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Le Débat: Journalists 'go missing' during French presidential TV debate

By Johnny Summerton
Posted May 3, 2012 in Politics
Wednesday evening has come and gone and with it in France the long-awaited televised debate between the two candidates left in the presidential race; François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.
It was, as expected a long and often feisty duel between the two men with reportedly over 17 million viewers tuning in to watch as they addressed an agreed set of subjects for almost three hours.
No time for loo breaks either as there were no commercials.
Those who managed to stick with it probably found something to confirm their opinions on both candidates - be that positive or negative - and their relative claims to be the country's choice when the French vote on Sunday.
Who "won" depends on where you stand - politically speaking.
But surely everyone must be agreed on one thing.
What the heck happened to the two journalists who were supposedly moderating the debate?
Laurence Ferrari, TF1's nightly news anchor, and her counterpart from France 2, David Pujadas were there.
You could see them on the screen and occasionally hear them try to get the two "political pugilists" either side of them back on the agreed track in terms of subjects to be discussed.
Somehow though they just seemed to get lost in the crossfire; a fact that didn't go unnoticed by political commentators and viewers alike.
The magical kingdom of the Net of course provided a playground for those not only wishing to parody what Hollande and Sarkozy had to say but also what Ferrari and Pujadas didn't manage to do.
There's a great selection of them on Tumblr for you to peruse at your leisure - it's worth looking through and will certainly raise a smile or two.
But perhaps the best was the one depicting Ferrari and Pujadas as the subjects of an Alerte enlèvement or Amber Alert with the cruelly accurate, "We're currently looking for two journalists who should be chairing the debate between Sarkozy and Hollande. One is wearing a wig and the other makes eyes at Sarkozy. The last time they were seen was playing Scrabble on TV."