Behind white knuckles, Macron makes up his own mind
By TATIANA PROPHET
In May, when Donald Trump first met Emmanuel Macron, how was their famous handshake so misinterpreted by the U.S. media? The centrist, rational, climate-aware young president was obviously not going to like Trump. Right? Well images from the past two days seem to undercut any impression of dislike between the two men.
After the white-knuckle handshake made headlines around the world, there was a quote from the young French president, oft buried in the avalanche of sinew and bone: "I saw a leader with strong opinions on a number of subjects, which I share in part — the fight against terrorism, the willingness to keep our place in the family of nations — and with whom I have disagreements that we spoke about very calmly," Macron said.
"I saw someone who listens and who is willing to work," he added.
Indeed, the headline most of us saw was: "Macron says handshake with Trump was 'not innocent.'"
Once again, the media is focusing on the superficial takeaways rather than the boring details of how two long-term allies find their way to consensus.
In fact, on Friday, Bastille Day, the headlines exploded with yet another prolonged handshake between the dynamic duo on their inarguably friendly visit for France's big day. "Shake Hands Like a Normal Person," commanded Esquire in a possibly first imperative headline for the mens magazine.
The Huffington Post wrote a widely circulated, hard-hitting article on a small sound bite in which Trump told Madame Macron that she was "in good shape." Oh, the indignity. I checked her out, and she is in fact, extremely svelte.
Maybe Esquire can give HuffPo instructions on how to assess the beauty of women. In other words, the media can’t have it both ways. They can’t profit off of our historic reliance on “sex sells,” then cry “sexism.”
Another Huffington Post article claimed that Macron has "folded" because he said it's important to work with President Trump.
For my part, I just wanted to know what "cojones" was in French. These days, it takes "balles" to go beyond the outrage, assess the situation, and be a leader for positive change.