The Press: Poor but Honest

In prewar France, it was said that "every French journalist is for sale," and the saying was embarassingly close to the truth. The papers for which they wrote—rowdy, defamatory, opinionated and corrupt—hastened France's collapse. The Minister of Information in Paul Reynaud's 1940 Cabinet, powerful Jean Prouvost, agitated for Hitler's armistice terms, spoke out against Britain. To Parisians, during the occupation, the name of his Paris-Soir (circ. 1,400,000) became as irrevocably linked with German propaganda as those of Le Temps, Le Matin and others which spoke in Nazi accents.

When the French got their...

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