consenting adults enjoy a sexuality that is liberated, liberating, liberal, libertarian
or libertine, that's no concern of journalists, who are neither teachers nor
models of virtue themselves, any more than the editorial staff is the vice
Nicolas Sarkozy: With his greatest political threat apparently out of the way, the unpopular French president looks poised to win in 2012. Without Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French Socialist Party is in disarray.
Published books, televised
testimonials, a relationship with an IMF economist covered by the global press -
not to mention the column written by humorist Stéphane Guillon that
made the whole of France laugh! Who can possibly claim not to know about Dominique
Strauss-Kahn's reputation? Yet the debate rages, and once again, journalists
are on the defensive. It’s the same old song: we knew and said nothing. The
journalistic code of silence reigned. The sleazy rumors and smutty bits of
gossip were all discussed over dinner by the famous of the politico-media
world, which nevertheless declined to publish any of it. Swimming against the tide
of our times and contrary to the injunctions heard here and there, Libération
will continue as a first principle to respect the privacy of male and female politicians.
In the eyes of some, perhaps this is a hypocritical democratic principle, but
it's fundamental. Frustrating but essential, in certain cases it is imperfect
but necessary. Paradoxically, to discard it would lead us to favor the short term
- very short term - triumph of “buzz” and “trash” in the name of quality
Second principle: the legal
and the illegal. If consenting adults enjoy a sexuality that is liberated,
liberating, liberal, libertarian or libertine, that's no concern of
journalists, who are neither teachers nor models of virtue themselves, any more
than the editorial staff is the vice squad. The press’ vocation is not to be
“embedded” in swingers clubs or hotels to find out who is sleeping with whom.
On the other hand, alleged sexual crimes and misdemeanors require journalistic investigation
that unfortunately is too rare in France. That's probably because it's so complicated.
Only the victim can press charges, and it's difficult to gather evidence in
this type of case. Without these elements, rumor remains rumor and investigations
become impasses. It's not for lack of trying, but for lack of being able to substantiate
Third principle: the intrusion
of private into political life, i.e.: the exercise of power to stifle a sexual
affair or stage a fictitious family life to dupe the voters. In all such cases,
it is imperative that we investigate. Therefore, there is a coherent ethical
code in France, even if it contains gray areas. What do we do with the
aggressive come-ons and sexist humor that some journalists have been subject to
in their dealings with politicians? We must publicize them and draw the curtain
when necessary. At what point does sexuality become a subject for politics? We
must always ask ourselves this question, and never, ever, hesitate to fire them
right back at the parties concerned.
Help Support Worldmeets.us
Worldmeets.us is a non-partisan, volunteer-based, not-for-profit organization that operates solely in the public interest. The opinions expressed in articles posted by Worldmeets.us are not necessarily those of Worldmeets.us, its sponsors or its volunteers.