France: Fatal Ridicule

Fatal Ridicule

The illustrious list of speakers included Defense Minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement, Culture Minister Jack Lang and National Assembly President Laurent Fabius. But the French public seemed more than a little blase: only about 30 people showed up last week for a political colloquium on the theme of progress. Toward the end of the second day, however, the room was unaccountably filled with spectators, and the applauding throng seemed to have saved the ruling Socialists from a public relations disaster. But relief turned to embarrassment when it was learned that more than 100 members of the crowd had been paid $63 each to...

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