Media: watchdogs put their mouths on the public debate

Media. In recent days, the repeated attacks on the New Popular Union by lead writers, journalists and other politicians invited to the scenes once again raise the issue of media independence and impartiality. Released in February 2022, Media Crash, a documentary produced by Mediapart and First Lines (which also produces Cash Investigation), condemns the billionaires’ stranglehold on the media and the way they affect information in France. A dive into a complex system, sometimes turbulent, and which is questionable during this term. One of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s priorities at Matignon? A law against media concentration. Our article.

11 ultra-rich have control of the media in France

This is a constructive observation that raises questions. Why invest so much in the media? that
documentary Media Crashpublished in February 2022, gives an answer from the first pictures: ” There is what you see, what some want you to see, and what you do not.. The infographic below shows the incredible weight of French oligarchs in national and regional media:

11 billionaires

Who are they ? Billionaires who have every interest in deregulating finances, in being able to
continue to destroy the planet through their economic and commercial activities, above all not
not share, whether it is through tax or inheritance … In short: people with an interest in not
change the “old world” that allowed them to become the ultra-rich as they are.

who owns the media

And for that, they open a boulevard for neoliberal and conservative ideas, even
reactionaries. Already condemned by The new watch dogsby Serge Halimi, director
du Monde Diplomatique, in a book published in 1997 and adapted into a film in 2012, this idea is central to the Médiapart documentary. Bolloré, Zemmour and the trivialization of the far right in France.

Vincent Bolloré: Media terror in the service of the far right

I I’m Breton, I may not be very smart, but I’m very determined “We
We will leave it to our Breton friends to appreciate (or not) this charming copy … The context? Éric Zemmour, the most famous of the criminals in France, is worried about being fired at the slightest joke or at the slightest pressure on his boss because of the incitement to hatred that he barks as soon as he stands in front of a microphone or a camera … This is without reckoning with the determination of Vincent Bolloré, who has built a media empire that transforms TV channels like CNews or C8 into a machine to downplay, to demonize, right-wing extremist discourse.

The first part of Media Crash shows how Bolloré, despite opposition from journalists and employees on the purchased channels, rolled out the red carpet with brown ideas … iTélé paid the price. The 31-day iTélé strike, the longest in the audiovisual sector since 1968, ended in failure, and the mass layoffs of staff refused to support this policy. Forget it. The channel is renamed CNews, and new employees are hired …

We know the rest: 1 hour a day, 5 days a week, Eric Zemmour is in the spotlight
ramp. While claiming that “nothing more can be said”, the pseudo-historian can
peace of mind to confirm that unaccompanied minors are all rapists, murderers, thieves “.
Tasty when you know that Mr Zemmour himself has been sued by 8 women who accuse him of sexual assault. But rest assured, he judged that his judgment of the courts for these remarks was ” an ideological and stupid condemnation »,« the condemnation of a free spirit by a justice system invaded by ideologues A spirit so free that he feels authorized to continue inciting hatred, despite the legal beliefs.

A trivialization of the far right

This trivialization of the far right is also happening on the set of C8, another channel in
Bollore group. Claire Sécail, a researcher at CNRS, analyzed the political content of
famous show Touche pas à mon poste by Cyril Hanouna. From September to December 2021,
TPMP devoted 53% of its political broadcast time to right-wing extremist candidates …
If we come back to the political field, it is interesting to see that Le Pen senior in 2022
collected nearly 5.5 million votes, as his daughter 20 years later has more than 13 million.

Of course, the arrogance of our presidential monarch, visible in each of his contacts with “those who are nothing”, his way of dealing with social movements (with LBD) and reforms (with 49.3) has clearly played an important role in this increase. For 5 years, Emmanuel Macron has constantly raised the far right wing. However, it is clear that the RN vote is no longer a shameful and stigmatizing vote, and that the racist and anti-democratic project it carries on is no longer the foil it should be for any citizen. Thanks WHO? Thanks Vincent and Cyril!

Les Barbouzes, or when the Republic puts itself at the service of Bernard Arnault

The second part of the documentary focuses in particular on the Fakir affair, François Ruffin’s diary. Before becoming a deputy, as part of his militant and journalistic activity, François Ruffin committed himself to helping a couple in need, fired by the LVMH group, decides to make a movie out of it: Thank you chef. Media Crash shows us how Bernard Arnault paid Bernard Squarcini, former head of DCRI (now DGSI: General Directorate of Internal Security) to monitor Fakir’s journalists. So how did Squarcini, nicknamed Squale, mobilize the intelligence services and the French police to avoid a peaceful intervention of Fakir during the LVMH group’s general meeting …

Relaxed, by using resources funded by our taxes
Squale protects his boss Bernard Arnault, France’s first fortune. A boss who was unaware that his call with Squarcini was being listened to by French law. The excerpts broadcast in Media Crash show the richest man’s real concern in France, faced with what is, after all, only a farce of small jokes, to rewrite the words of Somme’s deputy.

When Justice is bought for 10 million euros by a media emperor

However, this part of the documentary ends with another “farce”, less good child
this: the decision of the Paris Court of Justice to accept an agreement with the group
LVMH. A fine of 10 million euros and it’s all over. François Ruffin, who had brought a civil action, was not heard. But since December 9, 2016, Judicial Conventions of Public Interest (CJIP) can be signed between Justice and certain defendants. Ironically, the law of 9 carries. December the sweet name of the law on transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life.

Ah, this modernization is very practical anyway. We skyrocket with the eyes of the billionaire (well, against his lawyers), he swears he will not do it again, and he goes free. A small calculation though: 10 million euros is 0.0064% of his fortune. After such a drain on his income, it is clear that he needs to be scalded and will not be able to afford to start this type of surgery again …

Accomplices in crime: from Mimi Marchand to Ziad Takieddine

The last part of Media Crash deals with, among other things, Ziad Takieddine and his role in
funds for Sarkozy’s campaign. It shows the troubled relationship between Michèle Marchand, nicknamed Mimi Marchand, close to Presidents Sarkozy and the wives of presidents.
Macron and Ziad Takieddine, a Lebanese “businessman”. Having argued before
justice that Mr. Sarkozy had in fact benefited from dictator Gaddafi’s money to carry out his campaign, Mr. Takieddine, who presented himself as an intermediary between the two men, returned.

A very timely retreat filmed in Beirut, exclusive to BFM TV and Paris Match and including Media Crash and Mediapart, thanks to the excellent work of French Justice,
remove the springs. Mimi Marchand was at the center of a state case, and
according to his statements, actively participated in the organization of this interview with the aim of acquitting Mr. Sarkozy … How can the media, or people working for these media, put themselves at the service of politicians in 21st century France …

The right wing, the enemy of the watchdogs

If it seems that you “can say nothing more” when you are on the far right (except of course on
C8. And CNews. And in current values. And at France Inter when you are invited to
morning. And on TF1 … And on Twitter and Facebook …
) in short, if it seems that the extreme right
reactionary and racist can no longer say anything, one can still wonder what is left as a space of freedom of expression for left-wing discourse, surrounded by a neoliberal ideology, forced to fight with wild accusations of wokism, Islamic left or hegemonic will .. .

The last interview of Léa Salamé by Manuel Bompard, campaign director for Jean-Luc Mélenchon, is exemplary in this regard. We can only notice the difference in media treatment between the Alliance around the People’s Union and the process of appointing deputies at LREM, which consists of a name-by-name confirmation and validation of Mr Macron, much closer to the principle of official candidacies. under the other empire than by a democratic and republican practice.

On the one hand, we are talking about a submission from the left wing to the disgusting “Islamo-leftist” who would be Mr Mélenchon, on the other we are barely commenting or we are passing by in silence. It would be interesting to know what the press would say if Mr Mélenchon used this process to nominate the candidates for the New Popular Union …

Let’s reassure the frightened watchdogs: the Future In Common program is the only one to be quantified, and even the Montaigne Institute (which can hardly be taxed with Bolshevism) indicates that it is possible without ruining the economy, unlike the programs of Mr. Macron, who finances (poorly) his “whatever it costs” by completing the welfare state, and Mrs Le Pen, who can not hide the racism that oozes from every pore in its program that would soften the working class.

Still, it would be necessary for Jean-Luc Mélenchon not to be alone in the desert to expose the extreme right wing. Let the media system do its job instead of acting as watchdogs for the system and its life insurance. If the New Popular Union wins the legislative election in 5 weeks, one of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s priority projects in Matignon? A law against media concentration.

Clara Ponte.

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