THE BLOG
05/14/2007 12:57 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Sarkozy and DeGeneres Working Long Hours

In France, Monsieur Sarkozy defeated Madame Royal and I'm trying not to read into that defeat the defeat of Mme. Hillary Clinton. Just in case I was having an easy time keeping them separate, along came Maureen Dowd to re-link the two. Apparently Maureen, who never met a powerful woman she didn't like to slice and dice, had been going a little too heavy with her Hillary-hating, so went to France to find a stunt double. Voila Royal!

No one has ever damned a woman with such faint praise so cleverly as that nutty New York Times redhead who, when it comes to keeping women down, answers her own book title question, Are Men Necessary? To keep women down? No need, answers Maureen, I'll do it for you.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the feisty, energetic son of an immigrant which entitles him to call other immigrants scum, wants to reinvigorate France's economy and restore its alliance with America. To do the economy part he has to get the giant airbus of their economy off the ground and that means getting the French off the 35 hours-a-work-week dole. The French voted not only for a longer work week but also for le petite's Napoleonic manliness. And you thought only Kansans voted against their own interests.

Obviously the Starbucks Enterprise has landed in France and has caffeinated everyone into ma vie en venti-sized guilt. When history is written, it will be revealed that Starbucks was a corporate conspiracy to get everyone to work longer hours. I have friends who wearily proclaim, "I worked 87 hours last week." C'est pathetique. In Japan overwork is now a felony.

The same week Sarkozy and his right-to-work-long-hours won in France, Ellen DeGeneres did a week of shows from her hospital bed on set. It was not even sweeps week. DeGeneres had reached down to pick something up at home and torn something in her back and was doctor-ordered to complete bed rest. Her work ethic made her go on with the show. The pain-killers helped.

It was also about job security. In case you were wondering if women on TV are worried about their hard-won jobs, even Ellen DeGeneres seemed insecure about her job if she were out for a week. I bet Johnny Carson never worried that someone sitting in for him would take over his job. Joan Rivers looked too eager and they squashed her like a bug. How do you say 're-runs' en Francaise? Ellen could have called a number of other women comics to sit in for her. I can dance.

It was a plucky performance but a little sad to see. The good news is that it inadvertently demonstrated that Americans really don't care what lesbians do in bed. As long as they do their job.