Tense moments ticked away as a room full of restless reporters stared at one another wondering what to do. Those that were paying attention were shocked at what they had just heard. The others were shocked at why half the room was looking so shocked at them. Whatever it was, it was serious!
What they heard was a secret coded message between President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy regarding Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. It went something like this:
SARKOZY: I cannot stand him. He is a liar.
OBAMA: You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!
Those were code words for, “If I could divorce this (bleep), I totally would!”
After hearing the message and scraping their jaws off the floor, this noble press core with their journalist standards in tow and their complete lack of bias in reporting ran to phones and began dictating to their editors what they had just heard. The first reporter reached his editor:
UPSTANDING REPORTER: Sarkozy – I cannot stand him (Stop) He’s a liar (Stop)
But just then the cold barrel of a Smith & Wesson was placed on the back of the reporter’s head. “Move away from the phone,” said the G20 official, “and come with me. All of you!”
Needless to say, all of the reporters followed the official to a table nearby where a number of copies of a non-disclosure agreement were laid out neatly in front of an equal number of chairs.
“Sit and SIGN!” yelled the official using the gun as directional device.
The reporters instantly hopped to and within minutes all of them had signed the agreement which barred them from reporting on the incident and the comments. Having signed the documents, the journalists were free to go.
And if you believe anything you just read, seek help immediately. The journalists in question had no gun to their head, not even a proverbial one. After accidentally hearing the remarks from Sarkozy and Obama, they instead “gathered in a huddle and agreed not to publish what they had heard.” [BBC News]
It was just that simple.
As Christian Fraser of BBC News questions:
Was it the honour of the press pack – or the overbearing deference (even fear) with which French journalists approach the political class? You can’t help feeling if similar comments had been overheard by British journalists, the tabloids would have had a field day.
Chances are it wasn’t just French journalists, but the question is still the same. Whose asses are these journos interested in?
- Sarkozy called Israeli PM ‘liar’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Open Mic Allegedly Catches Nicolas Sarkozy Calling Netanyahu A Liar, Obama Commiserating (mediaite.com)
- AUDIO: Sarkozy ‘liar’ comment on mic (bbc.co.uk)