I will, maybe, write a longer post on this, but I just want to make a couple of points:
Even Jon Stewart made a joke on DSK, imlying that France might allow a sex offender to run for the presidency (see video here at 6.00.). It was probably not said seriously, but the delivery was quite bad if it was meant as a joke. Stewart also used to defend France against american boycotts with a strange argument: France is not an important country?(here it is, you have the only bad thing I can say on Jon Stewart!)
I said "Even" Jon Stewart, because I have heard a LOT of commentaries on how the US was different from France or Europe on sexual proximity, etc...(no time, no links, sorry). If France is far from gender equality(say, in politics for instance) and that some people seem to say that touching boobs is fine as long as you are in Paris, French people are also against rape, because rape is bad.
Update: Christopher Hitchens and Liberation have more
On a second point, Bernard-Henry Levy seems to be the point of reference when Americans think about french thinkers, so it is worth pointing out that BHL is not representative of what French people think. Actually, when in doubt, go on the opposite direction of BHL