French left-wing politician to sue chat show host for on-air insults

A LEFT politician called a “buffoon” on air by one of France’s best-known chat hosts vowed on Monday to file a criminal complaint over the insult.

Cyril Hanouna, the host of the popular TPMP show on the private channel C8, caused outrage with his remark during a furious argument with left-wing MP Louis Boyard last Thursday.

Mr Hanouna grew angry when the 22-year-old politician slammed billionaire media mogul Vincent Bollore, a friend, business partner and owner of Mr Hanouna’s C8.

Mr. Boyard, who was a student unionist and media personality before his election to the National Assembly in June, accused Mr. Hanouna of trying to censor criticism of Mr. Bolloré, who he said had “deforested Cameroon “.

“The all-powerful Hanouna, who thinks he can insult and intimidate anyone because he criticizes his boss, is unacceptable,” Boyard told reporters on Monday, adding that he was considering filing a complaint. criminally.

“Whether you’re an MP or not, a presenter should not insult someone live for criticizing their channel owner,” he added.

Mr Hanouna, of Tunisian origin, is one of the most influential and highest paid chat hosts in France, whose often fiery current affairs debates are aimed at young people.

French media regulator Arcom has confirmed it has received complaints about the minutes-long row between the pair, meaning an investigation is ongoing.

National Assembly Speaker, ruling party MK Yael Braun-Pivet, said on Sunday the latest incident was “degrading to our public debate and the people in the studio.”

Government spokesman Olivier Véran noted that “whether you like Louis Boyard or not, whether you share his ideas or not, he remains an elected official”.

Mr. Bolloré is a conservative billionaire whose news channel CNews has been compared to Fox News in the United States.

Javier E. Swan