Friday, June 3, 2011


Those of you who have expressed confident knowledge of the precise target of Luc Ferry's rumor-mongering may be interested in an item that appeared in Le Monde on April 28, 2006, a week after a similar story was published in Le Canard enchaîné. It concerns neither of the two foreign ministers whose names have been bandied about, but a third, M. Douste-Blazy:

Que s'est-il donc passé dans la chambre 312 de la Mamounia, hôtel de luxe de Marrakech, le 31 décembre ? « Une violente dispute, comme il en arrive dans tous les couples », affirme aujourd'hui Philippe Douste-Blazy. Le ministre, en vacances dans l'établissement - une propriété de l'Etat marocain très courue du Tout-Paris des affaires et de la politique - reconnaît s'être violemment disputé ce soir-là avec sa compagne, la productrice de télévision Dominique Cantien.
Un différend peu discret, puisque des voisins du couple, au troisième étage de l'hôtel, ont pu en suivre les péripéties et voir le ministre et sa compagne, légèrement vêtus, s'invectiver dans le couloir.
Le ministre, rompant finalement la querelle, a dû rejoindre la chambre de l'un de ses gardes du corps, avant de quitter précipitamment l'hôtel, à 5 heures du matin. Là, suivi par une voiture de la sécurité, « Douste » a pris la route de Casablanca, d'où il s'est envolé pour Paris.

The timing of this story, the wrath of Jacques Chirac, and its open discussion by other ministers at the time make it seem likely that this is the story Luc Ferry had in mind, and that he was a little confused about certain crucial details (la pédophilie, un détail, as M. Le Pen might say). So here we have an object lesson in the dangers of rumor-mongering. Facts have a way of getting distorted. And there was no cover-up, as you can see. Your intrepid newspaper of record was on the case.

A minor footnote to the tale: Dominique Cantien was Nicolas Hulot's companion before marrying Douste-Blazy, from whom she has since divorced.


Cincinna said...

Am I missing something here? What does a rowdy dispute between a man and his girlfriend have to do with une partouze avec les petits garçons?
I don't get the feeling after watching the tapes again, that Luc Ferry was confused or uncertain.
What Ferry did was cowardly & despicable. Accusing someone of a crime in a public forum without naming the man has terrible implications for a society that feeds on gossip and back biting.
If Ferry had knowledge of a crime at high levels of government, and a government coverup, he should have reported it. But to whom?
That being said, it doesn't mean what he said is false. I believe there is an investigation going on now.

meshplate said...

This event happened in 2006? Or was discussed in 2006, but happened many years before? What ferry alleges took place "well before" he was in office in minister in 2002. So it seems the disparity between these dates suggests that your claim may not be founded.

I must protest that I have no idea who ferry means. Some have mention an ex socialist minister about whom I also heard allegations in Bangkok in 1992. But I have no idea and am not certain that he is the person to whom
ferry referred.

As far as the charge of romor mongering is concerned, I suppose it depends what one understands by a rumor and what one presumes about ferry. By rumor mongering, i understand the spreading of disinformation with malicious intent. I think no one has the right to conclude yet that ferry is guilty of that. To do so is disingenuous. He has made allegations that deserve investigation and are being investigated by the police and that section of the press who is not prejudiced against him. Should those allegations prove baseless, then we can start name calling.

meshplate said...

"that section of the press which," not who meant of course.

FrédéricLN said...

Hmm - I don't think both stories are related.

"All" poiticians spent their holidays in Marocco, so the place Marrakech doesn't link the two stories enough to create a confusion.

Luc Ferry was affirmative (and was surely right to be) in explaining that "tout le monde savait", "everybody knew" that M. X or Z had had a criminal conduct that "everybody" was able to describe.

Because conveying rumors is the national sport in ministerial offices. People there train at least three hours a day. If you work there and you let someone imagine that you DON'T know one of these public secrets, you're out.

The only thing Luc Ferry forgot, is that such rumors, even if conveyed by, for example, a Head of State or Premier Ministre himself, are not the smallest piece of a proof. Hence, they should not cross the river between private conversations and public speech.

The "affaire Boulin" is a very significant example of this. You really need very strong pieces of evidence if you intend to release, in public, the name of the leader of the gang who killed Minister Robert Boulin.

meshplate said...

The ex-chief of the RG, yves Bertrand will apparently be called for questioning according to le figaro. This is because Bertrand apparently corroborates LF's allegations in his memoires where he writes the alleged events took place in the 80s.

The link to this morning's article:'ex-chef-des-RG-pourrait-etre-entendu%C2%A0

meshplate said...

The journal on France info reports interviewing yves Bertrand who said that the same ex minister was the object of an investigation of alleged pedophile activities in Cannes in the 90s. The results of this investigation were sent to the minister of the interior. The same minister, Bertrand suggested, was understood to travel on occassion to marakesh.

meshplate said...

Maitre Krari of the touche pas a mes enfant finds luc ferry credible:

meshplate said...

The France info report on their interview of yves Bertrand:

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Oh, yes, Yves Bertrand is going to resolve the issue for sure:

Alex Price said...

The only points of contact between the two stories are that a minister was involved and that it took place in Morocco. And, as Meshplate points out, the timing is wrong. A pretty slender thread.

meshplate said...

Yves Bertrand interviewed in the past about the alleged pedophile minister:

MYOS said...

I don't care about names. But if such a thing happened, then it's normal that the police investigate. If it didn't, then Ferry ought to issue a public apology.
In any case, pedophiles run in all circles of society so it's impossible to dismiss Ferry's words as baseless simply because he wasn't a witness and because a high-ranking official is involved. It doesn't mean that whoever he's thinking of is guilty because he's high-ranking, that'd be equally stupid.
Of course there will always be people whose logic goes "DSK can't have assaulted a maid because he's smart and powerful, and of course it's true that high ranking guy assaulted kids because he's powerful". In short, illogical people making no sense are nothing new, even if they make more noise thanks to the web.

I wouldn't compare this with the Baudis case: although it happened well before my time here (and granted I have no idea what the media said at the time) it seems the rumor was started by a serial killer and two manipulated hookers. A minister quoting a chief of staff (who wouldn't likely spread rumors about his boss if he cares about his job) and a prime minister aren't in the same credibility category. However I can imagine that professional politicians would play Ferry or use him as a conduit for malicious gossip.

In my opinion, the law should protect the weakest first and thus doubt should always benefit the child, if only to start an investigation. If an investigation had been launched at the time and found the accusation baseless we wouldn't be in such a situation.
As for the article quoted, I don't quite see the link. As others pointed out that story occurred after the time period considered for the alleged kids-assault story.

MYOS said...

Arrets sur Images had a debate and nw there's an article about this exact topic: rumor, verfications, inquiries, journalism. The column is very interesting.
(may be behind a paywall)

Anonymous said...

what appears damning to me, in the wake of Luc Ferry's propos, is that the upper echelons of the political elite would be acting the same way the Church did when confronted with pedophilia in its ranks - deny and cover up. that highly discredited the Church, then and still taints it now.
Accusations of pedophilia could taint the whole class that constitutes the media/ political elite. Its an incredibly serious charge - its worse than incompetence or indifference.