Conflicts of Interest in France? I’m shocked! Shocked!

With the Paris Air Show right around the corner, it’s a good time for a French arms-media-political scandal — or at least complaints that there should be a scandal.

This week’s The Economist says:

"More troubling are links between politics, the media and missiles. The Lagardere Group, which owns Le Journal du Dimanche, Paris Match and a radio station, Europe 1, still has a stake in the aerospace group EADS. Arnaud Lagardere is another friend of Mr Sarkozy’s; journalists at Le Journal du Dimanche are embroiled in a row over interference in a censored story about the president’s wife, Cecilia. The Dassault Group, whose aviation division makes Rafale and Mirage fighters, owns 87% of Socpresse, which includes Le Figaro and many regional titles; Serge Dassault is a senator from Mr Sarkozy’s party. With defence firms so depednent on government contracts, these conflicts of interest ought to generate more censure in France than they do."

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