Washington Post Asserts French 'Disturbed' by Crackdown on Unruly Immigrants, But 2/3 Back Sarkozy

A Washington Post news story earlier this week served to demonstrate that mainstream media journalists apply the same prism overseas as they do domestically when covering illegal immigration and the Ground Zero mosque: When an overwhelming majority of the public goes against the media's position, journalists see division and portray politicians sharing the majority position as causing rancor.

Case in a point: An article from Paris on page A6 of the Tuesday, August 31, Washington Post, "Crackdown on Roma divides French: Unease grows as Sarkozy razes camps, expels residents," in which the newspaper's Edward Cody led: "Much of France has returned from summer vacation in a rancorous mood, disturbed by a crackdown ordered by President Nicolas Sarkozy against illegal Roma camps and naturalized immigrant youths who attack police in troubled suburbs." Yes, the French people are "disturbed" that the police are reacting against immigrants who attack them.

Cody proceeded to assert "the unease over the action against illegal Roma immigrants, most from Romania and Bulgaria, has been particularly strong, with the expulsions drawing criticism at home and abroad." Indeed, "for many, such policies undermine France's idea of itself as a haven for exiles and a beacon for human rights. Similar fears of intolerance were raised in July when, at Sarkozy's urging, the National Assembly passed a law banning women from wearing full-face Islamic veils in public."

Those Cody cited were hardly the citizenry, but Sarkozy's political opponents and meddling foreigners, starting with how "a U.N. human rights panel sharply criticized Sarkozy's actions against the Roma camps last week and called on him to halt the campaign. Pope Benedict XVI, speaking in French to make sure the message was received, called on Catholics to respect human diversity." Cody also maintained: "In the political arena, the policies have generated protests from Sarkozy's opponents, on the right as well as the left."

Not until the 7th paragraph did Cody relay some information that undermined his entire premise and explained why a politician like Sarkozy would be pursuing policies that supposedly enraged the electorate:

In a recent poll, two-thirds of those queried approved of the campaign, suggesting the policy might provide at least temporary gains as Sarkozy maneuvers to set the stage for reelection in 2012.

Cody's next sentence should have been: "Never mind."

- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.