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“All right, cherie. The courtship is over.”

The Telegraph reports on a French television debate on the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn:

Ever since the French were confronted with the unimaginable pictures of one of their rulers, a man widely expected to become President of the Republic, unshaven and in handcuffs in the dock of a Manhattan courthouse, reactions have been increasingly split between disbelieving shock and knowing outrage – and more and more, as one tin-eared Strauss-Kahn supporter after another dropped a toxic brick into the debate, along gender, and, to a lesser extent, class lines.

“Why all the fuss? It’s merely a bit of hanky-panky with the help,” said Jean-François Kahn, the crusading editor of the Left-wing Marianne weekly. Jack Lang, a law don famous for having been François Mitterrand’s high-profile, graffiti-loving, diversity-fostering Culture Minister, dismissed it all rather infelicitously as an “overblown” affair: “Really, nobody died in that hotel room.”

I’m starting to believe that the Pepe le Pew cartoons– which taught me everything I knew about the French in my younger days– are rather true-to-life after all.