The Washington Post brings us the story of a right-wing U.S. businessman who is in a very public fight over the work habits of the French. Yes, we all know the folklore about the lazy French. What would be helpful here is some dose of reality–that's what journalism can be good for.
Working in a time-honored corporate media genre (Extra!, 9-10/97, 9-10/05, 7/10), the Washington Post's Edward Cody (4/24/11) tells us that Europe just can't afford its generous social programs: From blanket health insurance to long vacations and early retirement, the cozy social benefits that have been a way of life in Western Europe since World War II increasingly appear to be luxuries the continent can no longer afford. Lest you think "appear" provides some wiggle room, Cody makes clear that, no, he's talking about objective truth here: In the new reality, workers have been forced to accept salary freezes, decreased hours, [...]