The Iranian daily newspaper "Kayhan" crossed the line of professional journalism this week, when it published a nasty article in which it described France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, "a prostitute." To add fuel to the fire, yesterday (August 31, 2010), the same newspaper also said that France's first lady "deserves to die" because of her extra-marital affairs that qualified as adultery.
These hateful articles were sparked by an open letter that Bruni-Sarkozy wrote to an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who was sentenced to being stoned to death because of her conviction of adultery. The open letter was printed in several French newspapers last week.
In the open letter, Bruni-Sarkozy wrote that she could not see what good would come out of Ashtiani being stoned to death, despite any Iranian judicial justification of this sentence for adultery.
Bruni-Sarkozy's open letter angered many Iranians, and the Kayhan newspaper responded by printing articles which described her as an adulteress with low morals, who also should be put to death for her infidelity.
I believe that this hateful and insulting form of journalism is libelous, because it clearly defames the character and integrity of France's first lady with no valid proof of its accusations. Moreover, I believe that Bruni-Sarkozy should sue the Kayhan newspaper, and that she should be awarded several million dollars for libel.
The fact is that the Kayhan newspaper should not have referred to Bruni-Sarkozy as "a prostitute." Nor should it have printed that she "deserves to die."
Rather, the newspaper -- if it wanted to criticize her -- should have said that Bruni-Sarkozy should mind her own affairs (no pun intended) in France, and let Iranians take care of their own affairs in Iran. Now, there is a professional example of journalism which even manages to convey a potent message!