As it happens I am not a fan of Le Monde, which is not "the newspaper of record", no matter what Jean-Paul Marthoz might think. It is not only unspeakably dull but also suffers from all the problems of the modern Western media: it is europhiliac in that it is anti-American, anti-Anglospheric, tends to be pro-Arab on all occasions, right or wrong. But there is something in its favour: it does not like President Sarkozy. Well, to be quite precise it does not like the fact that President Sarkozy does not like it.
The news is that Le Monde is actually suing the President's office
Earlier this week, Le Monde, the most prestigious French newspaper, announced the imminent filing of a lawsuit accusing the office of the president of unlawfully using the intelligence services to identify a source for its reporter Gérard Davet. He had been covering an influence-peddling scandal involving key members of the ruling center-right party UMP (Union for a Popular Movement).The article gives a reasonable summary of the complex and long-running saga of Liliane Bettencourt and the supposed financial shenanigans that surround this l'Oreal heiress and the funding of UMP.
M Marthoz describes this latest development in very hushed and self-important tones:
The newspaper Le Monde against the Elysée Palace, the office of the president of the French Republic: Two of France's main symbols of influence and power are facing each other in a judicial battle that promises to be a litmus test in the running battles between the press and Nicolas Sarkozy's so-called "imperial presidency."This blog, on the other hand, is delighted to be following a legal contest in which neither side deserves to win. As in that story that President Lincoln is supposed to have said, we can sit back with the man who was watching a bear attacking his wife and shout: "Go it woman; go it bear!"