PARIS - You will always leave something behind when you slander. Appearing this week on the Canal Plus pay television channel, Luc Ferry, a prominent philosopher and former French education minister under Jacques Chirac, launched this accusation: a former French cabinet minister had once been "nabbed in an orgy with young boys in Marrakech, Morocco."
Mr Ferry launched his allegation at a particularly poisonous moment for French politics, which are alrady abuzz with the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair and the Georges Tron case. Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief, was arrested last month on charges of attempted rape in New York, while Tron, the French Civil Service undersecretary, had to step down following sexual assault allegations leveled against him. In both cases, the media have been criticized for past leniency towards some politicians' personal behavior.