French have beaten every other nation in the world when it comes to poking fun at their head of state. Let’s admit; George W. Bush, Silvio Berlusconi, Angela Merkel and our own President Zardari make a much better fodder for poking fun but the French have beaten us all. They came up with Nicolas Sarkozy voodoo dolls.
The Nicolas Sarkozy doll went on sale Oct. 9th 2008. The president tried having it banned but that decision backfired and it became the hottest selling cult item. The doll comes with a set of 12 pins and a manual which explains in detail how to put a curse on him.
For only €12.95, French people have a chance to literally poke their president and have fun while doing it.
Sarkozy’s legal team demanded a ban, arguing that the president owns the right to his image and had never authorized the doll, but the court over ruled the litigation saying that the doll was protected by what it called the ‘right to humor’. “Caricature and satire, even deliberately provocative and crude, falls under freedom of expression,” three judges wrote in their ruling.
Interestingly, it is his sixth lawsuit this year. In February, Sarkozy sued a journalist for publishing the content of a text message he said he never sent to his former wife, just days before his wedding to his third wife, Carla Bruni. In May he went after two T-shirt producers who had made fun of his last name. He has sued Ryan Air for using the image of his then girl friend Carla Bruni among other litigation cases. If the latest case has made more waves than others, it is also because, as interior minister in 2006, Sarkozy was one of the staunchest defenders of the right of newspapers to publish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that offended many Muslims.
Sarkozy turns out to be the most litigious president in the history of France; I bet some of the French people must be wondering if he is better suited for a more litigious society like United States of America than France.