Operation Puppet Master

French pay-to-view channel Canal Plus enjoys a reputation as the nation's premier source of TV entertainment, but it has also produced a real-life spy tale worthy of a B movie. Last week former military intelligence agent Pierre Martinet claimed that while working for Canal Plus' internal security unit, he'd been assigned to a secret project designed to smear Bruno Gaccio, lead writer of the channel's popular news parody, Les Guignols de l'Info.

Martinet's new book recounts how he shadowed Gaccio for six months in 2002 in what he says was an effort by channel security bosses "to discredit...

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