French Attempt Sarko-Free Day

Journalists and academics aim to take the 'omnipresident' down a notch
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2007 1:50 PM CST
French President Nicolas Sarkozy delivers a speech during a meeting with French police officers and gendarmes, in Paris, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007. The French president is omnipresent in the country's media....   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Nicolas Sarkozy has earned his nickname of “omnipresident,” engineering his press coverage so deftly that a group of academics and journalists declared today “No-Sarko Day,” Jason Farago writes in the Guardian. The French president has spent the 6 months since he took office burnishing his image so well that the media have come down with a raging case of "Sarkozitis."

Farago notes the French are not strictly adhering to No-Sarko Day, but he argues that it shows how effectively Sarkozy has manipulated the media into a political weapon. He “frontloads the day’s news with appearances, crowding out opposition” and, more important, has crafted the perfect image: hostage-savior, jilted lover, strong policeman. A step back might be just what France needs. (Read more Nicolas Sarkozy stories.)