Home Business NewsBusiness Strauss-Kahn's wife to run French Huffington Post – a publicity stunt too far?

Strauss-Kahn's wife to run French Huffington Post – a publicity stunt too far?

by LLB Editor
19th Jan 12 8:30 pm

When it comes to raising eyebrows, few do it better than the Arrianna Huffington.

This time Huffington has picked Anne Sinclair to edit Huffington Post’s new French edition, Le Huffington Post, launching on Monday. Why is this controversial? Because Sinclair’s the wife of ex IMF-boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn who, you’ll remember, was accused (and cleared) of sexually assaulting the chambermaid, Nafissatou Diallo at the Sofitel hotel.

Sinclair, a star TV journalist of the 1980s, is over the moon following her appointment as the editorial director of Le Huffington Post.

‘‘I am very happy to resume my career, amid the euphoria of taking part in something new. I think I still have something to bring to the profession,” Sinclair said in an interview with the French edition of Elle magazine.

All this after Sinclair and her husband sued the French media left, right and centre for speculating on the state of the couple’s marriage after the scandal broke.

So the question on everybody’s lips now is: how exactly will Sinclair, as new editorial director of the site, cover her ousted husband’s impending civil case now that Diallo is up for round two and suing the former French finance minister for a “violent and sadistic sex attack”.

Sceptics say the appointment is nothing more than a publicity stunt; a way to get people talking about the news website’s joint venture, with the French daily, Le Monde.

Indeed, Le Huffington Post’s planned use of the Le Monde’s logo with the strapline “Le Huffington Post with Le Monde.fr” hasn’t gone down well with the French staff who think the editorial independence will be compromised.

Le Monde executives have given a clarification on the relationship: “This is an economic partnership, not an editorial partnership, we wanted that made clear. Anne Sinclair will be running her own totally separate editorial team,” came the reply from Adrien de Tricornot, a journalists’ representative of Le Monde’s Société des Rédacteurs.

Pierre Haski, founder of Rue89.com, one of France’s leading news websites, thinks that the choice of Anne Sinclair is more complicated than that.

“On one hand, the site wanted a big personality who could be a kind of standard-bearer. On the other, this is someone who is at the heart of one of the big affairs in French news at the moment. If Le Monde publishes a big investigation into Strauss-Kahn and the Carlton Affair, as it did recently, will this be referenced on the Huffington Post site? Will the site run comment on Strauss-Kahn’s comeback efforts? Even though Sinclair is a totally legitimate journalist, this is a conflict of interest issue,” Haski told the Guardian.

So is the appointment a smart move or a stupid move? Leave your comments below and let us know what you think..

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