No Need to Wonder Who AFP Likes in the French Election Next Sunday

You just have to read two supposedly "objective" news stories from April 12 to see where Agence France-Presse (AFP) stands.

Here is one on immigration:

France shows harsh face to some immigrants

PARIS, April 12, 2007 (AFP) - France shows a harsh, intolerant face to the thousands of illegal immigrants it deports every year under tough new policies adopted by Nicolas Sarkozy, the man tipped to become the nation's next president.

And then there's inevitable "right-wing crazy man" angle (again, in an "objective" report):

Sarkozy's personality under attack in campaign

PARIS, April 12, 2007 (AFP) - Quick-tempered, arrogant, divisive, even dangerous: French presidential front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy is facing mounting attacks on his personality as he heads into the first round of voting in just over a week.

Sarkozy's rivals in the April 22 race have zeroed in on what is widely seen as the right-wing candidate's Achilles heel: his inability to shed the tough-guy reputation earned during his days as interior minister.

A new tell-all book went on sale in stores this week by former minister Azouz Begag, who recounts that Sarkozy threatened to "smash" his face in after the minister criticised his handling of the suburban riots in late 2005.

..... Socialist candidate Segolene Royal and centrist Francois Bayrou point to Sarkozy's status as persona non grata in the suburbs to chip away at his credibility, saying France needs a president who will be a unifying force.

..... After sparring with Sarkozy over rioting in a Paris train station last month, Royal complained that the candidate had "lost his cool" and suggested that this was conduct unbecoming a future president.

Sarkozy has often been lampooned as a hothead, notably in the television programme "Les Guignols," the French version of the British Spitting Image satire.

Sarkozy, the believed-to-be front-runner in Sunday's 12-person race, is the head of the center-right Union for a Popular Movement party. Socialist Segolene Royal is his strongest opponent.

AFP has clearly shown that it has no need for separate commentary and op-ed writers.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.