Who is Jean-Claude Dassier?
A.) Bass player in a Montreal punk band.
B.) Maureen Dowd's lover.
C.) An idiot.
The answer is "C." Dassier is, for the time being, head of a French news service called LCI. Recently, he took it upon himself to censor coverage of the riots in French suburbs. As self-appointed chief protector of French mass-sensibility, Dassier decided that he, as big swinging dick of a major news service, would save the citizens of France from themselves.
In a bumbling attempt to do this heroic deed, Dassier kept footage of burning cars off his airwaves (his government-alotted bit of 'em at least) in a move that no doubt has legions of Internet users laughing their asses off at this hysterically fatuous assumption that raw information was something Big Media could still master and command.
From the MediaGuardian:
But he (Dassier) admitted his decision was partly motivated by a desire to avoid encouraging the resurgence of extreme rightwing views in France.
French broadcasters have faced criticism for their lack of coverage of the country's worst civil unrest in decades. Public television station France 3 has stopped broadcasting the numbers of torched cars while other TV stations are considering following suit.
"Do we send teams of journalists because cars are burning, or are the cars burning because we sent teams of journalists?" asked Patrick Lecocq, editor-in-chief of France 2. Rival news organisations today questioned the French broadcasters' decision to temper coverage of the riots.
John Ryley, the executive editor of Sky News, said his channel would have handled a similar story in Britain very differently.
"We would have been all over it like a cheap suit. We would have monstered the story, and I didn't get the impression that happened in France," he said.
Keeping with his mission to seriously overserve the public good, Jeff Jarvis 'storms the media Bastille' over at BuzzMachine, where 'monstering the story' is all just a free market shakeout on any given day.
Does this Dassier dude have a future in the Rove White House or what!?