Get a treat with Libé

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Tim Bray has found the RSS feed of Libération, a popular newspaper here in France, and subscribed to it for some language learning. What surprises me is the reason why Libération is his journal of choice:

Among other things, because it’s a tabloid and easy to carry; if you walk into a café or restaurant or store in France with a copy of Libération stuffed under your arm, the locals will instantly assume you’re not a gringo and you’ll probably get treated a lot better. Try it, it works.

Come on, is that true? May be I'm more open than my fellow compatriots, or may it's an effect of living in the most visited city in the world, but I do have a hard time with the idea that the French would automatically treat someone better just because they carry a French journal.

Have you experienced something similar? Have you felt being treated less favorably because you were a foreigner? Or on the contrary, better treatment because you blended perfectly with the locals? I'm really curious.