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Prepare to be horrified...
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
NewsMax and Bill O'Reilly Declare War on France
There's an exciting new update at NewsMax today about Bill O'Reilly's plan to boycott France.
Even since the French decided to oppose the United States and our approach to disarming Saddam Hussein, millions of Americans have been boycotting France and French goods.
Kind of like how NewsMax has been boycotting copy editors. Just goes to show that some boycotts are really dumb.
The leading voice of this movement – which gained a fresh inhalation of steam when Jacques Chirac decided to boycott Ronald Reagan’s state funeral – is Fox News star Bill O’Reilly.
A "fresh inhalation of steam?" Sounds like somebody's been taking a fresh inhalation of something but I'm pretty sure it wasn't steam.
Bill O’Reilly reports on his “Factor” show that his “Boycott France” bumper stickers at $2.50 a piece have sold in the tens of thousands and continue to fly out the door.
And we all know how accurate Bill is when he gives sales numbers.
These days, CNN, Financial Times, Advertising Age and the like are burning column inches -- not about the boycott-France campaign -- but about ominous reports that the total percentage of consumers worldwide who use U.S. brands has fallen to 27 percent from 30 percent just a year ago.
Damn liberal media. I just hate it that CNN isn't "burning column inches" (in their legendary daily newspaper) about the France boycott. But wait, NewsMax seems confused here...the boycott doesn't really seem to be doing anything so why would people burn inches about it? Even they point out that the effects of Bill's boycott appear negligible.
Gone apparently are the heady days in 2003 when angry Americans could point to double-digit drops in French wine consumption by U.S. sippers. Despite the dip, however, those French vintages never lost their number-three ranking in sales in the U.S. – behind Italy and Australia.
Ah, yes. Those heady days when Americans were angry, the French were poor, and Chalabi was the toast of patriots everywhere.
And about a year ago Fromage.com, a French cheese distributor, was reporting that its U.S. sales had gone down 15 percent. But such relished factoids are missing from the headlines these days.
"Relished factoids?" I like that even better than "fresh inhalation of steam."
O’Reilly believes the boycott has worked – and recently caused a raucous by comparing France to a latter day “Dresden” – shell shocked and burnt out by the economic clout of Americans eschewing the French cheeses, handbags, perfumes and stinky foie gras.
O'Reilly tends to believe a lot of strange things. And 'caused a raucous?' I know the copy editor boycott seemed like a good idea at the time but really...
And how could you not compare a boycotted France to a firebombed city in which 100,000 innocent civilians were killed? Again with the stupid liberal media bias.
When John Magnus, a trade expert, was on the Factor, he pointed out that “the vast bulk of what France sends to us is not identifiably French by the time it gets to consumers and would be very difficult to catch with a boycott.” Such disguised French goods include chemicals and engine parts.
Oooh, those sneaky French! Disguising their goods! It's true, though. Just the other day I tried to buy a new Christian T-shirt and found out it was really a 1985 bottle of Château Pétrus Pomerol. The nerve!
Anyway, the good folks at NewsMax don't let actual facts get in the way of their important message and end with a bang.
Question: Why are there big trees up and down the Champs Elysees in Paris?
Answer: Because the Germans like to march in the shade.
If you got a chuckle out of that one and found yourself unconsciously nodding your head, go directly to Bill O’Reilly’s Web site, www.billoreilly.com, and order up a dozen or so of his "Boycott France" bumper stickers.
Actually, I found myself unconsciously bludgeoning myself with my bottle of Pétrus. So a few people are buying dozens of bumper stickers apiece. Richard Melon Scaife probably bought a few thousand to give away at parties. No wonder they're flying off the shelves.
O’Reilly’s war may have suffered a setback with the backlash against American products, and French trade may have survived the negative PR onslaught, but the battle for the hearts and minds of many Americans wages on.
With opponents like Bill and NewsMax, I've got to say that I like France's odds...
Update: I see that my evil nemesis, Seb the Sultan, is discussing NewsMax's companion article to this one: The Global Boycott of US Goods. Check it out.
In related news: Treasonous liberals like Uncle Horn Head and me are very happy to announce that our beloved France has moved into the Euro 2004 Quarter Finals after a couple of spectacular late goals against Switzerland by Thierry Henry. Allez les Bleus!