Le Téléprésident: Sarkozy tightens his grip over French state TV

John Key did not like it when a journalist broke the news that Smiling Assassin John Key wanted to lower wages and make workers work longer hours. National bullied the News Paper into a retraction. When Kate Wilkinson quite clearly said that employer contributions to KiwiSaver was not going to be compulsory the chief spin doctor from the National Party Kevin Taylor tried to bully Newstalk into silence. And finally when John key made his insulting and ignorant remarks about how Maori and Pakeha came together peacefully as a Nation TV 3 indicated National was leaning on them too.

With a pattern clearly set what will National do to the already corporately owned media?

Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to increase government control over state TV yesterday sparked an outcry from his political opponents who accused him of tightening a Berlusconi-style grip on the airwaves and dragging France back into its dark age of postwar censorship and propaganda.

The French president’s proposed “cultural revolution” for France’s five state TV channels prompted an uproar when he announced that in future, he and his cabinet would appoint the head of French state TV, instead of an independent body.

Sarkozy, known as the Téléprésident, prides himself on his numerous TV appearances, carefully studies his own ratings and has privately confided that he would have liked to have been a TV executive. So it was no surprise that he took direct control of the project to overhaul French state TV. He argued that a government appointment of the head of France Televisions was more “democratic”. This has reopened the festering row over the president’s influence over the media and closeness to his press and TV baron friends who are willing to lean on, censor or even sack journalists who displease him.

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