Le Spin a la Francaise

While embattled French police have been fighting with rioters for more than a week in Muslim-dominated suburbs of Paris, the French government has been fighting over what to call the rioters who are busy hurling Molotov cocktails.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who is in charge of putting down violent disturbances, says the rioters are “thugs” and “scum.”President Jacques Chirac says the law must be enforced, of course, but “in a spirit of dialogue and respect.”

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin says “let’s avoid stigmatizing areas…let’s treat petty crime differently to major crime.”

“I talk with real words,” M. Sarkozy responds. “When someone shoots at policemen, he’s not just a ‘youth,’ he’s a lout, full stop.”

But heaven forefend that anyone call the rioters “Muslims.”

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