Thursday, November 22, 2007

Strike News

42 of 45 AGs at the SNCF have voted to suspend the strike. SUD-RATP, the most militant of the unions in the Paris Métro, has taken note of dwindling strike participation and may join the negotiations under way, from which it had stayed away yesterday.

Nasty Story

Steve Rendall asks:

What do you make of the flap aroused by Jean Quatremer's post on his blog concerning Sarko's comments about Muslims? Did the regular media ignore this because they thought Quatremer's information unreliable, or what?

Steve, I read the story and decided not to comment on it, because the sourcing seemed extremely flimsy. If you look back over the blog, you'll find that I've criticized Quatremer several times for what I thought were weak pieces in Libération. On the other hand, I've also praised him, and he was the reporter who broke the story about the private meeting Sarko had with the Euroland finance ministers, who criticized him sharply. His blog is quite widely read and has won awards, but he is more than willing to relay rumors and hearsay without substantiation, a habit that does not necessarily diminish the number of his readers.

The blogosphere has created an opportunity for reporters to publish material they could not get past their editors, and I believe that that is the case with this story. Of course there's no way to stop this sort of thing, but I don't think we're compelled to believe scurrilous reports just because they come from the pen of someone employed by a newspaper. And I see no reason to credit this story unless someone corroborates it.