In France journalist are fired for telling the truth

International Herald Tribune:

"Alain Hertoghe believes that in covering the Iraq conflict, French newspapers recreated 'the war they would have liked to have seen.' That meant concentration on the Vietnams and Stalingrads that didn't take place, he said, and so many more accounts of U.S. difficulties rather than advances that it was 'impossible to understand how the Americans won.'

"For making assertions like these in a book called 'La Guerre à Outrances,' subtitled 'How the press disinformed us on Iraq' and published by Calmann Lévy, Hertoghe was fired this month from his post as deputy editor at the Web site of La Croix, a respected Roman Catholic daily newspaper.


"Hertoghe's book covers the performance of four national newspapers and France's largest regional daily over a three-week period in March and April. It contends that the coverage was ideological, in line with the French government's position opposing the United States, and that it was desirous of portraying a great catastrophe for the Americans.

Largely ignored in the newspapers that it finds at fault, the book fits into an emerging series of critical analyses in Europe of the European news media's treatment of the war. In Britain, attention has focused on what has been described as the British Broadcasting Company's biased position against British participation.

In Germany, an independent media watchdog group, Medien Tenor, has produced a report, to be released next month, on the performance of television reporting of the conflict in Germany, Britain, the United States and other countries. It focuses notably on Germany's two main state-financed channels, finding that the United States was treated negatively.

"Hertoghe said newspapers ignored reports from journalists traveling with U.S. forces, including those from Agence France-Presse, when they did not indicate insurmountable difficulties.

" 'The papers wanted disaster, and when the reporting didn't reflect it, they predicted it,' he said."


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