ARCOM highlights Patrick Cohen's editorial on Crépol

18 April 2024 / Interviews

In a decision made public on Tuesday April 16, 2024, the Audiovisual and Digital Communication Regulatory Authority (Arcom) issued a critical opinion with regard to the program “C à vous” broadcast on France 5. This reaction follows a controversial editorial by Patrick Cohen, broadcast on November 27, 2023, in which the journalist spoke about the tragic death of Thomas, a 16-year-old teenager in Crépol (Drôme).

Arcom considers that Patrick Cohen's comments in this program did not respect the requirements of moderation, rigor and honesty, as defined by the France Télévisions specifications. Indeed, according to Arcom, certain comments by the journalist were devoid of oratorical precautions and stated in a declarative manner, which did not meet the required standards.

In his editorial entitled “Crépol, the mechanics of hatred and lies”, Patrick Cohen tried to dismiss the thesis of anti-white racism, thus sparking a lively controversy. The journalist returned to the evening during which Thomas lost his life, mentioning in particular the presence of around ten young people who mingled with the participants with the aim of “having fun and picking up girls”. However, Arcom criticizes Cohen for not having distanced himself sufficiently from the version of the facts presented by the attackers, without mentioning certain crucial elements of the case, such as the presence of knives.

Although recognizing the right to freedom of expression and the committed nature of the editorial, Arcom considers that France 5 should have demonstrated increased vigilance towards compliance with France Télévisions' specifications. This decision by Arcom was welcomed by RN MP Laure Lavalette, who contacted Arcom last November, thus underlining the relevance of her grievances.