France: in the Senate, Vincent Bolloré denies having "created" the candidate Zemmour

Vincent Bolloré, the boss of Vivendi, owns Canal + and especially CNEWS, a news channel in which the polemicist Éric Zemmour worked for a long time.

© REUTERS - Charles Platiau

Text by: RFI Follow

3 mins

The senators listen to the bosses of the press, one after the other, before making a report on the concentration of the media in France.

The first, Wednesday evening January 19, was Vincent Bolloré.

The boss of Vivendi is preparing to buy Lagardère.

His very large group owns Canal + and especially CNEWS, a news channel in which the polemicist Éric Zemmour worked for a long time. 

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The senators accused Vincent Bolloré of having " 

fabricated

 " a presidential candidate, adding that no one could believe that Vincent Bolloré had nothing to do with the channel's political line. 

I think you take little bits of things, you put them together to try to make a story,

retorted Vincent Bolloré.

One could, for example, say that I am a deconstructionist,

wok.

You've seen the controversy over "iel": "iel" is Le Petit Robert, and Le Petit Robert is Editis, it's Vincent Bolloré.

So Vincent Bolloré is a deconstructionist, that's it.

 »

And the boss of Vivendi to continue: “ 

You have tens of thousands of hours on our programs.

And as for Zemmour, forgive me, but he was publishing books in the hundreds of thousands of copies long before he returned to CNews.

I remind you that he's on Le Figaro, I remind you that he's on 6. And coincidentally, it's when he's on CNews that the problem arises.

I repeat: there are so many currents of thought in our books, in our broadcasts.

Nobody thought, nobody knew, that he was going to be President of the Republic!

Frankly, this is unreasonable!

»

► To read also:

French presidential election: Zemmour in competition with the rights in Hauts-de-France

The influence of a media empire

Largest shareholder of Canal+, two major publishing groups (Editis and Hachette), numerous newspapers (Prisma Media magazines,

JDD, Paris Match

), one of the heavyweights in advertising/communication (Havas) and radio Europe 1, Vincent Bolloré is the figure who best illustrates the influence of a media empire on public opinion and his hearing was therefore eagerly awaited.

Asked about the many departures from the newsrooms he already controls or soon (Canal+, Prisma Media, Europe 1), he said that journalists work “ 

like the sea, one wave leaves, another returns 

”.

On the merits, he presented slides and an argument explaining that the French media giant Vivendi, which he controls, is in reality " 

very small

 " in the face of the " 

real danger 

" of foreign competition from the giants of the net, the Gafam (Google , Amazon, Apple, etc.).

Other press and audiovisual magnates will appear in the coming days before this commission of inquiry, which is due to report in March on the economic and democratic consequences of such a concentration.

The hearings of Bernard Arnault (

Les Échos, Le Parisien

, Radio Classique), Patrick Drahi (BFMTV, RMC) and Martin Bouygues (owner of TF1 who plans to merge with M6) are notably planned.

Those of Xavier Niel and Arnaud Lagardère have been postponed to an as yet undetermined date.

To read also

: Bolloré, out of Africa

(and with

AFP

)

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  • Eric Zemmour

  • Media

  • France

  • Presidential France 2022

  • Culture

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