June 19, 2007
Geoff is right: This conversation between Nicolas Sarkozy, the newly elected French president, and philosopher Michel Onfray, one of Sarkozy’s most dedicated critics, is unimaginable with any American political candidate, let alone Bush. It is also beyond the realm of possibility on any American television channel or news outlet, and literally unthinkable with any American pundit except maybe Bill Moyers. You can read this kind of thing in Harper’s, but the idea of seeing something like it on American television — two public intellectuals talking about ideas and literature with passion and interest, without being interrupted and badgered by some cable news gasbag — is sheer fantasy.
Someday I hope we all get to experience a society in which the mass market media exist to promote and disseminate culture instead of locking it out and choking it off.