Francois Hollande ‘village idiot’ photo sparks censorship row in France

Francois Hollande ‘village idiot’ photo sparks censorship row in France

Francois Hollande has become embroiled in a humiliating debate after a French press agency withdrew an unflattering photograph it had released of the national president, as he attempted to secure support for strikes against Syria.

The photograph, taken at a school in Denain, northern France, made the president resemble a village idiot or clown, with an expression of “stupefaction” in his eyes, according to news magazine Le Point.

Online news outlet Rue 89 said the photograph, published by Agence-France Presse, made Hollande look simple-minded.

The picture was taken by AFP staff photographer Denis Charlet, and was wired to the agency’s subscribers around the world, including most major newspapers and TV networks.

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