Book Accuses ‘Le Monde’ of Abusing Its Power

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(AP) A new book released in France takes a critical look at what many people here consider to be the nation’s most respected newspaper, Le Monde.

In La Face cachee du Monde (The Dark Side of Le Monde), authors Pierre Pean and Philippe Cohen accuse the daily of abusing its power and using its editorial muscle to influence French politics.

Excerpts were first published last week in the magazine L’Express. The book was printed in Spain in order to keep its contents secret, according to Caroline Babulle, spokeswoman for its French publisher, Fayard. Some 50,000 copies went on sale in France on Tuesday.

The authors claim Le Monde helped orchestrate the downfall of former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin by promising one of his biographers a job at the newspaper in exchange for proof that Jospin once had links to the radical Trotskyite movement.

The authors also suggest that the paper was involved in some financial misdealings, which Le Monde took umbrage with on Tuesday. The newspaper published an editorial, a full page of articles refuting the allegations and a separate column under the headline: “Le Monde informs its readers annually about its accounts.”

The newspaper said it figures “among the rare publications that faithfully informs its readers every year of its economic situation … Le Monde goes beyond its legal obligations.”

Le Monde, which in English means “The World,” has a paid circulation of more than 400,000 in France and abroad.

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