Naval War College Review


Geoffrey Wawro


The most popular television show in France these days must be Les Guignols de l’Info—“the evening news puppets”—who do a ten-minute turn every night on the cable channel “Canal Plus.” Their humor is excoriating, and they are as hard on Princess Caroline of Monaco or businessman Bernard Tapié as they are on President Jacques Chirac—who is never re- ferred to as “Chirac” or “the president” but as supermenteur, “super liar.” Increasingly, how- ever, America is the target of these pitiless pup- pets. There is a George W. Bush guignol, a perfect copy, who stumbles rhetorically and shouts the gaseous platitudes that the French associate with America: “We want to make the world a better place. . . . We are working for free- dom and democracy in your land and ours.”