Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Ron Dermer, Israeli ambassador to the United States

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians: Nowhere to Run?

Read more

  • Live: Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Dozens killed and injured in Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

France

Latest sex crime claims leave French press sceptical

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-06-02

A significant portion of the French press has bristled at recent accusations made by former Education Minister Luc Ferry that another French politician molested young boys in Morocco.

After the Dominique Strauss-Kahn attempted rape case and the charges of sexual harassment levelled at politician Georges Tron, yet another homegrown sex-and-politics scandal is splashed across front pages in France.

Earlier in the week, philosopher and former centre-right Education Minister Luc Ferry said on TV that he had been informed by senior French officials that a fellow former minister (whom he did not name) had once been caught in an “orgy with little boys” in Marrakech. But if the French press has in recent weeks been shining a light on accounts of male chauvinism in France’s political class, several journalists have bristled at the latest accusations, which they say are unfounded and amount to “tarnishing the Republic’s image”.

A stringent French law protecting an individual’s right to privacy has prevented the French press from speculating about which politician Ferry may have been alluding to. But weekly magazine L’Express reported that former Culture Minister Jack Lang was considering filing a lawsuit for slander. The article mentions that Lang’s sexuality has long been the subject of rumours (that were furthermore examined in a 2005 profile of Lang published in the magazine).

'Democracy left shaking'

Meanwhile, it was Ferry whom left-wing daily Libération put in the hotseat, publishing his photo on the newspaper’s front page Thursday and topping it with a scathing headline: “Dirty Ferry”. The lead article in the paper qualified Ferry’s accusations as “noise, buzz, nothingness”, while the editorial characterised him as a “brash brat” whose allegations were “vague and incomprehensible”.

Regional newspapers around France were just as biting. A daily from the east, l’Est Républicain, asserted that even if the allegations turned out to be true, “it wasn’t in front of a camera that [Ferry] should have thrown his revelations on the table”. If the allegations are false, the editorial posits, Ferry perhaps “only wanted to have people talking about him”.

A southwestern paper, Dépêche du Midi, also came down hard on Ferry, labelling the philosopher a “bogus Voltaire” and a “vulgar snitch”. The publication denounced what it termed a larger “DSK syndrome” that has “possessed the political class and the media with a frenzy that clouds even the most reasonable spirits”.

Le Journal de la Haute-Marne, a newspaper from north-eastern France, offered a broader, somewhat more mournful take on the matter, suggesting that the latest talk of a sex crime in the French political world posed a danger for French society. “The air is becoming unbreatheable….and it is democracy that is left shaking”, the editorial read.
 

Date created : 2011-06-02

  • FRANCE

    Former minister's allegation of paedophilia investigated

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Junior minister resigns after claims of sexual harassment

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Strauss-Kahn was set up, French say

    Read more

COMMENT(S)