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Old 12-30-2003, 12:11 AM   #1
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French Journalist Fired for Criticizing Press

[Q]Journalist fired for book critical of French newspapers

PARIS Alain Hertoghe believes that in covering the Iraq conflict, French newspapers recreated "the war they would have liked to have seen." That meant concentration on the Vietnams and Stalingrads that didn't take place, he said, and so many more accounts of U.S. difficulties rather than advances that it was "impossible to understand how the Americans won."
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For making assertions like these in a book called "La Guerre Outrances," subtitled "How the press disinformed us on Iraq" and published by Calmann Lvy, Hertoghe was fired this month from his post as deputy editor at the Web site of La Croix, a respected Roman Catholic daily newspaper.
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The newspaper's management justified the dismissal, Hertoghe said in an interview, by contending that the book demonstrated his opposition to La Croix's editorial line, damaged the reputation of the newspaper and the authority of its chief editors and questioned the professional ethics of some of the paper's staff members.
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Hertoghe's book covers the performance of four national newspapers and France's largest regional daily over a three-week period in March and April. It contends that the coverage was ideological, in line with the French government's position opposing the United States, and that it was desirous of portraying a great catastrophe for the Americans.
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Largely ignored in the newspapers that it finds at fault, the book fits into an emerging series of critical analyses in Europe of the European news media's treatment of the war. In Britain, attention has focused on what has been described as the British Broadcasting Company's biased position against British participation.
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In Germany, an independent media watchdog group, Medien Tenor, has produced a report, to be released next month, on the performance of television reporting of the conflict in Germany, Britain, the United States and other countries. It focuses notably on Germany's two main state-financed channels, finding that the United States was treated negatively.
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A draft of the report, underwritten in part by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, says of the state networks: "After assuming a position of sharp criticism of American military actions, abandoned only after their increasing success, and after fixating on the Iraqis as suffering victims, they created a representation of the war in line with the position" of the German government. It continues, "Critical questions concerning the extent to which the unrelenting German position contributed to the escalation of the conflict were thus kept from public scrutiny."
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Criticism by Iraqis and Americans of the war "dominated the coverage" of the ZDF state channel's main newscasts, the group said. America's decision to go to war, it said, was juxtaposed by German television, "with the supposedly unanimous opposition of the rest of the world."

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But the dismissal of Hertoghe, 44, for making essentially the same characterization of the leading French newspapers, was unique.
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A telephone call to the editor of La Croix, Bruno Frappat, requesting a comment on the firing was not returned.
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"I was fired because I wrote a book they didn't like," Hertoghe said. "They think I hurt the paper, that I criticized it and hurt it - that's their position."
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"I did not want to hurt La Croix's image and I don't think I did. I think La Croix participated in what was a collective slide, but the other papers were much greater disinformers."
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Hertoghe's examination includes Le Monde, Le Figaro, Libration and Ouest-France as well as his own newspaper.
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As an example, he compares headlines involving Saddam Hussein, President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain during the period. He said there were 29 clearly negative ones concerning Saddam, and 135 for Bush and Blair. The coalition leaders were routinely described, he says, as violent, imperialist, fundamentalist and unreasonable.
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In the book, Hertoghe explains what he considers the press's unanimity not as the result of some kind of explicit understanding but coming from a combination of factors. He regards the single most cohesive element as French anti-Americanism.

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The two other central motors, in Hertoghe's view, were France's nostalgia for its lost status as a great power and what he described as "the Arabophilia that reigns among France's deciders and in particular among the journalists specializing in this part of the world."
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Hertoghe writes of these French journalists, "As a result of being permanently confronted with dictatorial, or at least authoritarian, states and abusive or even terrorist means, a kind of tolerance develops, which sometimes drifts into open complaisance."
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Last week Hertoghe said that his "problem" was not "anyone's opinion on the war, but that there were no diverse and opposing views on its legitimacy. Readers were not offered a debate."
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"What bothered me more," he continued, "was that reporting, when it was uncertain what was going on, fell into predictions of disaster because there were so many who wanted for everything to go wrong. As soon as there were problems on the ground for the United States, it was Vietnam."
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Hertoghe said newspapers ignored reports from journalists traveling with U.S. forces, including those from Agence France-Presse, when they did not indicate insurmountable difficulties.
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"The papers wanted disaster, and when the reporting didn't reflect it, they predicted it," he said.
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"Le Monde went the furthest," he added. "I wrote that Le Monde became 'Saddam's Gazette.' It gave a picture from Baghdad of Saddam's units perfectly controlling the situation. The difference between Le Monde and Le Figaro was that Le Figaro insisted that American tanks would operate easily on Baghdad's wide streets."
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"Then when the Americans made their move, we read how they were massacring the Iraqis. The explanation for the collapse was that Saddam's fedayeen had so much compassion for the population that they stopped fighting."
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Despite the book's appearance under the imprimatur of a leading publisher, Hertoghe said he was invited to discuss it on only one radio and one television broadcast.
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The only extensive review in print of the book, he said, appeared in a free newspaper available to commuters in Paris.
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"I tried to be totally fair in writing this," Hertoghe said. "I thought that a journalist's conscience was more important to his newspaper than any other consideration it might have. I admit to having read my contract before the book appeared. But I never thought I would be fired."[/Q]
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http://www.iht.com/articles/122993.html


So much to say after reading this article. State sponsored television in Germany putting out the state sponsored stories. And you all complained about FOX...And the Germany TV stations reporting that the "WORLD" was against the war? Hmmmmm Have they reported the unanimous post war security council resolutions supporting the coalition?

And France? France.....29 articles about Saddam....and 130 something about Bush and Blair? With such negativity? Wow! And one of your own editors says your media is BIASED with ANTI-americanism....130-to 29. Now seriously.....How many people has Saddam put into graves....verses Tony Blair? And you call him such names? Shame shame......and yet we come to FYM and if we as Americans say there is anti-Americanism in the world, for shame we are chastized.

But, I digress a bit...rambling on a bit...sorry.....

and the British press....

Yep....Media bias....its everywhere.....unfortunately.....

I do love the sympathetic French papers writing about the fedayeen had so much "compassion" they stopped fighting, or how the Americans were not in Bagdhad. I guess the French loved the press secretary...

I learned a lot tonight. I hope this guy gets a job somewhere.
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Old 12-30-2003, 05:24 AM   #2
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Did you ever seen German state television ?
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Old 12-30-2003, 05:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
[Q]Yep....Media bias....its everywhere.....unfortunately.....
yep
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Old 12-30-2003, 09:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rono
Did you ever seen German state television ?
Want to hear a shocker...Yes...I have....

Not during the war though....

But the article speaks of the independant group which is publishing a report...........

well....you can reread the article.
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Old 12-30-2003, 09:48 AM   #5
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This sucks. Don't these people believe in freedom of speech? I guess not. No, you've got to toe a party line.
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Old 12-30-2003, 09:52 AM   #6
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Originally posted by Dreadsox


Want to hear a shocker...Yes...I have....

Not during the war though....

But the article speaks of the independant group which is publishing a report...........

well....you can reread the article.
I was just curious. I leave the search for hidden agendas up to you,...
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Old 12-30-2003, 10:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rono
I was just curious. I leave the search for hidden agendas up to you,...
You do not see a problem with state sponsored TV controlling the news? With stories that were innacurate?

For example...the US did not have international support for the war? That would be an inncaurate statement, yet according to the article, that would be thr story that was portrayed on the German STATE SPONSORED NEWS....clearly educating the public that the US was going it alone with ENGLAND.
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Old 12-30-2003, 10:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rono
I was just curious. I leave the search for hidden agendas up to you,...
You forgot to ask me if I could understand a word of it
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Old 12-30-2003, 11:59 AM   #9
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There are many reasons for France's opposition to the war in Iraq.

1. Chirac was buddies with Saddam. (Weren't they even college mates or something?) I remember seeing some picture of them sitting together, sharing a drink.

2. Iraq owed France a boat load of cash that Chirac wasn't too hot on writing off. The irony is that France has agreed to write off most of the debt now anyways. Chirac was forced to do this to save any political face at all.

3. France (maybe more Chirac) believes that if they object to everything America does, then they'll create more of a balance of power in the world. So for them it's like, "I object to the US, therefore I am."

What's unsettling is the level of French/Iraqi cooperation right up until the war. There are documents showing back room dealings between the two governments that were directly undercutting the American objectives in the region. There are various weapons shipped to Iraq mere months before the war started that were probably used against US and allied troops. All this from the country the US saved in WWII.

I honestly believe that Chirac wanted the US to lose this war. I think he wanted us to get bogged down and come in to save the day with some treaty that would have kept Saddam in power. Just a hunch on this last part, but Chirac and the Frenchies definitely had an agenda.
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Old 12-30-2003, 04:51 PM   #10
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I want it on the record that I found this story long before it hit the Drudge report. This irks me...LOL It just hit his page this afternoon.
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Old 12-30-2003, 05:17 PM   #11
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Where do you think Drudge finds his news? He checks out all Dreadsox posts in FYM!
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Old 01-01-2004, 03:51 AM   #12
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Did you ever wonder why Noam Chomsky barely is ever interviewed in the American Press.. A brilliant mind they often try to silence.



Quote:
Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.- Noam Chomsky.
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Old 01-02-2004, 10:49 AM   #13
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Looking for more internet conspiracies than Howard Dean, eh?

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Old 01-02-2004, 11:40 AM   #14
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Looking for more internet conspiracies than Howard Dean, eh?

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Who me?

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