What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 19, 2010

Yawn - The Trib Spins

One can sometimes see in the tiniest of places an echo of the whole. This week we can see in a slip of an editorial jab, how Richard Mellon Scaife's Tribune-Review editorial page spins, folds and mutilates reality to score a cheap political point.

To whit:
The White House denies it but French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy says Michelle Obama told her that being America's first lady is "hell." "I can't stand it!" she supposedly said, reports London's Daily Mail. Hey, we're sure voters will be happy to ease Mrs. O's pain in 2012.
Does Bruni-Sarkozy really say that? Had they done their homework, the braintrust would have found out a few things - enough to at least taint the credibility of the story.

First the DailyMail:
Michelle Obama thinks being America’s First Lady is ‘hell’, Carla Bruni reveals today in a wildly indiscreet book.

Miss Bruni divulges that Mrs Obama replied when asked about her position as the U.S. president’s wife: ‘Don’t ask! It’s hell. I can’t stand it!’

Details of the private conversation, which took place at the White House during an official visit by Nicolas Sarkozy last March, emerged in Carla And The Ambitious.

The book was written by journalists Michael Darmon and Yves Derai in what they claim is collaboration with Miss Bruni.
Wait. What? They "claim" it's a collaboration? So the book isn't from Bruni-Sarkozy herself? Apparently. The DailyMail again:
The Elysee Palace has denied that the Miss Bruni co-operated with the biography.
So not only does the White House deny the story, the French Government denies it as well.

That's all echoed by this from the AP:
The co-author of a new book about French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy defended his sources Friday amid a media buzz over a passage that cites Michelle Obama as calling life in the White House "hell."

Mrs. Obama's spokeswoman has denied the first lady said such a thing, and a spokesman at the French Embassy in Washington said Bruni-Sarkozy "distances herself completely" from the book, which appeared in French bookstores on Thursday.

The unauthorized book, called "Carla et les ambitieux," or "Carla and the Ambitious Ones," describes the scene of a March dinner at the White House, during which the two first ladies were purported to have had a conversation in English in which they compared notes on their experiences as wives of presidents.
Hmm...she distances herself "completely" from a book that's "unauthorized." Isn't that enough to put the braintrust off the trail? Apparently not, so here's more:
Author Yves Derai stood by the explosive dialogue, insisting it was based on interviews with "reliable sources" — though he declined to name them, in accordance, he said, with his journalistic principles.
Am I missing something here? Does he say that Bruni-Sarkozy said it or not? If he does, I'm not seeing it. Could be the line came from one of his reliable sources.

And then there's this:
Derai acknowledged the French word used in the passage, "enfer," might not precisely correspond directly with the English word "hell."

"I don't know, maybe translated into English, hell is Dante's Inferno where they burn sinners, but in French it's really a rather common expression to say that sometimes it's just 'a real drag,'" Derai explained. He did not say what the original word allegedly pronounced by Mrs. Obama was.
So on top of everything else, we have a translation problem. Was it "hell" or just "a real drag"? Did it even occur at all?

Not that any of this would ever get in the way of Scaife's braintrust trying to score a cheap point. Oh no.

Took me all of 30 minutes to find this stuff out. Did Scaife's braintrust even bother to do their homework on this? If they didn't, then why not? If they did, then why include the jab at all?

And that's the tiniest of places echoing the whole.

Thus endeth the lesson.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

You know, I believe it is common knowledge that Michelle Obama had reservations about Barack Obama running for President. It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and even to some extent Laura Bush chafed at that traditional role of first lady (I wonder how much blame Bill Clinton pushed on Hillary personally for 1992). And we shouldn't forget that Barack was once the summer intern, working for Michelle. She may feel he is smarter than her, but I am sure she concedes nothing to anyone in the intelligence and ability department. Maybe she feels better now that she is working on childhood obesity and organic food, both tough fights and respectable causes. But I wouldn't be surprised if she has had bad moments in the last 20 months.