MARINE LE PEN
Daughter of Front National founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, Marine has sought to put a subtler face on nationalism—and got over 20 percent in a recent presidential poll. “She shows that the average uneducated provincial Frenchman is starting to go for a shitload of crap,” says Sorbonne literature instructor David Belaga. Yet Olivier Magny, owner of wine bar Ô Chateau and author of the blog and book Stuff Parisians Like, says: “Everyone calls her facho (fascist), but she still points out problems. Immigration is out of control.”
The conservative— born to Jewish Algerian parents—with the radio show “Z Comme Zemmour” has run into trouble for saying things like racial profiling is okay because drug dealers tend to be black or Arab. (Hate speech is a crime here—hence Galliano’s legal predicament.) He’s also sparred with such notable Frenchmen as Joey Starr, of the popular rap group NTM (Nique Ta Mère, which means “fuck your mother”).
One of France’s most popular athletes is a rugby player with hair so unruly that he’s called “l’homme des cavernes” (caveman). “France is a testosterone-deprived country,” says Magny, “so he’s adored for his brutal tackles.”
“Le Petit Journal de Yann Barthès,” a show-within-a-show on Canal+, terrorizes French politicians and celebrities. “When stars see the camera, they play it up or run away,” says Rebecca Leffler of the Hollywood Reporter, who reviews movies on the program. Last year, the show aired a photo taken in the home of France’s richest woman, Liliane Bettencourt, noting that she appeared to have a golden dildo on her end table. (Or had pranksters Photoshopped it in?)
The Dior-wearing single-mom mayor of the 7th Arrondissement—and a European Parliament rep—was Sarkozy’s justice minister. “But now Sarko doesn’t like her,” says Blandine Grosjean, deputy editor of news site rue89.com. The rumor is that she leaked rumors that Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, were cheating on each other, though Dati’s denied it. “She wants to run for mayor in 2014, but she says too many stupid things,” like when she said fellation—the word for fellatio—instead of “inflation” on TV.