The fig leaf for journalistic cowardice

Great quote today in the Telegraph about why journalists don’t cover rooting politicians.

The extent of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s womanising has in the past been hidden because of a convention that the French press reports little on politicians’ private lives and the fact that its privacy laws are among the strictest in Europe, commentators and legal experts said on Monday.

Why is it the journalist don’t go after them?

Jean Quatremer, the journalist at Libération newspaper was the first French journalist to warn that Mr Strauss-Kahn’s treatment of women risked causing his downfall in Washington. However, he was only allowed to publish the information on his blog.

On Monday, he told the Daily Telegraph the Strauss-Kahn affair could be a “turning point” in France’s approach to its politician’s private lives.

More recently former President François Mitterrand was able to hide the existence of his (illegitimate) daughter Mazarine, and in 2007, the French only learned of the split between defeated Socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal and her partner François Hollande after the electoral campaign.

But “DSK is an affair too many,” he said. “The so-called respect of private life is a fig leaf for journalistic cowardice,” he said.

“We are scared of falling out with politicians as they are our sources, but they need us in any case,” he said.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in Britain, America or Sweden,” he said.

What will give New Zealand journalists the courage to cover politicians dodgy sexually practices?



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