The Real Censors and Manipulators of the French Media

The Crédit Mutuel farce

In July 2015 Spécial Investigation made an inquiry into the off-shore accounts of Crédit Mutuel, one of France’s most important Credit Unions. The documentary was financed by Canal +, who held the rights for its broadcast. The film’s content was approved by Canal+ and was scheduled to be aired, but the production company KM contacted Canal+ director Maxime Saada to say that it would not be finished on time; it would have to be aired at a later date. Meanwhile, the “independent” journal Mediapart had been informed about the report’s scenario.

Mediapart claimed Vincent Bolloré had intervened on behalf of his friend, the director of Crédit Mutuel Michel Lucas, to censor the documentary.

As Mediapart had revealed the contents of the documentary, Canal+ decided not to air it but sold it on to France 3 Television.

Canal+ director Maxime Saada says the TV station would not have sold the documentary to France 3 Television, who subsequently aired it, if it had wanted the information censored! The Spécial Investigation reports were supposed to reveal something new to the public. As Mediapart had already revealed the information in the documentary, the impact of the programme would have been lost.

Creating the impression in the public mind that the station serves elite interests is part of a strategy to prop up state and controlled-opposition media. By focusing on one oligarch’s supposed attempts to censor the media, the public has the impression that state media and official “independent” media are doing their job as the Fourth Estate, combating private power and keeping the media free and objective.  

Favoring dictators?

During the build-up to the French military intervention in the Ivory Coast in 2010, Bolloré’s daily newspaper Direct Matin was accused of siding with Laurent Gbagbo (pictured) in his dispute with Alassane Ouattara over the presidential election results. Acrimed, a French observatory for media criticism, wrote:

“What is abundantly clear is that the daily free newspaper, contrary to other press agencies, refuses to echo the international condemnations against Gbagbo.”

The international community, that is to say, the United States and its vassals had backed former IMF official Ouattara (pictured below with Macron). It is unclear who Vincent Bolloré really supported, as he appears to have had good relations with both candidates; but the newspaper whose editorial line he supposedly controls was allegedly not singing to tune. As the post-electoral crisis escalated, Le Monde published mendacious editorials assuring its readers that Paris had no interest in the Ivory Coast and was, therefore, a neutral observer. It was abundantly clear, however, that Paris backed former IMF functionary Alassane Ouattara.

According to Acrimed, Bolloré’s press was guilty of prejudice in Gbagbo’s favor by not referring to him as the “self-proclaimed” president. What Acrimed ignores, however, is that Gbagbo was proclaimed president by the Ivory Coast Supreme Court. Obviously, for Acrimed African courts and institutions have no legitimacy: only the ultra-democratic European Union can decide the victor in any given African election.

During a campaign of vicious lies and disinformation by all the French press organs  — including so-called “left-wing” alternative media — Direct Matin and Direct Soir were, apparently, reading from the wrong script and that is what Acrimed found utterly unacceptable.

The electoral commission of the Ivory Coast gave the victory to Laurent Gbagbo, but the UN and the French government had other plans. The country had already been divided through French support for armed rebels since 2002. Now the crisis would escalate. Armed militia raided the country from neighboring Burkina Faso, killing all before them. As bombs rained down on the Presidential Palace in Abidjan, the President and his wife were confined to a bunker. French special forces eventually arrested Gbagbo and his wife.

Torture and terror reigned in the streets of Abidjan in the days that followed, and Gbagbo was brought before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. He was kept in the Hague until January of this year — 9 years of detention for crimes he never committed.

The crimes against humanity of Alassane Ouattara, such as the massacre of Duékoué — where an entire village of men, women and children were burnt alive — have never been investigated. Italian public television Rai Italia was the only mainstream media in Europe to expose the truth about French crimes against humanity in the Ivory Coast.

Douekoue Massacre 27765

*(Douekoué Massacre. Source:

Some of the rebels beheaded children in front of their parents. The information has been in the public domain for years but has been ignored and censored by the media.

Mediapart is now trying to promote itself as the purveyor of truth in the Gbagbo case. But one only needs to read their analyses during the Ivoirian crisis to see that they sang from the same neo-colonial hymnsheet as the entire international press.

Furthermore, many thoroughly-researched books have been written about the French coup in the Ivory Coast and the innocence of Laurent Gbagbo; Charles Onana and Francois Mattei’s monographs are the most authoritative examples. You will not see any reference to Onana’s work in Mediapart; the news outlet only began to change its tune when it was obvious Gbagbo was winning his case — unlike former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who also won his case but died before his release. As Mediapart is one of the chief journals of the lobby attacking Bolloré and the “dictators” he allegedly supports, it is vital for the ruling clique in Paris to promote the news agency among young Africans hostile to French policy. We will see below how this is currently being done.

Exposing Islamo-leftist terrorism

We saw in part one that the basis for the new form of “humanitarian” warfare was laid during the Nigerian civil war. Humanitarian concerns would again be invoked to justify Western intervention in Yugoslavia –  a war which French Brigadier-General Pierre Marie Gallois revealed was planned many years in advance.

On 5 April 2012 Spécial Investigation exposed how the French secret service or DGSE (Direction générale de la Sécurité extérieure) had supported Islamist terrorists in Kosovo during the Yugoslav war. Hashim Thaci, the current president of Kosovo, is allegedly an agent of the DGSE. He is also wanted by Interpol for mass murder, torture and drug trafficking.

As editor of Le Monde, Edwy Plenel (pictured) played an indispensable role in demonizing the Serbian population and covering up the crimes of the Kosovo Liberation Army during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.

The Canal+ revelations about the French secret service’s support for terrorists should have definitively discredited Plenel. But the veteran Trotskyite has recently been attempting to cover his tracks, endorsing extremely sanitized critiques of humanitarian warfare.

According to former French President Francois Mitterand, Plenel is a “foreign agent.”

During the Cold War, Trotskyists and petty-bourgeois leftists were the CIA’s preferred tools of political subversion. They have always acted as the thought police and gate-keepers of the left.

Who is silencing journalists?

An important figure in the case against Bolloré is Jean-Baptiste Rivoire (pictured), former editor-in-chief for Canal+. Rivoire presents himself on Plenel’s Mediapart as a defender of freedom of expression, vehemently denouncing Vincent Bollore’s alleged attempts to censor journalists in Canal+. Readers of Mediapart are most likely unaware of the fact that Rivoire was himself condemned for attempting to censor the press.

He was condemned by a Paris court on 26 November 2009 for calumny against investigative journalist Didier Contant.

Contant had published a report in Le Figaro magazine into the murder in 1996 of 7 French monks in Tibherine, Algeria. The French media and NGO’s such as the International Federation of Human rights (FIDH) maintained that the Algerian secret services had murdered the monks. But Contant’s work concluded that they had been murdered by the GIA (Groupe Islamiste Armée), a jihadist terrorist group which had murdered thousands during the Algerian Civil War (1991-2001).

Now, all agree that the GIA murdered the monks, but Patrick Baudouin, honorary president of FIDH, and lawyer for the families of the murdered monks, still peddles the conspiracy theory that the Algerian state had infiltrated the GIA. The former judge in charge of the case Jean-Louis Brugière described Baudaoin as an “imposter abusing public credulity.

Rivoire spread the lie that Contant was an agent of the Algerian secret services. As a result, Contant’s work would be censured. Rivoire was condemned by the Paris Court for the assault (violence volontaire) of Didier Contant. The investigative journalist, whose career was ruined by Rivoire’s calumny, feared for his life. On 15 of February 2004, Contant fell, tragically, to his death from the fifth floor of a Paris apartment. The source of the accusation against Contant was an email Rivoire received from Amnesty International in London.

Amnesty International’s links to US intelligence are well known. Since the Afghan war of the 1980s, the role of the Trotskyite media in the West has been to back terrorists who serve Western geopolitical interests. Former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski (pictured) sat on the board of Amnesty International at this time. He admitted to Nouvel Observateur in 1998 that the US had deliberately provoked the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 in order to destroy the popular democratic revolution there – a threat to US geostrategic interests. Brzezinski and the CIA could rely on the French left to make Takfiri head-choppers look like Che Guevara.

In the Algerian Civil War, the crimes of Islamist terrorists were often ignored or blamed on the Algerian“regime.” Ethnologist Rina Sherman, Contant’s partner who wrote a book about the circumstances of his demonization and death, said there is a “cabal” in Paris composed of journalists, NGOs, and lawyers, protecting criminals in power. After the publication of Sherman’s book, Rivoire sued her for libel and won his case. He had a well-connected lawyer: William Bourdon.

William Bourdon (pictured below) was one of the lawyers associated with the “qui tue qui-whodunit” conspiracy theory according to which many of the massacres committed by Islamists during the war were secretly carried out by the Algerian government.

The Rivoire affaire has been almost completely ignored by the French media. Sherman’s lawyer Gény-Santoni has said the silence of French journalists on this affair is proof of their collusion with power.

Bourdon is well-known in Algeria as the lawyer of businessman Chani Medjoub, accused of receiving over a billion dollars in bribes for a major motorway project. Bourdon seems to have nothing to say about the facts of the case; he claims his client was tortured in detention and therefore the entire case against him is invalid. In the war against sovereign states, human rights and democracy are the ubiquitous hammers and chisels of the globalist elite.

Bourdon doesn’t need to worry about the strong evidence against Medjoub, as his media fan club Mediapart are working overtime to turn Algeria into another Venezuela – with help from their favorite “fascist” President Trump!

A 1996 US policy document by Graham Fuller from the Rand Corporation entitled ‘ Algeria – the next Fundamentalist state’, states clearly that the rise of an Islamist regime in Algeria would not constitute a threat to US interests due to the influence of Saudi Arabia on Algeria’s Islamists. The document states that an Islamist Algeria would be neo-liberal, anti-Iran and anglophile; thus serving US strategic interests.

US policy towards Algeria has not changed, nor has the French left’s love-affair with Takfiri terrorism and CIA-backed “spontaneous uprisings.”

Who’s afraid of false flags?

On 9 November 2004, the French army opened fire on peaceful protesters in Abidjan who were demanding the withdrawal of the French military. 7 people were shot dead and dozens were injured (see image). In its Programme 90 MinutesCanal+ documented the crimes of the French military. They also showed how the French “anti-racist” media such as Libération covered up the massacre.

In a June 22, 2016, Senat hearing on the Canal+s supposed media censorship, the TV Station’s director Maxime Saada stated: “We launched a certain number of investigations which created difficulties for us…(eg.) in the Ivory Coast.

In spite of the fact that the massacre of Abidjan was one of the worst neo-colonialist crimes of the French military, none of the French “anti-racist” media covered the event. Canal+ was the only TV Station which investigated further.

Spécial Investigation documentary was aired on 8 February 2016 which investigated the bombing of a French military base in Bouaké in the North of the Ivory Coast on 6 November 2004 — a massacre which killed 9 French soldiers and 1 American civilian, and injured 39 others. The documentary shows how the French government destabilized the Ivory Coast by supporting armed rebels; massacred peaceful protesters and probably — though it has yet to be proven — carried out a false flag terrorist attack on their own military base in order to blame Gbagbo and destroy the Ivory Coast’s air force; thus preventing the reunification of the country.

The documentary is arguably one of the most chilling and daring investigations ever carried out by French television. The film breaks the golden rule of contemporary journalism: when terrorist attacks happen, the role of the journalist is not to investigate them; his role is, rather, to parrot the government’s version of events and to systematically anathemise any journalist who does pose important questions as a conspiracy nut.

Although the documentary presents cogent evidence implicating the French government in terrorism and high treason — some of whom such as Nicolas Sarkozy are known to be friends of Vincent Bolloré — the media tycoon did not intervene to censor the documentary. However, we can infer from Maxime Saada’s above-quoted statement that powerful people did intervene to prevent the film’s re-diffusion in Africa.

In 2016, the afore-mentioned crook Jacques Dupuydauby accused Vincent Bolloré of participating in the organization of the Boaké massacre. Dupuydauby has no material evidence implicating Bolloré. It took him 12 years to contact the authorities with his accusations. But he has Bourdon and his sycophantic court-room Mediapart on his side, so who cares about evidence?

Canal Plus exposes French left’s love-affair with neo-Nazis

In January 2016 Spécial Investigation was the only TV Station in France to expose the neo-Nazis in Ukraine, helped to power by the United States, as well as agencies funded by George Soros. The programme showed disturbing footage of the Odessa Massacre on 2 May 2014 when neo-Nazis burned communists and union workers alive in the city’s Trade Union headquarters, killing 48 people and wounding 200. But none of these facts has ever concerned the “left-wing” media. In fact, the Ukrainian government sent a letter to Vincent Bolloré before the documentary was aired, asking him to stop its diffusion. Bolloré refused to comply.

France’s left-wing media, Le MondeLibération and other public media vehemently denounced the documentary as “Kremlin propaganda.” Yet George Soros has admitted his agencies played a key role in the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in 2014.

We are not suggesting that Canal+ or any other media outlet owned by the Bolloré Group is in any shape or form challenging state power. The TV station is, for the most part, conformist and operates within the parameters of official censorship, but the examples we have looked at here should serve to debunk the notion that Vincent Bolloré is the number one enemy of freedom of expression in France. Six months later the Spécial Investigation programme would be discontinued. We still don’t know why.

Bolloré out of tune in Togo – again!

On 15 October 2017 Canal Plus aired ‘Lâche le trône’- Give up the Throne, a documentary which covers the protest movement against Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé. The anti-Gnassingbé activists are presented as peaceful, in spite of the fact that arms have been seized from protesters.

Faure Gnassingbe cffc1

*(Faure Gnassingbé, President of Togo. Image credit: Wikipedia)

The report presents one point of view: Gnassingbé and his clan must go, yet we never hear what supporters of the regime have to say. During the run-up to the presidential elections in Togo, French state media were favorable in their coverage of the PNP-Parti Nationaliste Panafricain – the National Panafrican Party of Tikpi Atchadam. But Atchadam’s policies were never explained. When has a true pan-Africanist ever had the support of Paris and Washington? After the film was aired, Bolloré was accused of preventing the film’s re-diffusion in Africa. Once again Bolloré seemed to be on the wrong side of history – supporting a dictator who was oppressing his people.

As we have shown earlier, globalist elites at the head of the US and French governments are running “people power” regime change operations all over Africa. A key component of the regime change operations is media disinformation. The documentary on Togo makes no effort to contextualize the country’s problems and present arguments from both sides: it is simply anti-Gnassingbé propaganda designed to encourage the destabilization of a poor African country. If Canal + decided to limit its diffusion, that is a good thing! At best, the report is poor journalism; at worst, it is imperialist propaganda.

On 22 December 2018, Canal + was again attacked for airing a short promotional report on economic development in Togo. The French audiovisual authority (Conseil de Surveillance Audiovisuel, CSA), sanctioned Canal+ for using the TV Station as a platform for promoting Bolloré’s business interests. However, the film makes no reference to Bolloré. Rather, it shows off the infrastructural and entrepreneurial development of the country; we see African companies making products for African shops. Africans regularly complain that the Western media never show the efforts Africans are making to develop their continent. For the neocolonialist mindset, African development is inseparable from Western NGOs.

Manipulating African public opinion

France Inter claims that Bolloré’s journalists often conduct interviews with African presidents on the understanding that their achievements would be highlighted, but they never air the interviews on French television.

We have not been able to investigate those accusations. However, the attempt by the fake opposition media to gain the confidence of Africans through deception may be illustrated by another particularly significant example.

Abidjan TV, Ivory Coast’s biggest web TV station, posted an article in 2016 entitled ‘Hommage du quotidian francais Mediapart a Gbagbo’. The original article has no title and no author. The article praises Mediapart journalists for their coverage of the Gbagbo affair.

Reading the article, one would have the impression Mediapart was the only press agency reporting the truth about France’s imperialist crimes against the Ivory Coast in 2010. But there is no trace of the article in Mediapart’s archives.

In fact, as we have already stated, Mediapart was a key part of the information war against Gbagbo. The article was also published on Ivoire Business,

Cameroon Voice, Nouvelle Guinee, Success Mag, and other important African websites. It was shared thousands of times on social media. This author contacted the editors of some of the websites to ask them about the article in question, but they failed to respond.

Why did an article with no author or title, attributed to Mediapart, appear on several prominent African websites? Was it planted there by Mediapart in order to present themselves as “friends of African liberation?” In the age of digital media, one should not underestimate the fiasco Gbagbo’s recent acquittal by the ICC presents for the fake leftist media.

The French imperialists made a major mistake in not assassinating Laurent Gbagbo, like Muammar Gaddafi. Once it became clear that the ICC trial would never find any evidence against him, it was necessary to limit the possible damage to French interests in Africa which such a scandal would cause. It was only from that moment on that Medipart began to make shocking “revelations” about the ICC.

It has been known for many years that the ICC is a neocolonial instrument used to justify Western imperialism in Africa. Now we find the article attributed to Mediapart also condemning the court as “racist.”

Not insignificantly, the article quotes Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s Foreign Minister, who condemns the ICC as an instrument of European manipulation. ICC judge Bensouda has said the court may yet call Rwandan President Paul Kagame for questioning. Kagame has always been a client of US interests in Africa. We will see in the next part how the Rwandan myth was created and why it is a major component of the US subjugation of France and Africa.

As we have already pointed out, French and US imperialist interventions in Africa since 2010 have been in the name of “human rights” and “democracy”. They have relied on this left-wing cover. Emmanuel Macron’s regime will need to present further interventions as being an attempt to end French neo-colonialism. When he was confronted by students in the University of Ouagadougou in 2018 about the French role in the destruction of Libya, Macron pretended he had opposed the war.

In the public mind, the Crédit Mutuel censorship affair is automatically associated with the name Bolloré. The Crédit Mutuel story has served to bolster the image of state media and fake independent media such as Mediapart as the intrepid defenders of the “public service” against privatized media. We are given the impression that the Spécial Investigation programme was discontinued in 2016 due to the Crédit Mutuel affair; but in the Senate hearings with the Canal + management, no explanation was given as to why the Spécial Investigation programme was discontinued.

It is plausible to assume that powerful interests in the French military-industrial-media-intelligence (MIMI) complex wanted an excuse to bury the Spécial Investigation programme while blaming the censorship on Bolloré. In so doing, the public is given the impression that freedom of expression really exists; that billionaires who attempt to influence the media are called into account, and that the left-liberal media are the “fourth estate” protecting the people from an ever-encroaching oligarchy.

In part 4 we will explore how the Rwanda genocide was a pivotal event in subordinating France to the United States, creating a new globalist discourse with devastating consequences for Africa and the world.


Original article

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Gearóid Ó Colmáin, AHT Paris correspondent, is a journalist and political analyst. His work focuses on globalization, geopolitics and class struggle. His articles have been translated into many languages. He is a regular contributor to Global Research, Russia Today International, Press TV, Sputnik Radio France, Sputnik English , Al Etijah TV , Sahar TV Englis, Sahar French and has also appeared on Al Jazeera. He writes in English, Irish Gaelic and French.