Christopher Hitchens wrote an article on the topic for Slate on May 18, 2011. You can check it out on http://www.slate.com/id/2294965/. The following three extracts will give you an idea of it.
Why is it that we cannot read any discussion of a political sex scandal, or a sex scandal involving a politician, without pseudo-sophisticated comments about the supposedly different morals of Americans and Europeans? And why is it that this goes double if the politician is French, or if the reactions being quoted are from Gallic sources? And when did this annoying journalistic habit become so prevalent? It must have sprung up quite recently, or at least since the time when Charles de Gaulle and John F. Kennedy were presidents of their respective countries.
A related problem derives from the belief that Americans will not tolerate marital infidelity from their politicians.
Much hypocrisy is, of course, involved in both reactions. But of the two, the display of the Gallic “shocked—shocked” reflex is by far the least “adult.”
Oh boy ! If I don’t want sex affairs ( I don’t mean rape which is a crime ) made public it’s because it’s only a diversion . What matters with a politician is his politics . We vote for a political system in order to have general questions solved, questions that have an impact on everyday’s life for everybody . Politics is a question of property, therefore it concerns food, health, school, housing, environment, humanity’s conditions of life .
What the guy does with his penis is utterly irrelevant . When US politicians started exhibiting their wife, their kids, their football skills I thought it was the beginning of institutionalised lie . Like magicians : ” Look at what I can do on the TV with my right hand ! And don’t ever look at what I’m making of your real everyday’s life .”
Speaking of sex affairs is the same thing . “We just don’t want people to think about real politics, but we fascinate them with anything else” .
That’s why in France politicians private life has been kept private . And also because the French are individualist in private questions, they don’t care of a general opinion on those matters, contrarily to the Americans who are highly suggestible .
And also the French don’t think sex is a big affair, since they are rather free about that . Prohibition leads to obsession, and sex is not an evil nor a dirty thing nor a sensible subject in France .