Monday, December 17, 2007

No Liberty at Libération

It seems that Jean Quatremer, Libération's European Union correspondent, was censored by another journalist working for the same paper when he attempted to post a comment to an article in Libé's Contre-Journal by one Anne-Marie Le Pourhiet, professor of law at the University of Rennes I, who vehemently opposes Sarkozy's decision not to submit the Lisbon Treaty to another referendum. She regards this as an act of treason punishable by death. Quatremer in turn reacted with equal vehemence, in terms that his colleague Karl Laske found "insulting" to the author.

It will be useful to recall this episode the next time a "friend of Sarkozy" with newspaper connections is accused of spiking an article unfavorable to the "Hyper-President." As Sarkozy himself has not been loath to point out, meddling with the media in France is a sport that everyone plays. Indeed, I would say that it is as French as jogging, if the New York Times had not already seen fit to attribute to me the opinion that "jogging is un-French." It's a good idea to remember that the media are not at all like the mirror to which Stendhal likened the novel.

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