Ryan Tate’s Anti-French Tirade

Gossip columnist Ryan Tate of Gawker.com fame fancies himself a comedic writer. In his gossip roundup dated Friday July 11th, he wrote a few word about Angelina Jolie’s pregnancy and her French doctors.

“Angelina Jolie wants to give birth, already, and leave the hospital like a tough American patriot. But her lazy, arrogant French doctors will make her wait in agony for three more days so they can celebrate cutting off rich people’s heads like communists and probably also so they can fornicate with their unbathed mistresses, get drunk and fantasize about terrorism. See what happens under socialized medicine? Celebrity divas are grossly inconvenienced! Awesome, right?”

This piece proves once again that when it comes to the French, anything goe. Once again, we have proof the Long Tail of Anti-French attitudes will last for a long time to come.

Sources : Gawker.com

Comments, complaints (please be polite and informative) :
RyanTate.com – Email: ryantate (a) ryantate.com

Note: In statistics, the long tail is a feature of the new distribution of online markets and human behaviour. Prominently featured in articles about Web 2.0, the concept might just as well apply to continued Anti-French attitudes.

39 Replies to “Ryan Tate’s Anti-French Tirade”

  1. This is one of the most condensed Anti-French diatribes I have seen in years. Being a cultural laggard is great for some, but French Bashing has come and gone, and anyone with a shred of decency would have realized the absolute hypocrisy of it all. Will the French remain the proverbial punching bag for aspiring writers, inadequate comics and others who shackled by political correctness let out all their pent up venom against all things Gallic?

  2. I’m sorry, but why should we be polite to this guy ?
    Haven’t we been polite enough ?

  3. Réponde à pareil imbécile serait lui donner une sorte de sentiment d’importance qui pourrait le persuader de continuer : une sorte de blanc-seing, en somme.
    Du reste le “french bashing” semble se ringardiser, dans la mesure où il n’est plus vraiment en faveur et qu’il est employé, avec tout les poncifs du genre, par des auteurs de second rang : ne me dites pas que Kagan, par exemple, est une star mondiale ! Je suis plus préocuppé quand Jay Leno et les autres font la même chose…). Il n’a pas disparu, certes, mais le gros de la tempête a passé, et pour longtemps il me semble.
    Au fond, Ryan Tate est plus à plaindre qu’à blâmer : en être réduit à être un journaliste d’opérette et manquer à ce point d’imagination, jusque dans la bêtise, voilà un sombre prélude à son avenir journalistique… Quoiqu’à l’heure de “l’infotainment”….

  4. Hello everyone! This is the email I just sent Miquelon. Love your country!

    Miquelon, You know I just spent three weeks in France last year (at no small expense!) after three weeks of French lessons so I was surprised to see your post. It seems like you are perhaps not a regular Gawker reader, so let me say: We often parody or mock things (eg stereotypes) by exaggerating the “logic” of those things. And here I do exactly that with anti-French sentiment. Do you honestly think I could believe all that? And if I did, would I express in a “gossip roundup?”

    You might still be offended by my post, I suppose, but at least you know where I stand. Also, you should consider slowing down and thinking about the context of what you are criticizing!

    Have a nice weekend and thanks for your email and post,

  5. And now my fellow bloggers, Mr. Tate give us a perfect exemple of the ultimate justification of a xenophobic rant : it was a joke, the french have no humor (and they eat dirty rotten things and have -oral- sex all the time). Now read what Mr. Tate wrote in “article”, then replace “French” with “Black” or “Mexican”, or, even better with “Jewish”… Still funny ? Well, not for him if he ever do it : he would be almost immediately fired…

    “On peut rire de tout, mais pas avec n’importe qui” (Pierre Desproges)

  6. First of – thanks to Ryan for dropping by. Always appreciated.
    Now down the nitty-gritty, I think Onion Johnny hit it bang on.

    The “just kidding” defence – seems to be the universal justification for Anti-French attitudes from Ryan, to Randy K to Danziger etc. etc. etc. I have countless emails from years past from columnists who wrote “tongue-in-cheek” pieces that we not meant to be “taken seriously”

    Perfect quote from Desproges.

  7. I just read Ryan’s “gossip roundup” for the 25th time, and fail to understand his post-mortem. Being well acquainted with sarcasm, contextual writing and true tongue-in-cheek, we can claim without doubt that Ryan’s bit is “Parody Fail”.

  8. Tout d’abord un grand merci à Marc Saint-Auban qui fait un travail exceptionnel pour notre défense, et pour la défense de ceux sans représentation formelle.
    Il est important de répondre systématiquement à tous ces dérapages pour faire savoir ce que l’on pense et pour  se faire respecter.
    Ce petit jeu de lâches appellé le “French bashing” existe simplement parce que nous ne sommes ni representés, ni organisés politiquement.
    N’importe quel imbécile en quête de publicité peut s’attaquer à une minorité, sans conséquences légales.
    Le “French bashing” n’affecte pas les Français de métropole, mais seulement ceux qui résident sur le continent américain, pour des raisons multiples.
    Ce phénomème, en voie de disparition je l’espère, est inacceptable.

  9. One theory I have, and that I will develop on a guest post on Superfrenchie’s site sometimes later is that French-bashing is a form of bullying. Indeed, the bashers use the same tactics as school bullies, complete with the usual excuses of “That was just a joke”. Well, if the intended victim doesn’t find it funny, no, it’s not a joke.

  10. I like self-deprecation and accepting to be mocked shows confidence and strenght. However in the case of French bashing I have lost my sense of humour entirely due to the insidious effects that it had on my life. I used to openly said that I was French to anyone I would encounter, but for the past few years I usually tell that I am Canadian from Quebec because of the paranoia and fear of repercussions. I have been persecuted for being French in some very insidious and strange ways but I will not elaborate in this post.

  11. Willa, I have had the same problem.

    I usually tell americans I encounter I’m from Belgium.

  12. to Barney and Willa – funny, when I travelled through Europe four years ago, I found it necessary to tell people I was Canadian, and not American, for the very same reasons.

  13. “Now read what Mr. Tate wrote in “article”, then replace “French” with “Black” or “Mexican”, or, even better with “Jewish” Still funny ?”

    Uh … no. Because the rest of the paragraph is riffing on French stereotypes, so it wouldn’t make sense. The Mexican or Black or Jewish stereotypes get their own mocking posts–and no, he would not be fired because those groups get the same treatment Gawker and way more than the French do.

    Again, it’s mocking of the stereotype, not the French people. That’s a subtle, but important difference. (Actually, it’s not that subtle at all. It should be pretty obvious to average reader.)

  14. Fellow Francophones and -philes,

    I do not know Ryan Tate personally, nor do I make much a point of following his writing – however, I do feel the need to take a moment to come to his defense.

    Your extreme sensitivity might be getting the best of you here.  I assure you, being a frequent reader of Gawker, that Mr. Tate’s tone was absolutely, entirely sardonic.

    Gawker writers and readers share a common enemy, as evidenced by your “French Bashing Level” ascriptions… to peruse the past week’s activities on Gawker.com, you would find countless, equally ironic lampoons of the current administration, News Corp., and talk radio, e.g.

    Before you assure yourselves that Ryan Tate is so virulently anti-French, I suggest you get acquainted with his and his fellow writers’ m.o.

  15. I´m German, and my grandfather was in France with the Wehrmacht. When he came back, he made the same jokes about French cowards and unwashed girls (he made even more crude jokes about Polish girls, btw).

    So there must be some truth in it.

  16. Do we have to be polite with susanne as well ?

    And with the 3 gentlemen before her, who strangely enough all defend M. Tate  (a great francophile of course) as well ?

    Dear susanne, my grandfather tells me stories about how as a Free French soldier from Senegal ‘liberating’ Germany from nazi scum (that includes your grand-father I’m afraid) he had sex with many easy German girls.
    A ‘blow job for a meal girls’ he called them. Girs who later claimed they were raped but I assure you, susanne, it was all humor and my great-grand father was a great germanophile.

    Just like he and platoons had to shoot german soldiers (I hope that doesn’t include your grand-father) in the back they were running so fast. Those cowardly germans.

    Remember how the war ended in 1945 (not in 1940) after your country was destroyed, you people slaughtered and your women raped ?

    You think we don’t make jokes about it. Why not ? We’re all germanophiles.

  17. to Susane :
    Reading this, from the grand daughter of child and woman murderer, it’s quite funny I think … Especially since you seem proud of him …
    Fortunately, Germans are, unlike you, very kind people.
    Eric Half Polish~Half French

  18. C’est là qu’on voit que les mecs sont sérieusement atteint quand meme.
    Meme ici sur un site anti-French bashing ils viennent deverser leur haine dégoulinante.
    les fuckfrance et ces 50 variantes ne leur suffisent pas à ces malades.

  19. Oddly, I would say that Mr. Tate has in fact pointed out the most wonderful parts of France, by highlighting precisely the things that Americans say are awful about them. Perhaps irony is not such an important thing in France…though, I’ve seen excellent examples of it in the literature and cinema…but in America, in his generation, it is unfortunately the dominant mode of communication. Sincerity is not particularly welcome, or recognized. By showing precisely what the barbarians in America think of the things that make France a wonderful place, it illuminates both the brilliance of France, and the utter misery that is America. While both are complicated, and cannot simply be written off in one small, and rather glib little paragraph, nods can be made quite easily. 
    However, on the subject of sincerity, and earnestness, I have been trying to decide whether this blog is the ultimate in a source of humour that I delight in, or if it is truly sincere. In either case, quite well stated cases. 

  20. Apparently irony and satire are no longer part of the French vocabulary. When did that happen? Voltaire must be spinning in his grave.

    (Read the TOS)

  21. One of the consequences of bullying is that the bullyed can’t take a joke anymore. Every single comment directed at him will be seen as further bullying, even if that’s the last thing on the person’s mind. This also applies to french-bashing. After having been subjected for years to surrender jokes, dirty jokes, after seeing each and every thing we do mercilessly criticized (even if other countries who do them are left alone), we can’t take a joke anymore. No more than Italians can take a joke about the Maffia, I guess.

  22. Eh ben, you have to wonder why all those apologists have appeared all of a sudden.
    No pasaran aurait linké ce post sur leur hate site ?

  23. J’aime la France. And I’m not American. But when I first read the roundup last week, I thought it was a parody.

    While French-bashing has become quite common among a certain part of the American population, the sheer density of stereotypes should give a hint as to its intent. Also note that everything that comes after the actual news (ie, Angelina Jolie will have to stay three more days in the hospital) is absolutely absurd – are people who are offended at this suggesting that the writer truly believes the doctors will be having sex with their mistresses instead of letting her leave the hospital? Or that they are locking her in the ward while they party for July 14th? This is either satire, or an incredibly stupid attack. It may be that for a bullied people the tolerance level is lower, but for someone who is neither American nor French, this was satire. Not particularly funny, but not xenophobic, either.

  24. Miquelon – you are not only confused, but tirelessly stubborn.  Ryan Tate’s explanation was not a “just kidding” defense.  It was an explanation of the context you and many of your readers missed: the piece was satire.  I suggest you check out Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” a paradigm of the genre, and then re-evaluate your tirade.

    Your tragedy is that there really are francophobic issues to take issue with in this huge world of ours.  The fact you erroneously have decided to skewer a satire only underscores that it won’t be you who will be leading an intelligent charge against such problems. 


  25. Satire is difficult. It requires context, but it’s hard to provide that as people surf the Internet. Some of the sincere critique against France during the attack and destruction of Iraq was indistinguishable of, and was going BEYOND the worst satire. It had real effects (ask the Iraqis), because it invalidated the seriousness of the critiques about the proposed attack by the Bushmen.
    France herself is strong enough to take whatever. In May-June 1940, she was fighting 145 Nazi divisions, plus the Soviet Union (giver of oil to the Nazis, among other things) and the USA (giver of technology to the Nazis, and oil too). Details on early essays on Tyranosopher (http://patriceayme.com/).
    So humor is difficult. Was the Susanne above joking? One can only hope she did not: such specimens full of distasteful cliches have mostly disappeared in today’s European UNION. It’s a nice reminder of how venimous their species used to be. But of course (physical) cleanness was big with the Nazis. They used it to hide their dirty motives.
    Patrice Ayme

  26. The difference being that Swift’s talent made his intentions obvious to all.
    This is not the case, I’m afraid, with Mr Tate who is neihter funny nor talented.

    Just stop stereotyping us and insulting us every chance you got.  Period. Is that too much to ask ?
    We would like to be more than an abstract sum of offensive clichés to our american friends.
    We have like the most pro-american President in the western world now. Isn’t that what you folks always wanted ? Can you treat us like normal people now ?

  27. I am ready to reduce my charge against Ryan to “satire with intent to defame”, a sub class of anti-French offenses.
    Marc in Tioga NY

    ONE YEAR LATER: Ryan Tate renews his French Bashing.

    @ryantate “One year ago today, I accepted a French surrender. http://bit.ly/LMzDe Happy Bastille Day!”

    OUR STANDARD RESPONSE: About that Surrender Thing…

    • French Surrender Jokes as offensive to us as 9/11 jokes to Americans
    • “France’s army did not simply surrender or run away in 1940, as ignorant American Know-Nothing conservatives claim.” http://bit.ly/2x7V98
    • French surrender jokes are offensive. We had 300 000 military dead, 2 million labor camp, 4 years occupation.
    • WW1: 1.6 million military dead, WW2: 300 000 military dead (as much as USA).

    I can talk to French Bashers, I can try to educate Haters, but there is one thing I cannot stand, it is insincerity.

  28. Barney — it seems to me your primary complaint against Mr. Tate is that he’s a very poor satirist. Which is a fair comment. But does the fact that miquelon.org or its authors or commenters are poor bloggers or commenters diminish the fact that you are indeed blogging, commenting, and writing? No. Likewise, Mr. Tate’s failure (in your eyes) as a satirist doesn’t render him a francophobe. Moreover, the value of satire is not dependent on it being clear to “all” (as you put it).

    Miquelon — votre reclassement n’a vraiment aucun sens. Encore, il me semble que vous n’avez pas compris le sens de satire: c-à-d une pièce où l’on ridiculise les idées à la mode, les systèmes politiques, ou les vedettes. Est-ce qu’il y a vraiment pas d’autres nouvelles qui méritent votre attention à part le courrier mondain de gawker.com?

    Je suis étonné de constater la colère manifesté à l’endroit de M Tate qui me paraît absolument démesuré.

    • Miquelon.org and Ryan Tate quoted in the UAE Times (updated URL). – “Ryan Tate, a satirical writer on the gawker.com website, defended the cover. He recently drew the ire of miquelon.org, which says it monitors anti-French activity, for a humorous piece attacking “lazy, arrogant French doctors” who made Angelina Jolie stay in hospital for three days after the US actress gave birth to twins rather than letting the “tough American patriot” leave immediately.”
    • This article was also noticed by Spectator.co.uk – “It’s not just The New Yorker that’s in trouble over the use of clever satire. Gawker’s gossip writer found himself being upbraided after posting these red-state thoughts about Angelina Jolie’s much-discussed pregnancy. As you can see from the comments section, Tate was still getting grief even after he explained that he had his tongue in his cheek. Perhaps his critics assumed he was one of those Americans who have no sense of irony.”
  29. Laissez le pauvre petit morveux s’exprimer. Il represente assez bien le systeme scolaire americain.

  30. In France people stay longer in a hospital but in the US they unfortunately kick you  out, that’s how they care about their patients.

  31. This is obviously a satire, the purpose being precisely to ridicule francophobia. I see nothing wrong in this.
    Respirez les mecs ; c’est une bonne chose que de lutter contre la francophobie mais si ça dégènère en une posture rigide, braquée, et sans discernement, ça le fait moins !


  32. Ryan Tate Says:
    July 11th, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Hello everyone! This is the email I just sent Miquelon. Love your country!
    Miquelon, You know I just spent three weeks in France last year (at no small expense!) after three weeks of French lessons so I was surprised to see your post. It seems like you are perhaps not a regular Gawker reader, so let me say: We often parody or mock things (eg stereotypes) by exaggerating the “logic” of those things. And here I do exactly that with anti-French sentiment. Do you honestly think I could believe all that? And if I did, would I express in a “gossip roundup?”
    I fail to see any satire in your latest anti-French piece, Ryan.
    If you love our country you have a funny way of showing it and so do the people who have commented on your latest article. I certainly don’t see any satire in their comments either.

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