French TV Network Will Be in English

The St. Pat's Day parade a block away from here on 5th Avenue in New York is just busting up about now.

It's a great day. Everybody gets to put on something green, even if that something should have stayed in the closet. Camilla Parker Bowles fell victim to the urge.

And in honor of the day, so did I.

I wear this every year, for one day. Happy St. Pat's.

Now on to the real story, which believe it or not does have a connection to my green derby hat.

Remember when the French were so ticked off about not being consulted before we invaded Iraq, and French President Jacques Chirac promised his voters he was going to build an international satellite channel he described as "CNN a la Francaise"?

Right away you knew he was off to a bad start.

But, oh well, they went to work on a French language 24-hour satellite news channel.

It was going to spread the cultural values of the French way of life, starting with the French language.

TV news in French around the clock.

The world was waiting to turn on satellite TV and hear a news anchor in Paris say, "Let's go live" in French.

Well guess what? It's four years down the line and they're ready to put the channel on the air.

It will be paid for by French taxpayers — $88 million a year. And customers around the world are, in fact, anxiously awaiting the service.

They are ready to pay and become loyal viewers, but only if it's in English.

And the French have agreed.

That's right. The pride of the French — a new satellite news service produced from the French point of view, also known as the anti-American point of view — will be in English.

France gets one lousy little three-hour-a-day news show to make the French speakers happy. But executives have figured out the thing only works if it is in the language of most of the world's influential people, which is English.

This is where we get back to St. Patrick's Day.

The Irish speak English, too.

When I go out to celebrate St. Pat's tonight, it will be in English — just like French TV.

Is this great news or what?

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