Sunday, January 27, 2008

Trou de cul (Asshole, en anglais)

Scanning the French-language press, I came across an editorial written by Alain Dubuc of La Presse, on of the writers I most respect, not only in the French press, but in all of journalism.

He had objected to an interview given by Jacques Lanctôt, a newly-annointed contributor to Le journal de Montréal and writer for the French-language equivalent of Canoe media, to Christane Charrette of Radio-Canada's, Première Chaine.

Mr. Lanctôt's other claim to fame? He was one of the kidnappers during the FLQ crisis of October 1970. Certainly, having done his time in prison, the man is entitled to earn a living, and even to be interviewed by the French-language national public broadcaster. However, Dubuc objected to the tone of the interview, wherein Mr. Lanctôt seemingly reminisces with fondness his days as a terrorist, serving shepherd's pie to his terrified captor as means of introducing him to a "people's meal". He ends the interview by nonchalantly observing that he "doesn't regret a thing", referring to his acts of terrorism.

What was even more disturbing about the interview was the astonishing flippancy with which the hostess seemed to treat the whole thing. Other guests on the show made at least token efforts to challenge his acts of almost 40 years ago, for which he seemed to show little remorse. However, Ms. Charrette seemed more concerned about being a gracious host.

The comment section on Radio-Canada's website containing the audio of the interview (linked below) is almost unanimous in its condemnation of both Mr. Lanctôt's cavalier attitude towards his victim - and Mr. Cross was certainly a victim, regardless of whatever sect of imperialism Mr. Lanctôt dreams that he represented - and towards Ms. Charrette and Radio-Canada itself for allowing such a low-life the air time he received. It was a slap in the face to James Cross, and and affront to all Canadians', whether federalist, Quebec separatist/sovereignist, sense of decency. Our public broadcaster should know better.

If you wish to hear the interview, here's the link (but plug your nose and check your gag reflex before you hear it. Below it is a link to the thoughtful article written by Mr. Dubuc.

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