1 April 2022. Yes, Stephen is no longer with France 24. He’s been a fixture there — for 10 years — as long as I’ve watched the network. I knew him for one of his ties which had multiple colour stripes and I read it as his version of the now-outdated, passé rainbow flag. But at the end he wore this really pretty pink tie which looked nice with his white shirt and black jacket.
Being the Business reporter, he seemed to always strive to be in this “serious” mode before the camera. Only smiling on occasion — and rarely joking with anyone as if the network forbid it? — otherwise presenting this image of conservative.
I had sensed he wasn’t that happy there sometime ago. I didn’t hear where he’s going, nor did I hear anyone say. [Update: He’s now an anchor at Bloomberg Radio LP. Isn’t that conservative? If so, that would seem to agree with his perceived closet-case status.] News presenter Stuart — who I also read as Queer — gave him a brief on-air goodbye the morning before and said he had a tear in his eye for Stephen leaving but wished him good luck. I’ve always read Stephen as Queer but — unless I’ve missed something to the contrary over the years — they sure have gone out of their way to portray him as heterosexual. And he’s gone along with it. I don’t know if he ever let it be known that he’s Queer in any way on air, but I always had this sense about him that he had either one or both feet in the closet, at least on air.
France 24 is very much into identity politics. I used to be into identity politics until I realised that the first this and the first that — meaning the first gay guy or the first Asian or the first female, or the first lesbian or the first Black or the first Latino — turned out to be just as bad as or worse than what preceded them. They were not some messiah figure as one had hoped. So what’s the point? One’s ethnicity, gender or sexuality doesn’t make the person into a saviour figure, which is what identity politics is all about. Those things are only part of the person. Does it matter that the person has a vagina when her politics are just as bad as or worse than the guys who came before her? The same for a conservative gay guy (“the first openly-gay guy to hold this office”) who pretends to be “moderate” and has draconian conservative policies. So what’s the point of showing “the first female conductor” of such and such orchestra when any other time France 24 would have zero interest in said orchestra. They rudely talk over any classical music — as if it’s supposed to be “background music” — and liturgies when shown on the network. The only music they don’t talk over is pop culture music. So despite being so wrapped up by identity politics, France made sure they hid Stephen’s sexuality from the viewers. His send-off was another example of that. Only females were on the set to say goodbye to him. Why was that? To portray a heteronormative/heterosexual illusion? There are many Queer boys within the network — or that’s how my extremely reliable gaydar reads them — but not one of them was on the set to wish Stephen well. Just girls. Gina did a video goodbye to him. Any of the Queer boys could have done the same — or any of the other guys in the network regardless of their sexuality for that matter — but the illusion that the network chose to present was that only chicks were an item for Stephen. Yeah right. Some of us are not convinced by that.
And one of the past clips they showed of Stephen’s history with the network was about how kisses are done in France, and who was Stephen kissing? Flo. A girl. But of course! I’m talking about Flo Villeminot, who seems like a lovely person by the way. But that segment — which regular viewers have seen many times — they showed for his goodbye. Of course men do the “French kiss” as well but I can hear the conservative network producers say, “We’re not about to show that even during corporate ‘Pride’ month. No way!” So that might be why Stephen was paired off with Flo to begin with rather than with a guy of his choice. With television networks, everything is scripted and deliberate; nothing is left to chance. I swear, it feels like people are more back in the closet today than they were at the start of the now-dead Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement decades ago. As my Queer best friend says, “Think circa 1950s. That’s how it feels.” Agreed.
France 24 (English language) is a very conservative network. Do they think they’re “progressive” or “left” somehow or in any way? They’re not. Or do they run from both words? Whenever the Queer topic comes up in the news or anywhere else for them to report on they are disciples of the usual revisionist history “LGBTQ” blah, blah, blah. (The original was GLB because thousands of gay guys led the Movement, not lesbians as the L first implies). France 24 obediently follows Gay Incorporated’s decree about using that ludicrous alphabet soup mess where dyke Lea Delaria says, “By the time you get through all those letters, the parade is over.” Absolutely. Indeed. Thank you for that, Lea. I’m glad someone has a brain about it! Not many do. Why not just say one word: Queer. Is that so difficult?! But that makes too much sense to the corporate morons at Gay Incorporated — who only care about Queers of their same income bracket — who ordered the media to use all those revisionist fucking letters. By the way, the official letter train is this mess: LGBTQQICAPF2K+. Is it their intent to repeat the entire alphabet and plus signs three times since they already have two Qs? Insanity. Heterosexuals don’t have this long train of letters, they’re just called heterosexual or straight. Why can’t Queers just be called Queer? Oh, that makes too much sense! And why is trans part of the Queer group? Queer is about same-gender attraction. Trans is about feeling you’re the wrong gender in the body you were born with. That has nothing to do with Queer. And some trans end up living heterosexual lives with kids. That has nothing to do with Queer. There’s already a group for trans. It’s called straight. Question: Why is everything that is not heterosexual dumped into the Queer group? Insane. Related: See here and here. BTW, to be clear, Lea calls herself a dyke and NOT a lesbian. That’s not me calling her a dyke. That’s what she calls herself!
I like their presenters/news reader who read the news, not act it. They have 2-3 people who seem to think they have to “teach” the news to the audience with hand gestures and the like. I change the channel when they’re on. I don’t need hyped, acted-out news. Just read it. We’re not dense.
A brief aside: The day after Stephen left the network, their Observers Direct programme aired a segment about homophobia and transphobia in Cameroon. (For people in the States who are “geographically challenged,” Cameroon is in Central Africa). The script for that segment was annoying because it was over loaded with “LGBTQ” and the stumbling over all of those letters each time it appeared. I must have heard “LGBTQ” at least 20 times within the 10 minute segment. It was ridiculous. I kept thinking; Just say the word Queer. Why can’t you do that? Answer: Because to be absolute conformists of Gay Inc. and their dogma and decrees, one must use/the network feel they must use all those letters to have credibility. Rubbish! And “LGBTQ” became slurred over after awhile so it sounded like “LG” mumble. Doesn’t anyone think for themselves anymore or do producers feel they must follow the insane dictates from Gay Incorporated? They did use the word “gay” once that I heard. So they are able to say that word. I thought: Why didn’t they use gay and or Queer all the way through the programme and abandon all those fucking letters?
I have absolutely no use for those corporate trash who killed their own Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement right after gay marriage became legal. How did they do that? The idiots told Queers to “assimilate — blend in — with the straights.” Queers were already “assimilated” with the heteros as much as they cared to be. Nevertheless, most Queers interpreted “assimilate” to mean: Go back in the closet and pretend to be straight — with many Queer men marrying females — to blend in with the straights. And that’s exactly what has happened from what I see. Today it feels like most Queers are in the closet, especially the fucked-up Millenneals on YT who I read as Queer but they shove their wife and kids in our faces to prove how allegedly “straight” he is. Some of us are not convinced Mr Closet Case. There are thousands of gay closet cases around the world married to women and with kids. That stunt is generations old. In fact, it feels like more Queers are in the closet today than there were before the start of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement decades ago.
With France 24, when corporate “Pride” month comes around in June, one gets the impression that “Pride” is a lesbian event; all about lesbians. (Related: Why have corporate “Pride” when most are back in the closet and not “proud?”) Not only did lesbians hijack the now-dead Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement, but they’re the “face’ of the Queer group. That’s all you’ll see. Stories about lesbians, their kids, and other lesbian-related topics. But the corporate networks have no trouble showing two girls kissing because “that’s what girls do.” (roll eyes). And lesbians are considered more “acceptable” to the homophobic public than gay men so that’s part of it as well. On the odd occasion, if they happen to show a gay male couple by mistake it’s only fleetingly and usually just the two guys holding hands and walking down the sidewalk where all you see is their legs, and that’s old footage from the 1980s (from San Francisco’s Castro). This reminds me of DW-Television’s “rainbow flag” ad (that’s what I call it) where they show two guys sitting next to each other and they’re about to kiss, but the camera immediately shuts off before they reach each other’s lips because, “We can’t show two guys kissing. What will our conservative viewers think?” Then why the fuck have the ad in the first place, DW? Deutsche Welle in Berlin also has its share of closet cases: Two come to mind. Such as the one guy (news reader/reporter) who has the “gayest face” I’ve seen in some time. Turns out he has a fiancée. Yes, but of course. I guess she’s in denial — or she knows deep down but doesn’t care; it’s their little secret — or is he the only guy she’s been able to latch onto and who would give her the attention she craves? Does he fantasise about sex with a guy if he has sex with her? He went out of his way to mention her in an online comment which is most typical of closet cases trying to prove to the public how heterosexual he allegedly is, which only the most gullible will fall for. Then there’s the other closet case guy who I read as queer the first time I saw him (and still do) — not that there are only two in the network, mind you, — who goes overboard trying to be “straight-acting” to the point of almost acting as if he doesn’t want to be there, either that, he’s not looking forward to going home. He has a wife and two kids. But with closet cases, the “gay” seeps out on occasion no matter how hard they try to conceal it.
With Stephen, I just thought it was strange that even at the very end, the network had to make him out to be heterosexual with only girls surrounding him, a Queer boy. Rather pathetic really that they felt the need to do that, but France is a very conservative country and the network is funded by the French government, so there you are. The same French government that stupidly lifted nearly all of their COVID restrictions because of Macron’s re-relection, as cases soar. (I used to like Macron to some degree, but he now strikes me as fake and phony and only cares about himself and his political career). Even though the Health Minister denied, as usual, that’s why the restrictions were lifted. But we’re not stupid, as he must think. I’ve seen nothing on the network about France and COVID. Do they have a gag order from the French government to not report France’s COVID cases until after the election? Their thinking seems to be: If you forget about a virus, it will just go away.”
“Post Pandemic?” That’s a case of more denial.
“Post Pandemic” is the extremely irresponsible language that France 24 is now using for screen captions, such as in Venice and their economy “post pandemic.” Are they not aware that their case numbers in France as of this writing are higher than earlier in this pandemic? Related: Covid will always be an epidemic virus — not an endemic one, scientist warns
For 1 April 2022: France had 147,384 new COVID cases with a 7-day average of 138,097 [source: Johns Hopkins University]. But nothing about that on the network. Oddly, France 24 was reporting France’s COVID cases when they were much lower. But that was before the presidential campaign got going in full strength. One gets the impression they’re deliberately not talking about it. “Instead, let’s report on Shanghai or Pakistan and COVID.” The reason this also came to mind was that they’ve shown the various political candidates and their rallies. No one wearing face masks, distancing and hand-shaking. Gone are the elbow bumps. Macron will look like a complete idiot if he reinstates the COVID restrictions he lifted solely to win re-election. And I’ve lost all respect for him for doing so. I didn’t realise he would stoop that low for political purposes and to give the illusion that the pandemic is over, as their cases in France are at their highest level. But then again he is a politician. During the campaign, I’ve seen both Macron and Le Pin exhibiting reckless pre-COVID behaviour. More insanity.
On the topic of Ukraine, France 24 is blurring out the images of dead bodies found on the streets in Ukraine. WHY?! Stop sanitising war! Blurring out images of dead bodies is a way of sanitising war, people. It’s time that people see the horrors of war — rather than trying to sanitise the images of dead bodies (what delicate, thin-skinned people are running this network?) — if there’s to be any hope of preventing war in the future. Otherwise, to many people who see sanitised images of war, war is nothing more than a video game.
Is that one reason why Stephen left the network? I remember reading a tweet from him about (not an exact quote): This morning I got another boring memo from Administration or words to that effect. That’s one reason I got the impression he wasn’t too happy there. He was being critical of Admin. With good reason, if they are of the same mentality that the barbaric and the heinous actions of war from Thug Putin and his military thugs should be sanitised for delicate viewers. Ugh.
PS: And I didn’t even talk about those people who crossed the picket line when they had their employees strike at France 24 recently, that the network sanitised as, “Industrial Action.” WTF is that? “Industrial Action” = A STRIKE. And those who crossed the picket line (the scabs) were immediately promoted to more on-air time for becoming the residents of the upper colon of management. How’s that for sanitising?! I won’t name names but one of them is that woman — initials SM — who seems to think she’s quite an item with the network and who is frequently doing eye flirtations to the viewers and winking at the camera and she’s big on doing air quotation marks. Yes her. To my knowledge, the so-called “Industrial Action” was still going on and her ass was parked in the studio as a disciple of management. I’m not aware that Stephen crossed the picket line. I don’t think he did. Most of them did not to my knowledge. Some of the on-camera employees who come to mind — news presenters, for example — I’ve not seen since as if they left the network. I could be wrong, but I get the impression that most people there hate doing the job of news presenter. And there’s also this delay in the (robotic?) cameras shutting off that they don’t like because it makes them wait for the camera to turn off. There are those who are quite good at news presenter/news reader such as Thomas Waterhouse and Alexander Aucott. They are two who come to mind. Stephen was also good at newsreader and from my understanding in his early years there he used to do that job regularly every morning with Stuart, but much less so — or rarely — in recent years.
France 24 also has to sanitise the human body. Where did that mentality come from? They’ll show some “human interest” story with some woman making a cup of tea. But we won’t see her drinking that tea. I think that’s forbidden. No humans drink water, correct? That’s the impression they like to give. Just like if they’re doing an interview and one of their guests (on camera) picks up a glass of water, the camera jerks away quickly so that viewers can’t see that person drinking water — why is that forbidden? — as if there’s something wrong with seeing a person drink water on television. What is wrong with these production people that they are so afraid of the human body and what all of us do, such as drink water? What morons came up with these ludicrous rules about what can and cannot be shown on a conservative network?