Robert Rustem: Le Point editor must resign after “offensive” opinion poll

Written by Secretariat on .

With breath-taking speed, Europe moves from one ugly episode to the next in its summer rampage against the Roma.

Just eight days ago, the European Roma and Travellers Forum wrote to Nice's Public Prosecutor to demand an official enquiry into anti-Republican and quite possibly defamatory comments uttered by the city's mayor and Jean Marie Le Pen against Roma.

Fast forward a week and it is the turn of the website Le Point.fr to thumb common decency in the eye.

Canvassing public opinion in the aftermath of a confrontation between the Deputy Mayor of the City of Cholet, Gilles Bourdouleix and some Roma and Travellers, the website asked readers to agree or disagree with the statement which, referring to Roma people, begins "Hitler didn't kill enough of them."

The July race to the bottom in this politico-media contest of who can be rudest to Roma now has its winner. Le Point has moved media mischief to a new low.

Perhaps LePoint has already asked readers to discuss the pros and cons of chattel slavery? Perhaps, the website plans to consult readers' opinions on the return of the Jewish ghetto, the restoration of child factory labour or the withdrawal of women's right to vote?

Such opinion polls would, of course, invite nothing but derision and contempt. Reasonable people will agree that LePoint's now infamous 'Hitler and the Roma' survey deserves a similar judgement. Asking readers whether they approve of the Nazi's mass murder belongs in the same category of mendacious stupidity.

Those behind this survey were clearly responding to the prevailing anti-Roma mood now sweeping across Europe. They probably anticipated that a provocative media wheeze of this kind would boost traffic to their site during the bleak summer months and ignite days of furious commentary on both sides of "the Roma Question." It is saddening to think that they have probably exceeded their expectations.

Yet, the timing of this opinion poll could hardly have been worse. On 2 August, many will assemble across Europe to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of Roma victims of the Nazi Holocaust during the Second World War.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum has contacted the Public Prosecutor of Angers to protest this latest incident of hatespeech but letter writing is clearly an insufficient response.

No amount of witless journalistic bravado, nor shameless, self-serving homilies raging against the forces of political correctness, can excuse an offence of this magnitude.
It is good that the editor of Le Point has recognised the enormity of public disgust and removed this deeply offensive opinion poll.

That too, is not enough. The editor of LePoint should now resign.

 

Robert Rustem: Suite à l'affaire de l'enquête sur Hitler et les Roms, le directeur de la publication du Point
devrait démissionner