In their last week leading articles, Charlie hebdo (extreme left-wing), Le Nouvel observateur (social-democrat) and Le Point (right wing) used the same metaphor. On the occasion of the French “No” to the referendum of approval of the European Constitution Treaty, the French Socialist Party went through a crisis comparable only to that of the Dreyfus case at the end of the 19th century. Current First Secretary François Hollande, played Jean Jaurès’ prestigious role while his challenger Laurent Fabius followed the steps of detestable Jules Guesde. Don’t be alarmed you foreign readers if you cannot understand this clearly. Even the French find the metaphor far too weird. Such a comparison is so poorly appropriate that it is unlikely to easily occur to someone. However, the terms for the dailies to complete the editorials and the delivery dates to the newsstands show that none of these editorialists had the chance to read the other’s article before writing his. Consequently, there is no other alternative left than pointing out that all three writers Philippe Val (Charlie-hebdo), Jacques Julliard (Le Nouvel observateur) and Bernard Henry Lévy (Le Point) used the same source or else agreed on making the drive together.

It’s not a bad thing that editorialists share the same opinion. But, as far as we are concerned, this coincidence, the very same one we had referred to in an article dedicated to the evolution of French libertarian intellectuals, is the expression of pluralism fiction: three weekly newspapers addressed to publics whose political affiliations oppose trying to influence their readers over the same direction. With this example at hand, it can be said that there is no real difference between these dailies but for that of their readers, the socio-professional categories to which they belong, their consumption habits and the advertisement given them between articles.

This kind of configuration brings down to nothing the freedom of the press since freedom exists only through those who practice it. However, the freedom of the press is not a state of things measured by the absence of repressive laws but a potentiality that is to be assessed according to the variety of points of view expressed.