Paris mayoral candidate in sex video scandal

Benjamin Griveaux, Macron's candidate for the Paris mayoral election, withdrew his candidacy on Friday after a lewd video which Griveaux had purportedly sent to his mistress was circulated online. Griveaux has filed a complaint against the Russian protest artist Piotr Pavlensky, who posted the video. The press asks just what the scandal is about.

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Polityka (PL) /

France now as prudish as the US

France has grown more similar to the US, former Paris correspondent Marek Ostrowski observes in Polityka:

“A few years ago no one in France could believe their eyes when the impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton got underway. The American president was tormented in the Senate, not because he'd caused a war or an economic crisis but because he'd lied about his brief romance with a White House intern. Back then in France a politician would lose popularity or even his good reputation not for having an affair, but for not having one. Because people would think he lacked feelings or simply wasn't good enough. So one must conclude that France has changed, and that its politicial customs have become Americanised.”

Le Point (FR) /

Different rules apply for political elite

Politicians should have higher moral standards than the average citizen, Le Point argues:

“Those in positions of responsibility in politics, who are always so eager to come across as average citizens, forget that they should not necessarily place themselves above their fellow human beings but should always allow and help them to raise their standards. Democracy won't last much longer if politics loses its nobility. ... This is the crisis that - driven by fashion, money, fear, the cowardice of our leaders and the carelessness of our elites - we complacently or unconsciously feed.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

No one wants a teenager in power

Philosopher and writer Chantal Delsol rebukes Griveaux for his behaviour in Le Figaro:

“What makes this case a scandal is the mistress, rather than the content of the video. ... Should a public figure be virtuous? Yes, at least if he uses his virtue as an electoral argument. It's unacceptable for a politician to show off his family publicly while seeing a mistress in private. ... Benjamin Griveaux should have known that in the event of a leak, voters would not be particularly seduced by such childish behaviour from someone who pretends to be a respectable and responsible father and capable of holding office. No one wants a teenager as a leader.”

Libération (FR) /

Politics no longer plays a role

Writer Christian Salmon is shocked that a candidate for the office of Mayor could be tripped up by such a scandal. He writes in Libération:

“This video affair is a symptom of something more important than Benjamin Griveaux's withdrawing his candidacy: the collapse of democratic establishment. Aside from its news value, this is a good case study to understand the fact that political life and decision-making no longer exist. The campaign for a mayoral election such as that of the city of Paris should be defined by debates. But something quite different dominates the daily press.”