Saturday, November 19, 2005


Le Censeur, C'est Moi.

A pretty shocking publishing item from France has barely any media traction yet, but it really should. Yesterday's International Herald Tribune reports:

A glamorous Frenchwoman who divides her time between New York and Paris, upset about a forthcoming biography, has asked that her estranged husband intervene and convince the publisher to cancel the book's release. This could be an item for a society column if the name of the woman were not Cécilia Sarkozy, whose husband, Nicolas, is the interior minister of France.

According to an account published Friday in Le Parisien, a French daily, Sarkozy summoned the publisher, Vincent Barbare of Editions First, to his ministry office on Nov. 9, at the height of the rioting that engulfed France this month. The following day, Le Parisien said, the publisher called the author of the book, "Cécilia Sarkozy: Between Heart and Reason" and told her it would not be released.

Asked about the report, Nicolas Sarkozy's spokesman, Frank Louvrier, would neither confirm nor deny that the meeting took place. "We won't be making any comments on this," Louvrier said. "We have more important subjects to deal with - terrorism, the recent urban violence, et cetera."

A spokeswoman for Editions First also declined to comment on the reported meeting but said the release of the book, which had been scheduled for Thursday, had been "deferred" and that no new release date had been set.

How "deferred"? A report inside the Guardian yesterday says that "According to some reports, he had the first 25,000 copies pulped and the text deleted from the firm's computers." That's bad enough, but even worse when you see the IHT's reminder of just who Sarkozy is:

The suppression of the book, if confirmed, would inevitably raise questions about Sarkozy's use of his office. He is a leading contender to succeed President Jacques Chirac in 2007 and one of the most popular politicians in the country.....

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