Bedbugs are definitely on the verge of invading the societal and political debate. Just this Friday morning, a new controversy arose on the CNews set, during a debate on the multiplication of the famous pests. “Do we know why there are more bedbugs today? Is this related to hygiene? I’m going to ask all the questions,” declared host Pascal Praud, in the preamble to his show “L’heure des pros”, broadcast every evening on the CNews channel.
The presenter, who received Nicolas Roux de Bézieux, founder-director of a platform specializing in pest control, did not hesitate to draw a parallel between the proliferation of bedbugs and immigration. “There is a lot of immigration at the moment. Is it people who do not have the same hygienic conditions as those on French soil who bring them, because they are in the street, because perhaps they do not have do they not have access to all the services like the others? Is this linked to that?”, asked the journalist. “Absolutely not,” retorted, categorically, the business manager, before Pascal Praud, warned of an emerging controversy on social networks, justified his question at the end of the program. “The National Association for Border Assistance for Foreigners (...) has withdrawn from the Roissy waiting area infested with bedbugs. A situation which, according to her, continues to deteriorate” since her first reports in February, he then argued.
Since the broadcast of the show, many voices have been raised to denounce the host's comments. Two Renaissance and LFI deputies announced on Friday that they would contact the media regulator, after a question deemed “racist” from journalist Pascal Praud asking on CNews if the resurgence of bedbugs could be linked to immigration. This is “a rancid racism that we hoped would be eradicated!”, the Renaissance deputies protested in a message published on the social network for these “uninhibited” and “vile” comments.
Aurélien Saintoul, deputy of La France insoumise (LFI)/Nupes des Hauts-de-Seine, indicated that he was contacting Arcom for comments that he considers “obviously racist” Requested by AFP, Arcom confirmed having been seized, without specifying the identity of the authors of the report, and will soon investigate the sequence in question.
Bérangère Couillard, minister responsible for the fight against discrimination, for her part asked the Interministerial Delegation for the fight against racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBT hatred (Dilcrah) to contact Arcom.
“I will never accept hate speech in the media like elsewhere. We must not let anything slip by,” she declared on X. Arcom did not specify the identity of the authors of the report and indicated that it would soon investigate the sequence in question.