It will soon be two years since the media coverage of the Phonegate health and industrial scandal began. Le Lanceur, on December 14, published the first article, quickly followed by two articles in Le Monde newspaper and Marianne Magazine, on December 23, 2016. Since then, many written media, radio stations, Internet, both French and international, have spoken about Phonegate. But not a single French private or public television medium wanted to inform about this marketing of non-compliant mobile phones that are at risk for the health of mobile phone users. Why?
France 5 the drop too many!
A new incident prompts us to want to inform all those who follow and support us of what is happening and to ask publicly the question: are we subject to censorship by certain French channel management? Indeed, Dr Arazi, President of Phonegate Alert, was invited to participate in the “La Quotidienne” programme on France 5 on Tuesday 27 November 2018 (11:45 am to 1 pm). Registration was scheduled for Monday morning, November 26. And this is what the journalist wrote in her email:
I would therefore like to suggest that Dr. Marc Arazi participate in the discussion on this subject in order to highlight the fight of the association “Alerte Phonegate” in our program and to give advice to our viewers to avoid the waves and change their daily habits.
This exchange on “the dangers of the waves” was to take place on the set with Gilles Brégant, Director General of the Agence nationale des fréquences (ANFR). But here we are, we have just learned after a phone call from the journalist that Dr. Arazi has been “deprogrammed”. Another interlocutor will be invited to discuss the subject with the person in charge of ANFR.
Unfortunately, this incident is not isolated, since it is in line with what we have been experiencing for the past two years with the newsrooms of France 2 and France 3. We keep at the disposal of those who might doubt the facts all the emails and exchanges received in support of our point. However, to protect journalists who do their work beyond reproach, we will not publish them.
As you can understand, it is not the work of journalists that is at stake, but the very likely pressure exerted on them, which is at the root of the boycott of Phonegate.
But it is not only public television that raises questions, because such incidents have occurred with two major private channels, including TF1 and BFMTV. Again, the two interviews given by Dr Arazi to journalists for reports were never broadcast.
And this has a direct consequence, which is that we do not allow ourselves to inform the general public. Because that is how it is, television is still the medium that makes it possible to reach the greatest number of people.
Major economic, technological and political challenges
We are well aware of the global economic challenges associated with the revelation of this global scandal and the possible financial consequences for all manufacturers in the sector. Phonegate; this is potentially ten times the levels of condemnation of automobile manufacturers in the Dieselgate scandal.
But can this justify to some extent having to hide from French public opinion, the widespread deception by the manufacturers of DAS indicators supposed to protect the billions of mobile phone users, with the complicity of a totally permissive international regulation and with potentially health consequences for millions of victims?
As far as we are concerned, we have decided; it is NO!
But for a channel that monitors the huge advertising budgets of this industry, nothing could be less certain. Many previous examples have shown that retaliation against an “overly independent” media can be a very effective weapon.
But as far as this industry is concerned, its power is such, let us not forget, that it is also a shareholder in most of the major television media, to mention only TF1 (Bouygues Télécom) or BFMTV (ALTICE-SFR Group). And you will tell me, this is not the case for public television…..yes, absolutely, except that its presidency has been entrusted to Delphine Ernotte, former number 2 of the Orange Group.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg, because to return for a moment to the cancelled debate with Gilles Brégant of ANFR, it is important to know the close links that this public agency, directly involved in this scandal, has with the Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) in charge of “freedom of expression in the public and professional interest”. Indeed, the links between these two agencies are numerous, long-standing and closely intertwined.
And you will certainly not be surprised to learn that, in his previous mission, Gilles Brégant of ANFR worked for…the CSA where he was Director of Technology until January 2011.
And inbreeding can turn into a conflict of interest when, to manage the Spectrum Division (it looks like a bad James Bond!), the Director General of ANFR recently decided to hire Catherine Gabay, former chief lobbyist of the Illiad Group (Free) created by Xavier Niel.
Gender law, not to inform or misinform
And as if that were not enough, important information on the results of scientific studies is ignored. The latest example is all the more telling because it is an American study conducted by a federal health agency, the National Toxicology Program. The publication of the press release dates back to 1 November 2018 and confirms the evidence of a link between 2G and 3G waves from mobile phones and the occurrence of cancers in animals (rats).
Have we heard about it in the French television media and even beyond, no, three times not…why? And it is the same everywhere in Europe. Yet this information has made a lot of noise in the United States and hundreds of media outlets have reported on it, including, among others, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
And even better, as the Figaro Santé recently did, write an article to review the “danger of the waves” but simply omitting the evidence from this new study. The rest of the article is of the same kind, even going so far as to compare the risks of mobile phone waves with those of pickles.
To conclude, this situation of quasi-censorship has one consequence, that of not allowing us to inform you or to make known the measures necessary to protect millions of mobile phone users in France and Europe. This is very regrettable and we hope that by writing these lines, we can open a healthy democratic debate and obtain your support so that we can finally be invited to express ourselves on television channels