, and member of the Editorial Board in 2005.

Jason recently wrote this article. “This past weekend in Chicago, 26 people were shot, including a 16-year-old who died. Yet Al Sharpton is headed not to the Second City but to suburban St. Louis to protest the weekend shooting death of Michael Brown, who police say was killed while resisting arrest.
What happened in Chicago—black people shooting black people—is sadly routine and of secondary concern to civil rights industry operators like Mr. Sharpton, whose agenda is keeping the focus on whites and the supposedly racist “system.” The Chicago shootings don’t advance that agenda, so Mr. Sharpton is taking his talents to St. Louis, where he will put racial solidarity ahead of condemning bad behavior and pretend that our morgues are full of young black men due to miscreant police officers.
The reality is that blacks are 13% of the population and half of all homicide victims—90% of whom are killed by other blacks. The problem is not cops shooting blacks but blacks shooting each other. The problem is black criminality. According to police, this is what led to Brown’s demise, and it is what the nation has witnessed in response to the killing: Black people burning down their own neighborhoods, stealing sneakers and Snickers bars to protest the death of someone who is accused of resisting arrest.
How soon before Michael Brown’s name is immortalized in a rap lyric, even if it turns out that he was in the wrong, as the police are alleging? Today’s ghetto culture not only indulges criminal behavior but celebrates it. And so-called black leaders are much more interested in making excuses for this behavior than they are in denouncing it unequivocally. It was not always thus.
Here’s Martin Luther King quoted in Harper’s Magazine in 1961. “Do you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58% of its crimes? We’ve got to face that. And we’ve got to do something about our moral standards,” he said. “We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can’t keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves.”

Yes Jason is a black man raised in the getto and has experienced the “black youth” experience. It will be pretty hard for the left to denounce Jason and his realistic approach to black crime and the moral shortfalls of the black community. I wonder if any of you will try to call him “oreo” since there are no facts available to dispute his observations.

David Gregory is not the problem for NBC

The announcement that David Gregory is stepping down from “Meet the Press” infers that the dramatic ratings drop and programs problems can be corrected by this somewhat simple act. The fact is that while David was a problem he is not the major issue with the program. Was David hard to deal with, yes? One source said, “There is a tense atmosphere at ‘Meet the Press.’ Gregory is dismissive of the staff, and is often hard to reach or approach.
“He is famously the only host on Sunday morning TV who won’t pick up the phone to seal the deal to get a big guest. There’s nobody else on TV, and certainly on Sunday mornings, who thinks they are too important to do that. It is tough on the producers.”* Having acknowledged some of David’s shortcomings the real problem is in the myriad of executive producers, senior producers and line producers that affect the show “Meet the Press.”

Senior Executive Producer Betsy Fischer Martin was the “head” of production for “Meet the Press” and is now the head of all NBC news programs. Her replacement is Rob Yarin who among other credits was producer of “Hard Ball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC a clearly over the edge left wing rant against conservatives and as Chris said when President Obama was elected he felt “a ting down his leg of excitement.” Now the new senior producer is Tom Lumley formerly of Al.Jazeera. Chris Donovan former producer of “Meet the Press” has moved to ABC and GMA as a producer. The purpose of referencing all of these various level producers is to make the point that it isn’t David Gregory alone but more importantly it is the producers who select the panel guests who are liberal or very left leaning and out number the conservative voices on the panel by a four to one ratio. The producers are also in charge of the direction of the show on a broader basis. There is no question that direction of the show has almost always been for gun control, a free pass for immigration, pro Obama administration decisions, liberal leaning on race issues, anti-Tea Party, conservative bashing, bigger federal government……..well you get the idea.

Do I think the policies of the show will change with Chuck Todd, not likely. Remember the producer Rob Yarin was producer of “Hard Ball with Chris Matthews” on MSNBC and Chuck Todd with his appearances on MSNBC and his quest shots on “Meet the Press” has demonstrated his liberal bias. If you need more proof read his book. In “THE STRANGER”, Chuck Todd draws upon his unprecedented inner-circle sources to create a gripping account of Obama’s White House tenure, from the early days of drift and helplessness to a final stand against the GOP in which an Obama, at last liberated from his political future, finally triumphs.*

Can we expect a more balanced reporting and questioning on “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd, absolutely not! It won’t occur until top management of NBC, that’s not the news departments but top management of Comcast and NBC Universal change the direction of news coverage.

· Google search on David Gregory
· Google search on Chuck Todd