French Reporter Chided for 'Jewish Influence' Question by the Forward

French Reporter Chided for 'Jewish Influence' Question

Image by getty images

France’s national watchdog on broadcasters reprimanded a journalist who asked a politician whether the country’s prime minister was “under Jewish influence.”

The Superior Audiovisual Council, or CSA, criticized Jean-Jacques Bourdin, a presenter for the BFMTV television station and the RMC radio broadcaster, over an interview he conducted last month with ex-French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, the Le Figaro daily reported Sunday.

During the Feb. 16 interview, Dumas said of Prime Minister Manuel Valls: “He has personal alliances, everyone knows he is married to someone – a distinguished person – who has influence over him.”

Following up on Dumas’ statement, Jean-Jacques Bourdin asked Dumas: “Is Valls under Jewish influence,” to which Dumas replied, “Probably, I would think so.”

Valls, whom many Jews regard as a hero for his strong-worded rejections of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and prosecution of inciters of hate, is married to Jewish violinist Anne Garvoin. In 2011 he said during a public appearance that his marriage connected him “in an eternal way” to Israel and the Jewish people.

The council said that Bourdin’s question “served to banalize and advertise discriminatory behaviors,” Le Figaro reported. It put BFMTV, RMC and Bourdin on notice, but did not impose any fines.

But NextRadioTV, a commercial group comprising both sanctioned broadcasters, defended them as “careful not to promote discriminatory behaviors” and warned that the council’s decision to put them on notice “risks weighing down on freedom of expression.”

French Reporter Chided for 'Jewish Influence' Question


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

French Reporter Chided for 'Jewish Influence' Question

Thank you!

This article has been sent!