Proof French Bashing Came From The White House

Ever since former White House spokesman, Scott McClellan wrote his tell-all memoir; through his numerous interviews; he has revealed more about the inner workings of the Bush Administration than any other book or documentary to date.

The secret is out: the Bush / Cheney Administration regularly fed talking points to Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and their acolytes.

For years, we the French Expatriate community and, strongly suspected Anti-French Talking Points were handed down from the White House to their favored media pundits. We can now say this is in fact how things transpired, thanks to a revealing interview of Scott McClellan by Chris Matthews.

Confirmation of the Trickle-Down-Hatred Model

Anti-French talking points were passed down from the White House to the usual suspects, and then amplified by minions of favorable “journalists” and columnists only to be parroted by compliant entertainers, comediens and talk show hosts like Jay Leno.

Let’s never forget French Bashing was the brainchild of George W. Bush, Richard Cheney and their entourage, not some popular uprising as we were led to believe by Bush himself: “An interesting phenomena taking place here in America about the French … a backlash against the French, not stirred up by anybody except the people” [March 2003]

French Bashing was the ultimate sideshow thrust upon the American people with complete and utter disregard to a centuries old friendship.


43 Replies to “Proof French Bashing Came From The White House”

  1. I’m currently writing a thesis about Franco-american relations under the 5th Republic. 
    This information will be very useful to me.

  2. Well, French bashing was possibly encouraged and promoted by the White House spin services. But it was clearly popular and approved of by the majority of the American populace. Make no mistake. 

  3. French Bashing was a “kiss shot” – By aiming for the French, they were really trying to pocket a shot against Liberals / Democrats at the same time…

  4. @ Jean-Paul
    Since I moved to Los Angeles, I never really felt that the french bashing was something the population approved in comparizon to the aggressivity shown on Fox… but it might be because Angelinos have an open minded view on France.

  5. Pardon. mon ami. French bashing started long, long ago when France tried to push the U.S. into war right after the Revolution. Ever since then, from Napoleon through the establishment of NATO, the French government has acted consistently against the interests of the U.S. So don’t pretend this is something new.

  6. So it was the BUsh admin all along? Wow, that is really the sh*ts! But I can believe what Scott M says. What a total total loss of 8 years this Bush admin has been for the USa and the world…..sigh. GREAT STORY! should wake all people up!

  7. P. Guinta, how did France try to push the US into war right after the revolution?

    After the American Revolution France was too busy struggling with economic problems (some of them rising from helping a certain British colony gain its independence) which ended up costing the King his head.

    Or maybe you were talking about the French Revolution, where the young French republic was very very busy fighting for its survival. True, the French tried to ask the Americans to return the favor (with no success).

    The impudence… How dare turning the tables? Let’s bash them.

    Or maybe you’re talking about the American ship captured by French revolutionaries who, in their ignorance, thought they were British? Meanwhile, dozens of American ships traded with France every month, with no incident. Later the ship and crew was returned, with apologies. If I remember well the incident was exploited by “a certain press” over in the US, trying to pretend the French wanted to invade the US.

    Please, be a bit more precise.

  8. A bit off topic, but does anyone know where the term cocktail came from? From French? Here in Taiwan a cocktail drink is called a Ji-wei, which literarlly means CHICKEN TAIL, but that is not a very good way to call these kinds of drinks. One source says: “The earliest definition of this type of drink comes from the the May 13, 1806 edition of the Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York , where the paper provided an answer to the question, “What is a cocktail?”. It reads, “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters
    The earliest definition of this type of drink comes from the the May 13, 1806 edition of the Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, where the paper provided an answer to the question, “What is a cocktail?”. It reads, “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters — it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a Republican candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.”


  9. Peter Guinta, yes you are referring to the XYZ affaire I believe. You are correct French Bashing generally is not new, but the current French Bashing episode is what we are writing about here. Ref :

    Previous to the French Bashing of 2003-2007 was the 1995 Mururoa Atomic Testing Backlash, the 1967 De Gaulle comments about Israël, the De Gaulle Nato issue … Founded or not, justified or not, that is matter for debate, but the current episode was truly a sideshow designed to distract, tap into a collective prejudice.

  10. When people try to mention the (+200 years old) XYZ affair to somehow justify French-bashing in 2008, they should not be taken seriously.

  11. I wonder if Bill Murray the actor is related to that one William Murray who managed to smoothe the relations between the two nations.

  12. From Fox News Sunday
    CHRIS WALLACE: (…)  Back in 2004, you and other Republicans went after John Kerry as being too continental, too European, in his sensibility. I talked to the Obama camp about that this week, and one of the top strategists said to me that they feel the country is way past 2004 and freedom fries and now would very much welcome European support. Do you think playing well on the European stage helps or hurts Obama back here at home?

    KARL ROVE: You know, look. I don’t — I think they’re misreading it. It worked in 2004 because John Kerry’s sensibilities were so, you know, Francophile. I mean, you know, he was a European elitist.

  13. Folks, thanks for the replies, and I realize the issue is the current controversy, but the hostility goes far deeper than the XYZ affair, which to me seemed a good place to start. Former French President Francois Mitterant said, “France does not know it, but we are at war with America. Yes, a permanent war, a vital war, a war without death.” Anti-Americanism is woven through the entire fabric of the state. People forget their undermining of the Security Council, their sharing in the corruption in the Oil-For-Food scandal and their cynical complicity in the Rwandan genocide. The most famous Frenchman here is Pepe Le Pew. The “friendship” we get from sacrificing our soldiers in two world wars comes from the people, not the government.  But even there, only 5 percent of French people say they admire the U.S. Writer Denis Boyles calls it a “craven, anti-Semitic, insecure, hypocritical, hysterically anti-American, selfish, overtaxed, culturally exhausted country, bereft of ideas, fearful of its own capitulation to Islam…corrupted by lame ideologies, clinging to unsupportable entitlements, crippled by a social elite and a multilayerd bureaucracy.” I might add that the French press mimics the government by repeating its anti-American statements. France eagerly joined in rounding up Jews for the Holocaust and makes a tidy profit arming enemies of Western democracies. A French-U.S. alliance is a myth. We joined briefly to defeat Germany twice. That’s about it. Their military is — except perhaps for the Foreign Legion, which isn’t really French — notoriously inept. And the XYZ thing wasn’t so innocent since the French seized 300 American ships doing trade with England.  Remember: France’s favorite Americans are John Kerry and Jerry Lewis. And don’t forget DeGaulle and his raging ego who rejected participation in NATO. The government also wouldn’t let U.S. warplanes fly over French air space to whack a terrorist dictator in Libya. Because the French buy Libyan oil and sell them jets. I could go on and on, but I’m very close to bloviating.

  14. 1) Denis Boyles is a notorious French Hater, anyone who writes a book titled “Vile France: Fear, Duplicity, Cowardice and Cheese” >can hardly be taken seriously
    2) I refuse to be held – or to hold anyone – perpetually and collectively guilty for the actions of some forefathers (Vichy – Antisemitism – Colonialism).
    3) I could go on a rant here and remind you of Henry Ford’s blatant anti-semitism, his Nazi decorations, IBM’s collaboration (those inked numbers on concentration camp victims were IBM codes), Joe Kennedy’s admiration for Hitler, Prescott Bush’s involvement in pro-german companies during World War II, the fact the shoulder patch of the US Army’s 45th Infantry division was the Swastika … but what would be the point, if you wish to carry on your French Bashing, who’s to stop you?
    4) the Jerry Lewis Myth was deconstructed many times before, especially by SuperFrenchie

    Sorry, but we’ve heard and read it all before, your bashing reads like a Sunday psalm.

  15. Peter : 5% !! Where did you guet your figures ? Gallup and Pew agencies wouldn’t agree with you… Even Germany have a worse opinion of USA than the french (not mentioning countries like Spain or Greece) according to them ! Denis Boyle is a neocon writer and would-be journalist, with a very personnal opinion, not to say partial, on France : I bet this guy had never set a foot in France.
    Concerning or dirty little business in Africa (and also anywhere), well, here you’re right and the french gvt is incredibly arrogant to give lessons to any others countries in this planet. But, Peter, tell me, how many dictators USA helped and supported until today in South America, Middle East (Saudi Arabia for example), and even Africa… Sure, the french have no right to lecture United States about this topic, but, in an other hand, why should we suffer your conservative “hollier than thou” attitude ?

  16. Peter Guinta, this is a serious message boar here.
    Please go back to f* with the other feces-throwing monkeys.


  17. “military is — except perhaps for the Foreign Legion, which isn’t really French — notoriously inept”

    You idiot — foreign soldiers were a minority in the legion, and none of its officers were foreign. It’s just “foreign” because it admits foreigners in the first place (unlike the national army, which obviously does not admit foreigners), it doesn’t mean it’s exclusively made up of foreigners.

  18. I spent many years on several boards arguing with many American rightwingers. The funny thing is that the most conservatives are debating with exactly the same points, it sounds more like long learned prayers than thoughtful opinions (WW2 loosers, Jews deportation, NATO withdrawal, Rwanda genocide… mixed with historical aberrations to make us even more diabolish) and of course in their mind, the States hold the moral high ground. Yesterday the “niggers”,the “gooks”, today the “surrender monkeys”, who’s turn tomorrow in their hatefest ? Fascists, that’s all what they are. So sad such despicable people can spread their hate so easily in the American medias.

  19. I spent quite a while looking for figures on the foreign legion to confirm my #20 post. Turns out, 70% of all legionaires, and 90% of legion officers are French-born.


  20. Does Mr Guinta really thinks what he says, is it really what mainstream America is thinking of us ? in this case I feel desperate but I understand why when I call my family in law in the US they refuse to talk to me because of those kind of comments that have been widespread in US neo con media

  21. I know that Mr Guinta uses rethoric that we’ve seen over and over but this one thing about Jerry Lewis… that amazes me all time ! I never heard of the guy until I read on internet that we French love him (at most I thought he was a trompet player). Ok I’m not that old but still. I don’t think I ever saw one thing with J Lewis in it… not one and it is the same for the vast majority of the (french) people I know.
    What does it say about all the other stuff in Mr Guinta’s comment… LOL (and thanks for the figures André)

  22. Peter Guinta #6 – “the French government has acted consistently against the interests of the U.S.” 

    Yes, Lafayette was sent to act against the interests of the US.   Geeesh!

    This is always the same old arguement.  What I find ironic, is that it proves General de Gaulle’s prophetic statement that nations have no friends, only interests – to paraphrase.  It explains some of the the “Us against the world” symptoms we see in America, that of an America that allegedly acts in the “interests” of the world.  Tell us Mr. Guinta, could we Frenchies (and most other nationalities) have the right to say that the US has also consistently acted against the interests of France for much of the past 60 years?  And what “interests” are we speaking of?  The right to throw one’s weight around the world without consequences?   Is increased world terrorism in the interest of France or the US?  The weak US dollar, soaring oil prices, faltering economy, loss of international credibility – are all those things (among others) in the interest of the USA?   Is it so hard to imagine that America has put herself in this position, not because of France, Germany, or anyone else?

  23. Falafel O’Leilly lacks credibility what with his fake Paris business review and stuff.

  24. The guy (Bill O’) doesn’t even understand what is said in the last video he shows. He’s such a joke. How many people watch this crap ?

  25. His ratings? A lot unfortunately, however they have been falling over the last few years. Keith Olbermann is now beating him in the ratings.

    And to say we (SuperFrenchie and I) were supposed to appear on his show in 2005…

  26. According to what I heard from American conservatives, Fox News is appreciated for its “fair and balanced” news coverage. According to them, that motto applies only to their news reports not their shows like O’Reilly’s. But since guys like O’Reilly’s are promoting rightist points of view I suppose that’s not a problem for a mostly rightist audience. They also told me that FoxNews’audience is about one million people, It’s not that important in a 300 millions people nation. Anyway don’t forget that people like O’Reilly, Leno, O’Brian, Stewart are charismatic people boosting audience, they are closer from medieval baffoons then brillant philosophers. I’m far more concerned by anti-French racist comments made by USGov officials than some poor joke cracked by a TV host.

  27. Don’t get me wrong : I think he’s a very funny guy ! You gotta have some nerve to play a clip in your own show without understanding what is said in it… he’s got some balls I tell you.

  28. Good to see that the Executive is on the ball.

    Clearly, La France was asking for it…and the free world gave it to them.
    And now, France is held in utter contempt by Americans of all backgrounds.
    I won’t try and speak for you lot, but in retrospect, was it wise to provoke the eternal wrath of America?

    You, and the generations of frogs to come, will now see in no uncertain terms how badly your “Americans had it coming” running commentary over 9/11 will haunt you and France for decades to come…

  29. ^^^^
    Ah, another francophile.

    First of all, a few chickenwaks and cowardly extreme right wing pundits do not and will never represent the “free world”.

    Secondly, not to burst your bubble my francophile friend but the only “punishment” France received for opposing the war in Iraq (which a majority of your compatriots now also oppose) was a few tough guys behind their computer screens insulting our history. While thay may be unpleasant, we can live with that.
    The damage  to your country’s reputation however will take decades to fade away.

    And about our “Americans had it coming” running commentary, do you have any evidence to back that up ?
    First that that any French media outlet ever made such a claim and secondly that it was a “runing commentary”.

    Finally, since your contribution on this thread and the stuff that comes out of my butt bear a striking resemblance to each other, why don’t you go back to that anti-French site which is full of that stuff you obviosuly like.
    You know the site I’m talking about.

  30. Peter Guinta (Giunta):
    Your bashing sounds like a lot of sour grapes; for, what did fascist Italy accomplish during World War II ?  We need to recall President Roosevelt’s statement about these people  –shortly after Germany had invaded France–  with Italy invading across it’s border to take hold of French territory:                                       
                            That nation, holding a dagger at it’s
                            neighbor’s throat, has stabbed it in
                            the back !
    Keep this in mind when something within tells you to act as an aggressor.

  31. The US has been bullying the world & when the Iraq war took place i totally agreed with the French point of view, not to invade!. the Afganistan & Iraq wars are about oil & controlling it and this is not over because Iran is next. I have lost a lot of respect for the US government & will forgive but won’t never forget how they treated France & Americans who opposed the war here at home. A good book to read by Noam Chomsky, “Failed states” , great book to read.
    Also a lot of Americans cannot think for themselves & are like parrots repeating everything they hear, but they are great Americans who know better!. I agree with the person who moved to LA, they are more open…

  32. @Anne Suire
    I don’t think you should mix the war in iraq and the war in Afghanistan, this is exactly what Bush’s propaganda is doing. And the war in Afghanistant has hardly anything to do with oil. Afghanistan has no oil. The interference of the US in the Afghan civil war in 2002 was simply  motivated by Bin Laden. And it was a success since the Talebans were defeated. But Iraq is something completely different.

  33. @anne suire & peamak
    So what? This is NATURAL GAS pipeline, this is not oil. And it is still a project. Do you suggest that the war in Afghanistan was made to build it? This is ridiculous. 

  34. Off topic : I think you would be interested (if not saddened) by this subtle bash at everything french in a so call liberul web site : Slate

    check the name of the restaurant …

    Myabe it’s just me being paranois or maybe I should finnally recognize one of this french caractristis once and for all.

  35. Peter Guinta – you’re wrong. In fact, except for Irak and the Suez Crisis, France is the nation that has sided most often with the US at the UN. This fact was again pointed out by Richard Pearle (one of the architects of the Irak war who owns a residence… in France) in an interview before the war.

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