It is the first time a news channel is fined by the French media regulator.

First published in March 2021.

The French media regulator, Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel (CSA) – equivalent to Ofcom in Britainhas fined the news channel CNews 200,000 euros (£170,000) for “incitement to racial hatred” and “violence”.

Back in September 2020, the controversial self-proclaimed anti-liberal, anti-immigration, anti-human-rights author Eric Zemmour (who co-hosts the daily political programme Face à l’info) said of unaccompanied migrant minor in France, “They have nothing to do here. They are thieves. They are killers. They are rapists. That’s what they are. All of them. All of them. All of them. We must send them back. They shouldn’t even come here,” without being properly challenged by anyone on air.

Eric Zemmour, 29/09/2020. | CNews

The regulator explains their decision: “The Committee felt that there was a lapse in the management of the programme on air, especially since the programme was recorded and remained unedited.”

Indeed, every day the programme is actually recorded exactly 30 minutes before it is aired so that the Director General of the channel gets to edit or cut anything.

It is the first time a news channel is fined by the French media regulator.

In 2019, CNews had already received a formal notice for a similar situation with the same Zemmour after controversial comments he made on Islam and the French colonisation of Algeria.

So far, Eric Zemmour has been convicted three times for provocation to racial discrimination or hate toward muslims, yet he continues to be offered a platform on the second most watched news channel in FranceFace à l’info has an audience of over half a million viewers every day.  

PMP News reporting.

[This piece was first published in PMP Magazine on 20 March 2021. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Screenshot of Eric Zemmour/CNews. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

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