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Thread: How servile is the media in France?

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default How servile is the media in France?

    Dan doesn't appear to have much respect for the french media, but can it be true, are they really that servile in the deference to their political masters?

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/da...uido-francais/

    I realise that we have control orders too, but this would appear to be a step beyond to say the least!
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    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    Tiens! as we Old Brussels Hands say. Eh bien, je jamais.
    Congratz, one fail in the first sentence of the article.

    And no, it's not true basically. French media aren't really great, I give you that, but they're not yet servile peons. They have nothing to be ashamed of, seeing how the American and British newspapers happily joined the "Let's invade Irak" crew. Le Nouvel Obs, L'Express, Marianne (three weekly magazines), Le Monde, Libération (daily newspapers), Le Canard Enchainé (weekly newspaper)... there are a bunch of very good media here. Mediapart (the web based newspaper that just revealed the latest big affair), Rue89, Bakchich Info and consorts are also very good and independent news websites.

    Saddly, it's also true that many printed newspapers are in the hand of billionaries that happen to be friends with Sarkozy.

    Edit:
    To make things clear:
    - Mediapart (a web-based newspaper ran by the former chief redactor of Le Monde, who also happens to be one of my professors) first revealed the affair.
    - Other media soon brought new elements to it. Among those, Le Nouvel Obs (weekly magazine) and Liberation (daily newspaper).
    - Most serious media are now clearly attacking the government. Even France2 and France3 (our two public channels) joined in.
    - The only news outlets that keep trying to cover up the affair are those owned by Sarkozy's friends (Le Figaro, TF1...)

    So, it's kind of wrong to say that all french printed newspapers are obsequious. Even though newspapers have always been weakling in France, even though all of them are partly funded by the state (even Mediapart and co), they still have some will to fight. And the newly born web newspapers are all of very good quality (with Mediapart being far ahead).

    Now, the real problem is the french right's behavior, which I assume is both the results of a long french tradition and the outcome of a few years of Sarkozyland. Instead of admiting that one member of the government is a crook, all our leaders are making a wall and keep repeating "It's not true, it's evil leftist propaganda!" or "See, these newspapers are behaving like fascists and nazis" (you can't imagine how much our government loves Godwin).

    That being said, the article is full of silly assumptions and clichés about France. But that seems to be the rule when an english or an american write an article about France.
    Last edited by Meneldil; 07-10-2010 at 20:47.

  3. #3
    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    Where's the poll?

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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    Well the affaire is all over the French press.

    From the left, http://www.liberation.fr/affaire-bettencourt,99912,
    to the statist right, http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/


    It's the story of the year. It involves l'Oréal the cosmetics firm, the richest woman in France, a palace in Chantilly, a butler, mansion in Paris, Swiss bank accounts, a private island in the Indian Ocean, Picasso paintings, recorded secret conversations, tax evasion, tax negotiations with the minister, the minister's wife who works for the billionaire heiress, party donations, and....the Président.

    But I'd wait for the movie if I were you.



    Hannan levells two criticisms: one, that the French press is servile and aloof. Both of which are true, fair enough. Scandals do tend to break in the Swiss press, or the internets. But at the same time it is also true that both traits have a more positive side of the coin, the former, servility, as 'fortunately not interested in gossip / sex scandals / extramarital children / fun with cigars', and the latter, aloof, as 'pompous, intellectual and philosphically inclined - as befits the glamorous intellectual centre of Western thought'.

    The other criticism of Hannan belongs to modern populist (rightist) discourse, not specific to the French press: 'do not trust the established press, instead, trust us, the ultrapartisan activist blogosphere, the one place where you'll hear the truth'.
    The result of this are Wutmensch like Fragony. This criticism of Hannan I do not share. Of course, the more outside of mainstream one is politically positioned, the more the established press must look like one single monolith, all of the same political mind, servile to the established political order. The Western Communist press of old levelled the same criticism: the mass media are all obedient to, the servants of, the political status quo. It was bollox back then, and the current wave of the same criticism levelled by the populist right is bollox now. Alas, they are quite influential, and control an army of million young men with an internet connection and a vote. The devastating result can be witnessed in all of Western Europe's elections of late.
    Last edited by Louis VI the Fat; 07-11-2010 at 05:41.
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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    lol, cheers for the insight guys. :)
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

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    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    Quote Originally Posted by Megas Methuselah View Post
    Where's the poll?
    This thread is about France.
    This space intentionally left blank

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    is not a senior Member Meneldil's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    The other criticism of Hannan belongs to modern populist (rightist) discourse, not specific to the French press: 'do not trust the established press, instead, trust us, the ultrapartisan activist blogosphere, the one place where you'll hear the truth'.
    Except that Mediapart certainly isn't part of the 'ultrapartisan activist blogosphere'. From the very beginning it tried to become part of the established and respectable press. The only difference is that Plenel and his friends thought (falsely) that printed press is/was doomed and that internet was the only way to survive while staying independent. They've obviously been proved wrong since then: the website doesn't rack up enough money so they now publish a printed monthly version.
    The same applies to Rue89 and Bakchich Info. Neither of those are part of the blogosphere, just online newspapers. All have been created by former 'pen and paper' journalists (from Libération, Le Gri-Gri International, Charlie Hebdo), who reached the same conclusion: printed press sucks.

    Though I can't really say Rue89 has high quality standards (half of the redactors are students doing a placement there), it certainly is the case for Mediapart and Bakchich. Both of them would make most printed newspapers look like mere amateurs.

    Seriously, what really makes me speechless here is the fact that the government still hasn't resigned. Everyday brings a new proof that the minister, his wife and the government as a whole are crooks and thieves, but no. They'll just stay here and call the newspapers 'fascists' and 'nazis'. We've heard audio recordings proving it, accountants have given evidences... Here was I thinking Berlusconi's Italy was bad...

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    BrownWings: AirViceMarshall Senior Member Furunculus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    just read an interesting account of how those media recordings came to be:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...ian-roots.html
    Furunculus Maneuver: Adopt a highly logical position on a controversial subject where you cannot disagree with the merits of the proposal, only disagree with an opinion based on fundamental values. - Beskar

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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    Quote Originally Posted by Meneldil View Post
    Except that Mediapart certainly isn't part of the 'ultrapartisan activist blogosphere'. From the very beginning it tried to become part of the established and respectable press. The only difference is that Plenel and his friends thought (falsely) that printed press is/was doomed and that internet was the only way to survive while staying independent. They've obviously been proved wrong since then: the website doesn't rack up enough money so they now publish a printed monthly version.
    The same applies to Rue89 and Bakchich Info. Neither of those are part of the blogosphere, just online newspapers. All have been created by former 'pen and paper' journalists (from Libération, Le Gri-Gri International, Charlie Hebdo), who reached the same conclusion: printed press sucks.

    Though I can't really say Rue89 has high quality standards (half of the redactors are students doing a placement there), it certainly is the case for Mediapart and Bakchich. Both of them would make most printed newspapers look like mere amateurs.
    The digital media is one thing. There have been exciting developments, and radical changes in the media in the past decade. It will have, and has, an impact in the media as much as television had when that was introduced alongside the written word and radio. I am still not sure what positive and negative effects it has and will have.

    The other thing is servility of the press. It is true that investigative journalism isn't up to the same level in France as it is in the Anglo press. Whereas the Holy Grail for an American reporter is to bring down the president with a scandal, the Holy Grail for a French reporter is to become a public philosopher, to write lenghty political-cultural essays with a verbal gem in every paragraph and quoting at least five thinkers, to heed Baudelaire's word that every real poet, which in our times must be understood to mean also every real reporter, must be an 'incarnation', by which he meant that they 'put their entire soul, their entire heart, their entire religion, their entire hatred into that horrible essay', which has the effect that the reporter himself becomes the topic, the subject and object trading places, the actual relevance becoming lost in beautiful words and erudition, struggling not to be drowned in the writer's all too lenghty sentences and diversions that serve no discernable purpose other than to show off the real topic of the essay, the author and his impressive education. Etc and blahblahblah.

    We could do with a press that shows a bit more agression, more directness, more willingness to enter the mud pit and get dirrrty.
    Quote Originally Posted by Meneldil
    Seriously, what really makes me speechless here is the fact that the government still hasn't resigned. Everyday brings a new proof that the minister, his wife and the government as a whole are crooks and thieves, but no. They'll just stay here and call the newspapers 'fascists' and 'nazis'. We've heard audio recordings proving it, accountants have given evidences... Here was I thinking Berlusconi's Italy was bad...
    What makes me speechless is how cheap it is to buy politicians. I think you are legally allowed to donate € 7500. This pocketchange will actually buy you time with a grateful politician.

    €150.000 makes a president / party grateful, and will get you tax perks. Wealth that's easily transferable is not simply taxed, tax is negotiated. The wealthiest Frenchmen negotiate their taxes directly with the minister, so as to prevent them from moving to our dear neighbouring tax havens in Switzerland or Monaco. So what do you do? You make sure you are friends with the minister, with his wife, with the party. And likewise, politicians ensure they have the right connections so they have the funds they need. It is often noted that career politicians, who have not worked for decades nor entered politics with any meaningful financial assets, retire wealthy, in the possession of luxury appartments, art, bank accounts.

    It is all rather dismaying.
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    I would be the voice of your conscience if you had one - Brenus
    Bt why woulf we uy lsn'y Staraft - Fragony
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  10. #10
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis VI the Fat View Post
    The other thing is servility of the press. It is true that investigative journalism isn't up to the same level in France as it is in the Anglo press. Whereas the Holy Grail for an American reporter is to bring down the president with a scandal, the Holy Grail for a French reporter is to become a public philosopher, to write lenghty political-cultural essays with a verbal gem in every paragraph and quoting at least five thinkers, to heed Baudelaire's word that every real poet, which in our times must be understood to mean also every real reporter, must be an 'incarnation', by which he meant that they 'put their entire soul, their entire heart, their entire religion, their entire hatred into that horrible essay', which has the effect that the reporter himself becomes the topic, the subject and object trading places, the actual relevance becoming lost in beautiful words and erudition, struggling not to be drowned in the writer's all too lenghty sentences and diversions that serve no discernable purpose other than to show off the real topic of the essay, the author and his impressive education. Etc and blahblahblah.
    It's statements like this which make chicks love France.


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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    So, French journalists strive to ram their heads up their own arses so far that nothing but meaningless muffled sounds come out.

    And they pander to a clientèle of would-be thinkers who lap this bilge up as if it were ambrosia from the Gods themselves.

    An enemy that wishes to die for their country is the best sort to face - you both have the same aim in mind.
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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: How servile is the media in France?

    Better than reading the Sun or Daily Express though. There are Pro's.
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