Paris mayor candidate’s sex video: is it a big deal?

Following the resignation of Benjamin Griveaux, should the media respect politicians’ private and domestic privacy? Or do the public have a right to know every dodgy detail?

26 February 2020
By Samantha David

Just to recap, Griveaux was running for election as the mayor of Paris and, although he wasn’t expected to win, he was widely seen as Macron’s favourite contender.

When a sex video of him was published online, along with sexual messages to a young woman, the media seized on the story because he is married with three children.

He subsequently withdrew from the race, saying he had to protect his family from media intrusion and no one should be subjected to the abuse he had suffered.

The leaders of all the major political parties supported him and condemned the publication of the video, saying everyone has a right to a private life.

Is that true? If a politician is putting themselves forward as a supporter of monogamous family life, all the while making whoopee outside their own marriage, isn’t that hideously hypocritical?

Doesn’t the public have a right to know when the wool is being pulled over their eyes?

If someone can’t be truthful and honest in their dealings with their spouse, shouldn’t we be informed that they are untrustworthy?

I think it was correct that the spotlight was turned on Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s extremely colourful dealings with prostitutes and others.

His behaviour was borderline legal, clearly unacceptable to the French public, and he cannot have been surprised when exposure was swiftly followed by the collapse of his career.

I also think publication of photos showing President Hollande jiggling over the pavés on the back of a scooter to visit a blonde while a brunette languished alone in the Elysée was justified.

Don’t we have a right to know that the French president is not just faithless, but a liar and an almighty embarrassment?

Some politicians are in a whole different category: they are so openly amoral, so often caught lying, so incapable of even declaring simple truths like how many children they have, that we don’t even mind their ongoing shenanigans.

So what, if a man who has already betrayed every single woman who has had the ill-judgement to tie her life up with his? Since everybody knows the design of the tiger’s stripes, there’s no hypocrisy to be uncovered.

It’s all out in the open, and if the general public wants to vote for him and his dodgy moral values and a string of abandoned kids, that is their democratic right.  

But was Benjamin Griveaux in that category?

He wasn’t running for president, he was running for mayor of Paris – a city famous for its easy-going attitude to sex and fidelity.

In a way, it almost seems fitting that he was conducting a little side-snuggle.

It’s not as if he’s ever been caught preaching morality or underlining the importance of monogamy or nuclear families.

He’s never pretended to be anything else but a married man with three kids – so if his life includes a little extra helping of pudding now and again, doesn’t that just make him an average French guy?

And in any case, is it anyone’s business but his wife’s?

Tell us your view at news@connexionfrance.com

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