Posts Tagged ‘andre noel’

Some journalists in Quebec, such as Fabrice de Pierrebourg or André Noël, consider journalism as a show and are pretty good at entertaining readers. Even if they tell fairy tales.

The shocking and yet inaccurate accusations the two men made against Marc Gascon, Saint-Jérome’s mayor, are a sign of this fact. They deliberately smeared his reputation and published unsourced information, in order to get a scoop and to make their point : Gascon is involved in a corruption scandal.

Unfortunately for them, their facts once again are non-existent. Their article is merely a childish (but creative) gathering of suppositions.

There are not a single evidence of Gascon’s involvement in a corruption (or collusion) scandal involving construction companies.

Gascon had not realized his home improvement works by companies under contract with the city of Saint-Jérome as La Presse claimed. Gascon did not get a Las Vegas trip offered by construction companies’ managers as Pierrebourg and Noël said. 

Always the same old story with these two so-called investigators. They intentionally mix true and false in order to max out their stories. Though, when we take a closer look, we realize that inaccuracy is the main characteristic of their work.


Some journalists believe they are above common laws. Canadian journalist André Noël, from La Presse, is one of those. He has recently been sued after he set illegal phone hearings over a French Canadian entrepreneur!

Craving for a scoop, André Noël did not wonder if what he was doing was legal or not. He just listened to private phone conversations between businessman Bernard Poulin and some friends of him.

These illegal phone hearings have then been taped and published in André Noël news stories… What about journalistic ethic?

Noël’s newspaper, La Presse, has also been sued since the pieces of news based on private hearings have been published on this media.

For the past two or so years in Montreal, “Canada’s leading city of corruption,” journalists like André Noël and Alain Gravel have been obsessed with the so-called conflicts of interest between prominent businessmen and politicians. Ironically, it’s the businessmen who take the hardest hits to their reputations while warring politicians simply continue to manipulate the Canadian press to promote their own agendas.

Yet breaking stories about conflicts of interest in every country are featured on global newspapers each day. France and its media machinery have been equally occupied with releasing news stories about French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s alleged receipt of cash payments by L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

The key difference between these “breaking scandals” – a term one should use lightly given that kick-backs, cash-payments, and the subsidizing of government officials by powerful businessmen plagues every country on earth – is that Montreal journalists have slaughtered the reputations of the businessmen in question based on heresy and rumors, whereas on the French side, L’Oreal’s Bettencourt’s reputation remains relatively unfettered.

French journalists don’t seem that traumatized or even surprised to hear of Sarkozy’s reported cash payments. In fact, an AFP news piece released on August 26, 2010 went as far as to run a headline titled, “Bettencourt saga ‘does not impact’ L’Oreal: chief executive.”

But Montreal is a different story. Thanks to the work of slander-hungry Canadian journalists like André Noël, one can hardly say the same about his targets’ business standings at present, not to mention their reputations.  Noël’s punching bags are losing big contracts because of the way journalists have spun the news against them, turning political wars into personal attacks. Noël probably doesn’t care about the effects his articles have on businessmen or on the public. But maybe he will care if he ends up being fired for misleading thousands of readers by failing to fact-check his work.

In light of this, one would be remiss not to point out that La Presse, André Noël’s employer, is owned by Power Corporation through its subsidiary Gesca, which just happens to own six other Canadian newspapers. Power Corporation is controlled by the Desmarais family, and the company is known for its active participation in Canadian politics through the Desmarais family’s relationships with prominent government connections. Interestingly, you can read about reclusive and powerful” Quebec billionaire Paul Desmarais’ political ties as well as those of his son, André Desmarais, in media outlets across the world — except, ironically, any of the newspapers in Canada, although has one article exposing Desmarais connections to the likes of Sarkozy, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Biran Mulroney, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin, and almost every Quebec premier.
Why don’t we hear more about who finances journalists whose paychecks come from the Power Corporation? The answer is disturbingly simple. The Desmarais control what information the public hears in Canada, and who journalists like André Noël will target after they finish tearing apart Montreal’s leading business people.

Radio-Canada journalist Alain Gravel is the subject of an invasion of privacy and defamation lawsuit for attacking the reputations of Montreal’s power players. Mr. Gravel alleged in various articles that politicians and union organizations have strong ties with entrepreneurs in Quebec.

Mr. Gravel essentially engaged in a year-long tirade to point out pseudo conflicts of interest in Canada’s power elite in tandem with La Presse journalist André Noël.

With massive oil spill unfolding exponentially while the BP public relations machine tries to make the public forget about this environmental catastrophe, which we should all keep at the forefront of our minds, you would think journalists like Alain Gravel would have bigger fish to fry on today’s oceans, but apparently not. The Canadian press remains obsessed with Montreal businessmen’s private lives.

Irresponsible journalism such as the above-cited examples illustrated by Radio-Canada and its staff (Gravel never even completed his college degree, which he might want to after he’s finished in court) is hazardous not only to the reputations of the people they attack, but also to the industry of journalism itself.

Instead of focusing on the “construction crisis” in Canada that Mr. Gravel continues to drone on and on about, perhaps we should turn our attention to the “journalism crisis” at Radio-Canada.