Arcom imposed a fine of 50,000 euros on the CNews channel for comments by journalist Geoffroy Lejeune, according to which anti-Semitism and prison overpopulation were the consequences of “Arab-Muslim immigration”. “These comments convey several negative stereotypes” and “attribute serious facts and behavior to a population group as a whole,” judges Arcom, the audiovisual regulator, in its decision published Thursday in the Official Journal.

This can therefore “encourage discriminatory behavior” towards this population group, “because of their origin and their religion”, argues the body. CNews, which belongs to the Canal group, is in the fold of Vincent Bolloré, like the C8 channel. Both were regularly called to order by Arcom due to comments made on their broadcasts. This new sanction relates to a passage from the program “L’Heure des Pros 2” broadcast on September 28, 2023.

The sanctioned comments were made by a regular columnist for the show, Geoffroy Lejeune, director of Journal du Dimanche (JDD), another media outlet in the fold of Vincent Bolloré. Commenting on a survey on anti-Semitism in French universities, he declared: “This is one of the consequences, this survey, one of the consequences of Arab-Muslim immigration. “It’s one of the consequences, like part of drug trafficking, like prison overcrowding, like the abaya, like all that.”

“In fact, the anti-Semitism of which Jews are victims today is just that we did not have an immigration policy which had just the beginning of the beginning of coherence,” added Geoffroy Lejeune . In its decision, Arcom deplores that these comments “were not the subject of any reaction from the other people present on set”.

Like C8, CNews is applying to renew its digital terrestrial television (DTT) frequency as part of a procedure currently being carried out by Arcom. Their case largely mobilized the debates of the recent parliamentary commission of inquiry into DTT frequencies. In his report, published in mid-May, his rapporteur, LFI deputy Aurélien Saintoul, wrote that he “would not understand that the CNews and C8 channels could have their broadcasting authorizations renewed as they stand”. These channels “contribute to media pluralism and have demonstrated their interest to the public”, for his part affirmed the CEO of Canal, Maxime Saada, at the end of February before the commission, not daring to imagine their non-renewal.