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FROM THIS EPISODE

Jean-Marie Le Pen is often described as a crude bigoted neo-fascist. But this right-wing nationalist with an anti-immigrant, law-and-order campaign struck enough of a chord with French voters to propel him into next month's presidential runoff. Although Le Pen is not expected to win the election against conservative incumbent Jacques Chirac, his momentary success is yet another instance of the right wing ascendance occurring throughout Austria, Germany, Italy, Denmark and even the Netherlands. We look at the increasing extremism in Western European political culture, the European Union and the battle for national identity, with experts from France, Italy, England and Germany.
  • Newsmaker: Longtime Bush Aid and Spokesperson Resigns
    President Bush is losing a major player from the White House inner circle. Karen Hughes, the person said to be his closest advisor, is resigning her job as presidential counselor and returning to Texas. Dan Balz, national political correspondent for The Washington Post, reports that it was a difficult decision to leave one family for the benefit of another.
  • Reporter's Notebook: The Numbing of the American Mind
    Just as TV news anchors move on, and just as you move when you hit the remote button to change the station, we have conditioned ourselves to move from one reality to another. Friedrich Nietzsche called it "taking recourse in premeditated stupidity." Thomas Zengotita, contributing editor to Harper's magazine, expands on how we learn to "surf" between so many realities and representations.

Washington Post

Jean-Marie Le Pen

Jacques Chirac

Bruges Group

Die Zeit (in German)

European Union

The French National Front: The Extremist Challenge to Democracy

Harper's

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