Freedom of Press and French Bastards

In the recent days, CPJ.org published a good report, “ Spying on media exposes French government’s dark side “. It’s a report about Nicolas Sarkozy, the great bastard , and other French bastards who are really the enemy of the freedom and democracy in France and the whole world. It can show us the true colors of the French bastards, who are one of the main supporters of the Mullahs. Here are excerpts of the report:

“In September 2010, the newspaper Le Monde had filed a lawsuit against Sarkozy’s office when it became convinced that the secret services had illegally intercepted the phone records of one of its reporters, Gérard Davet . Following the money trail of the past presidential election and drawing from confidential sources, the seasoned investigative journalist had exposed dubious connections between Liliane Bettencourt, the richest woman in France, and Eric Woerth, the former labor minister and treasurer of Sarkozy’s party. This interception, according to Le Monde, was used to identify the source inside the Justice Ministry who had leaked this incriminating information, a reckless violation of the law on the secrecy of sources that had been solemnly adopted in January 2010 by the National Assembly. Claude Guéant, a close Sarkozy associate and current minister of the interior, sued the independent website Mediapart after it accused him of ordering the interception of the Le Monde journalist’s phone records. “The complaint was discreetly dropped on June 30, 2011,” quipped Le Monde on Thursday. “The police have used illegal methods, put themselves at the service of private interests, and been led to act against democracy,” wrote Pascal Riché in Rue89 on Friday. Le Monde’s editorialist pointed last week to the existence of a “black cabinet” at the top of the state that has “used public resources for private ends and to protect the president’s party, not hesitating to divert the action of the police from their real mission which is the protection of the citizenry.”Indeed, according to French law, the use of phone interceptions is strictly limited to affairs that threaten the security of the country or the safety of its citizens. They are not supposed to help the government hide its dirty deals or protect its members from embarrassing revelations.”

“‘Is there something rotten in the French Kingdom?’ This unpleasant question is floating over the whole “affaire” as if France were under the influence of a “deep state” escaping democratic scrutiny and public accountability. Exasperated supporters of the government turn down these allegations and accuse their political opponents of going overboard in their eagerness to score cheap political points. But other investigative journalists and potential witnesses have also been under fire. Last week, a journalist with Mediapart, Fabrice Arfi, said he had received phone threats after writing articles on Ziad Takieddine, a businessman and arms dealer close to Sarkozy’s party and allegedly involved in controversial deals in Pakistan and Libya. Mediapart traced the threats to Pierre Sellier, the director of Salamandre, a private intelligence company. The taped conversation with the director is blunt: “Mediapart is not a paper, it is a rag,” he said. Edwy Plenel (the Mediapart director)? I will shave his moustache. But Arfi, I am going to massacre him. You get it? I’m going to kill him. Three bullets in his head! ” Coming less than a year before the presidential elections these controversies are rocking the center-right government. They undermine Sarkozy’s efforts to project himself as a serene presidential figure towering above his bickering Socialist opponents who are still embroiled in the aftermath of “l’affaire DSK.” On a more positive note, these rows also prove that a “band of brothers” in the French media are determined to do their job without fear no favor, following the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné’s motto: “Freedom of the press only wears out when you do not use it””

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