Canal Plus faces libel fine

Result of claims made in heatwave deaths report

PARIS — Canal Plus prexy Bertrand Meheut and a reporter on its news show “90 Minutes” have each been fined e1,000 ($1,330) for libeling pubcaster France 2’s former topper in a report about the Gallic heatwave in 2003.

A Paris court found Tuesday that journalist Jean-Baptiste Rivoire failed “in his obligation to prudent expression of his opinions” when he claimed in a report aired on Canal Plus Sept. 15, 2003, that Olivier Mazerolle had refused to allow France 2 to air its probe into the high number of deaths caused by the heatwave.

The implication in the report was that Mazerolle was concerned about appeasing the government, which funds the pubcaster.

Pols were widely blamed for not moving quickly to provide aid to the elderly during the August heatwave in which an estimated 10,000 heat-related deaths were recorded. Many of the fatalities occurred Aug. 12, when temperatures peaked at more than 100 degrees in northern France.

The court found no evidence that Mazerolle chose not to air the results to protect the government.

However, the small fine amounts to a minor rebuke for Meheut and Rivoire, who also were ordered to pay a symbolic sum of e1 ($1.33) in damages and to air the judgment clearing Mazerolle on “90 Minutes.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading