Indicted in the Oil-for-Food Scandal? Hardly a Big Deal, N'est-ce pas?
While Corine Lesnes' two articles on Bush's so far informal troubles, regarding Plamegate as well as the war against terror (articles using harsh words and expressions filled with emotion and whose only domestic quotes come from opponents of the president, quotes which effectively end the article), take up two thirds of a page in the foreign affairs section on page 4; G?rard Davet's single straight-forward, matter-of-fact, ho-hum article on Pasqua's formal indictment in the oil-for-food scandal (Le Monde seems to have waited two or three days after the indictment before printing the piece) is relegated to a sixth of a page (it takes up a quarter page only if you count the Pessin cartoon) in the Politique & Soci?t? section on page 14.
A large bulk of the text is filled with quotes by the former interior minister, fellow defendents (and companies implicated, such as Total), and their lawyers (justifications, denials, accusations of witch-hunts, etc).
Okay, okay, so we've reported it. See? See how fair we are? Okay, enough already. Now that that's done — and over with (will you get over it, already?!) — let's get back to serious matters: castigating that horrendous Halliburton, castigating that awful Dubya (i.e., see the top Corine Lesnes article), and castigating that unforgiveable support that Bush has extended to countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Like the NYT, Le Monde plays teacup tempests like Plamegate to the hilt above the fold while stories harming Bush-bashers are sequestered deep in the Societe pages.
Pasqua, of course, was reputedly Chirac's moneyman. The entire gangsta-team of Chirac/deVillepin is implicated as getting some sort of recompense from Saddam somewhere somehow for not joining the Coalition of the Willing.
But don't look for a gaggle of "investigative journalists" searching high and low for evidence---no Pulitzers for proving Chirac is a corrupt cowardly crook would be in the offing.
And besides, treasonous tracts by Lichtblau, Priest, and Risen are obviously the fast lane to the top of the sleazy journalistic pole.
The Fifth Column approaches DC and may take over the US government in November.