RALEIGH — International reaction to televising thePresident's grand jury testimonyhas been mixed. Some members of the international community express sympathy for President Clinton, while some express disgust.
One woman in Tokyo said "they didn't have to do this." German Chancellor Helmut Kohl says the whole business makes him sick to his stomach.
A group of Triangle visitors feels the attention given to the President's problems detracts from more important world matters.
Newspapers around the world ran the story of the Clinton tape being shown on the Internet."LeMonde"plays the story big, as does"The Australian."Japanese papers we checked did not mention it. Members of theBritish Parliamentvisiting Raleigh say the real issue is America's leadership role.
"This is deflecting people's attention from the American economy, the world economy," said Lord David Taylor of theHouse of Lords. "There's a crisis in Asia, crisis in Brazil. We need to look at the real issues."
Great Britain is perhaps America's staunchest ally, and some visiting politicians say our focus must shift.
"Back home, people recognize the world leadership role that the United States takes, and I think what we saw in theUnited Nationsyesterday. I think that's how most foreign observers view the thing," said Lawrence Quinn of the BritishHouse of Commons.
Some world leaders also take the media to task.
"Sex scandals are easy to report, and I think this is a symbol of lazy media," said David Lock of the British House of Commons. "The way the British tabloids are representing this is pure voyeurism. It's there to sell newspapers. It's not news, it's entertainment."
"I think we're looking at the situation with sadness because nobody wins here," said Taylor.