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19 Jan, 2008 03:54

Sarkozy head over heels in gloss

French President Nicholas Sarkozy's private life is being blitzed by the media. Most are focusing on whether he will marry his girlfriend, ex-supermodel Carla Bruni, and if is she pregnant. Sarkozy's critics say he's ignoring France's problems &ndash

The President has been on the front cover of the glossy Paris Match magazine six times since the May elections. Some journalists think he's manipulating the media and using his private life to distract the French from his incompetence.

They say he's more style than substance.

“If you take away his private life what's he done since he's been president? One or two things. But on the whole he's just got everyone to talk about him,” says Jean-Michel Thenard, 'Le Canard Enchaine' newspaper journalist.

The head of Liberation newspaper, Laurent Joffrin, says journalists need to take a stand. He believes too many journalists in France are in the President's pocket and it could threaten the freedom of press.

“It got worse because of journalists – they are not critical enough,” believes Laurent Joffrin, 'Liberation' newspaper director.

Some French people are fed up with hearing about their President's private life – they think it's vulgar. They'd prefer he got on with running the country. But some say it still sells papers.

“He's a man who hides nothing about himself. He wants to be authentic. He knows what people want and how to communicate. If a newspaper's got Sarkozy's private life as its top story, it's guaranteed good sales,” says Charles Jaigu, 'Le Figaro' newspaper journalist.