Replay
The Sound Kitchen
Raksha Bandhan
 
Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/26 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/26 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/25 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/25 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/25 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/25 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/25 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/25 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/25 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/25 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 08/21 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/25 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 08/21 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/25 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/25 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 08/25 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 08/21 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 08/25 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 08/21 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 08/25 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 08/21 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Culture

French media accused of censorship over film mocking LVMH boss Arnault

media LVMH boss Bernard Arnault AFP/Guillaume Souvant

Media treatment of a film that ridicules French billionaire Bernard Arnault has raised charges of censorship and questions over concentration of media ownership. Journalists at a a paper owned by Arnault's LVMH were banned from mentioning François Ruffin's Merci Patron (Thanks boss) this week and the director himself claimed there had been other cases of censorship.

Journalists' unions at Le Parisien newspaper accused their boss of self-censorship this week, claiming he had ordered critics not to review Merci Patron, "not even in 10 lines", and rejected a proposal by the politics desk to report on the "buzz" it had stirred up on the French left.

Arnault's LVMH, best known for its ownership of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Sephora and Christian Dior, bought Le Parisien last year and the unions accuse editor Stéphane Albouy of not wanting to annoy his new boss.

Albouy called the film "dishonest" and accused Ruffin of manipulating the couple who are its principle subjects, the unions said in a joint statement.

Merci Patron is a Michael Moore-style documentary that follows the efforts of the Klurs, a couple who were laid off by an LVMH subsidiary, to contact Arnault and ask for help as they are threatened with the loss of their home.

Ruffin, who edits the left-wing magazine Fakir, says that it gives "injustice ... a name, a face, a voice".

He hailed the "courage" of the journalists who protested and claimed that reporters from Le Parisien and another LVMH-owned title, Les Echos, had earlier told his press attaché that they loved the film but would not be able to write about it.

Another journalist told him that his film "makes you want to become a Bolshevik" but that he couldn't cover it for fear of losing advertising revenue, he said.

Earlier in the week an invitation to Ruffin to appear on Europe 1 television, not owned by LVMH but by the Lagardère group, was cancelled at the last minute, although he was invited to another show after the incident became public.

He took advantage of the occasion to lay into Lagardère group boss, Arnaud Lagardère.

Ruffin also claims that a charity pulled out of financing the film because it had links with LVMH.

In a statement supporting Ruffin, the SNJ-CGT union denounced the "personal connections between billionaires proved by the successive censorship by [Vincent] Bolloré at Canal + [a TV channel] so that his 'friends' are not hurt", while the director declared that "the freedom of the press is theatened by the ownership of the means of production by these big capitalists who know each other and spend time together".

Nine media groups, several of them conglomerates with interests in industries stretching from fashion to armaments, control the majority of the French media, apart from public broadcasters like RFI.

Bernard Arnault, the world's 14th-richest person, is no stranger to spats with the press.

In 2012 he threatened to sue Libération newspaper for its headline "Clear off, rich loser!" referring to his application for Belgian nationality, which the paper interpreted as an effort to become a tax exile.

He dropped the case after the two sides reached an agreement.

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.