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IN THE PRESS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-03-11

Are Sarkozy-Bruni affair rumours “a cruel hoax”?

Coverage of the rumours surrounding the French “first couple” continues to abound in the British press this morning. We also look at the Israeli press coverage of Biden’s disastrous visit as well as a new product called “forehead tittaes” which French actress Marion Cotillard is promoting! THURSDAY, 11th MARCH 2010

This morning’s The Independent wonders if rumours of extra-marital affairs in the Sarkozy marriage are a cruel hoax started on Twitter.
 
According to French magazine, l’Express, the rumour may have begun as a hoax by a French trainee journalist. This theory holds that the young intern wanted to see how easy it would be to get unverified assertions from Twitter onto random blogs and into the mainstream media.
 
Veteran Paris correspondent for The Times, Charles Bremner, is also skeptical. Here are some extracts from his latest blog post:
 
“It's funny how the internet has turbo-charged the rumour mill. In the old days, whispers about the royal court at Versailles took weeks to circulate via scurrilous pamphlets. Now it takes a quick Tweet and a couple of blog posts to get the whole world chattering about supposed misbehaviour behind the palace walls.”
 
“The story, dreamed up by French journalists playing on Twitter, was given life by blog posts and then picked up on celebrity gossip sites as well as a blog on the Journal du Dimanche newspaper site. That was enough for British tabloids and a once-serious London newspaper to report that "France is agog" with reports of infidelity in the Sarkozy couple. “
 
“In keeping with time-honoured practice, the publication of the rumour by British tabloids has been bounced back into France as corroboration of the tale. Other French tittle-tattle boosted by British tabloids over the past year or so has included fantasies about Bruni's "pregnancy" and the supposed appointment of a beautiful black television presenter to a ministerial post.”
 
Other stories in today’s international papers:
 
Jerusalem Post:  “Talks on hold”
 
Jerusalem Post: From smooch to smack in 24 hours
 
Haaretz: Israel planning 50,000 housing units in East Jerusalem
 
Haaretz: Thank you, Eli Yishai, for exposing the peace process masquerade
 
Marca: “Out”
 
Huffington Post: Marion Cotillard promotes new product, “Forehead tittaes”
 

By James CREEDON

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