Commentary

Is jogging right wing? Is sketch comic running France?

President Sarkozy has fallen foul of intellectuals and critics who see his passion for jogging as un-French, right-wing and even a ploy to brainwash his citizens. Attacks on Mr Sarkozy’s pastime, which he has made a symbol of his presidency, began on the internet as soon as he bounded up the steps of the ElysÃ?e Palace in shorts when he took office in May. That moment has become the icon of his hyperenergetic administration. The grumbling has now moved to television and the press. “Is jogging right wing?” wondered LibÃ?ration, the left-wing newspaper. Alain Finkelkraut, a celebrated philosopher, begged Mr Sarkozy on France 2, the main state television channel, to abandon his “undignified” pursuit. He should take up walking, like Socrates, Arthur Rimbaud, the poet, and other great men, said Mr Finkelkraut.

Of course, W is always doing it, so jogging must be right wing. BTW, check out Sarkozy’s picture, and then ask yourself why The Kids in the Hall’s Kevin McDonald (far right, of course) hasn’t been doing much lately. Turns out I’m not the only one who’s suspicious.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.