Sarkozy slams French media, report says
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has attacked French media accusing several publications of assuming the role of political opposition, the news web site Mediapart reported on Thursday, dpa reported.
The alleged attack on several publications including the daily Le Parisien, the weeklies L'Express and Marianne and the state-supported French news agency AFP - took place on Wednesday during a lunch meeting with lawmakers from Sarkozy's UMP party.
According to one UMP participant at the luncheon, which celebrated the first anniversary of Sarkozy's election victory, the French president "made a very serious charge against the press in saying that in a country where there is no opposition, the press has taken it upon itself to function as an opposition."
"In general, his message was: 'The press is not helping me'," another UMP lawmaker said.
Sarkozy reportedly criticized AFP and other media for their alleged refusal to publish UMP attacks on his Socialist opponent in the 2006 presidential election, Segolene Royal.
In addition, he slammed the weekly Marianne for a recent issue brandishing the front page headline: "Damn, Four More Years," a reference to the remainder of his term.
He also reportedly criticized the conservative weekly Le Journal du Dimanche for not publishing a poll that was more favourable than other surveys regarding public opinion of his recent appearance on national television.
Sarkozy reportedly noted that despite the attacks on him, he "still sells."
"When I'm on the front page, it sells copies," he was quoted as saying, adding, "They have written 76 books about me."