French weekly magazines review 13 November 2016


Press unravels the face and ideology of US President Elect Donald Trump, blames President Obama for Hillary Clinton's defeat. And tributes and memorial plaques for the 130 French citizens who died during the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris which have transformed France.


Le Point says the populist Donald Trump now "the world's most powerful man" clawed his way to the White House after following a rather scary path, trodden by leftists such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and populists like France's Le Pens, Jean-Marie and Marine.

According to the right-wing weekly, Trump is a kind of political Frankenstein who in a rare stroke of ingenuity was able to galvanise the anger of the excluded, the miserable and the forgotten half of America which has never recovered from the sub-prime crisis of 2007.

Le Point blames President Barack Obama for the meteoric rise of the so-called "maniac of superlatives".

According to the magazine, his popularity in the polls contrasts with his meager record. His staunchest critics point to his worsening of the country’s colossal debt burden by over 930 billion dollars leaving it at 6 trillion dollars.

Le Point also observes that the excellent relations he entertained with Wall Street hasn't gone down well with blue collar workers who elected him. That according to Le Point, is why by waiting until the very last minute to support Clinton, Obama simply precipitated her downfall.

The publication also heaps part of the blame on Clinton herself. It makes the point that her alleged "crooked character" and shady dealings with foreign interest groups including Qatar, ended up soiling her image in the eyes of the American people.

Sex, lies and e-mails

According to Marianne, the foul language that characterised the US presidential election campaigns from start to finish sounded as a remake of Stephen Soderbergh’s picture “sex lies and videos”.

The left-leaning publication says, above everything, it illustrated the extent to which the race to the White House had become a painful "way to the cross" for Americans who still believe in the virtues of democracy.

ForLe Canard Enchaîné, the outcome of the US elections was bound to be a verdict by default whether it was the "infamous dishonest" Clinton who won or Trump described by the weekly as the kind of "arrogant, calamitous brute celebrated in Western cowboy movies".

Le Canard Enchaîné also takes a swipe at the so-called "establishment media" which all along presented Hillary Clinton as the "good candidate" opposed to " the bad and ugly" Republican. The satirical weekly says she was even celebrated as "someone she never was", including claims by a genealogist that Clinton was a distant cousin of France’s "unloved" President Francois Hollande.

All for Hollande

As speculations continue about Monsieur Hollande’s re-election prospects, the satirical weekly says there is a little glimmer of hope for the President’s devastated political fortunes. That was after Socialist party leaders including Premier Manuel Valls, National Assembly President Claude Bartholone among others, sealed a pact to throw their weight behind Hollande.

Le Canard says the endorsement brought a bit of fresh air to the French leader as he remained under pressure from conservative lawmakers trying to impeach him for divulging state secrets such as the targeted killings of terrorists to journalists. The 79 lawmakers who signed the petition argue that President Hollande's reckless conduct could endanger the lives of French soldiers on assignment abroad.

Remembering the November 13 Paris attacks

As France commemorates the first anniversary of the November 13 attacks in Paris, this Sunday, in which 130 people were killed and 413 others wounded.

L’Express investigates how the assault by Islamists on the nation’s capital has changed France. According to the weekly, the trauma resulting from the blood-letting has also galvanised the people and bolstered the determination of citizens to go on with their lives.

But l’Express also points out that the attacks have ufortunately modified the way the French people see Muslims. They are viewed with suspicion, fear and suspicion, which breeds biased ideas which must be discarded, according to the magazine.

Nicolas Sarkozy's ultimate battle

This week’s Marianne digs out the political woes crippling ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy’s bid to become his Republican party’s flag bearer for the 2017 Presidential elections.

With party’s primaries just one week away, the left-leaning magazine says Sarkozy has been "abandoned by his very own cronies, buried by opinion polls and compromised by scandals".

In Sarkozy’s back yard, it says, it is "every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost". As defeat approaches, it observes, elected officials have stopped talking and going underground or running away.

Marianne quotes a conservative lawmaker as saying that Sarkozy is "unable to stop himself from fighting anyone standing on his way, despite knowing that no one feels intimidated by him.

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