Paper scorns Elysee's revenge
Monday 03 October 1994
Last week, the newspaper said the Elysee Palace had cut its order of the daily from 110 copies to 20. It said Jean Musitelli, Mr Mitterrand's spokesman, had blamed reports about the the President's prostate cancer and his role under the Vichy collaborationist regime. Le Monde's reporting was, in fact, in line with other French media.
Then Michel Charasse, a member of Mr Mitterrand's inner circle and a former Budget Minister, said on Radio Luxembourg that Le Monde was not worth reading because it no longer followed the line set by Hubert Beuve- Mery, its founder. He said he was reluctant to mention Beuve-Mery 'because I wouldn't want Le Monde's bosses to accuse me of being Petainiste, because Hubert Beuve-Mery was in Marshal Petain's (the Vichy leader's) camps in Uriage'.
Le Monde responded with a note explaining that Beuve- Mery had helped set up a civil service school in Uriage, near Grenoble, in 1941. It was disbanded in December 1942 on the order of Pierre Laval, the Vichy prime minister, because its loyalties were suspect. Pierre Dunoyer de Segonzac, the principal, was the subject of an arrest warrant and he asked Beuve-Mery to organise a resistance network among the students, it said.
Pierre Georges, Le Monde's humourist, went for Mr Charasse personally. The cigar- smoking, braces-wearing Mr Charasse is known for being forthright. On one occasion he threatened two television journalists, whose reporting displeased him, with an inquiry into their tax affairs.
'Big braces, big cigars, big talker, big connections, Mr Charasse always goes a little too far,' Mr Georges wrote.
Noting that Mr Mitterrand had kept to a promise never to sue the media for libel, he said the Elysee was indulging instead in 'soft proceedings'. If the Elysee really felt Le Monde was not worth reading, 'then it should be logical. Not 110 (copies), not 20, not one. Zero] Otherwise, it looks like incoherence, plain menace or mediocre calculation.'
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...