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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