Presidential Adultery and Politicization

Towards a French Policy of Truth?
By Frédérique Matonti

In January 2014, the French tabloid Closer did publish on the front page some pictures linked to a presumed love affair involving François Hollande and actress Julie Gayet. This article, based on the accounts of journalists and newspapers editors, aims to study the different moments of this small political crisis. How the scoop about Valerie Trierweiler’s hospitalization was the main turning point of the media coverage. And how, from this moment, the presumed presidential adultery has been seen as a political event and not as a private one. At the end of the crisis, the presidential sexuality even became a legitimate topic of the political comments. Then the article examines on one hand some previous situations (for example the publication of rumors about Segolene Royal and François Hollande during the presidential campaign of 2006-2007) and on the other hand the possible consequences of the politicization of the political leaders sexuality.

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