Philippe Alexandre, uncompromising political journalist, is dead

Philippe Alexandre on Antenne 2, July 9, 1982.

With squinted eyes, a rocky voice, a slow delivery, he embodied, through his radio chronicles and his television programs, a certain image of the political journalist, cultivating his impertinence, even his insolence, vis-à-vis men. policies with which he flattered himself that he would never “cooperate”. “Neither complacent nor conventional”, he had made a reputation as a gunslinger. Philippe Alexandre died on October 31 in Le Touquet (Pas-de-Calais) at the age of 90. “With Philippe Alexandre, reacted Emmanuel Macron, the French press loses a ferocious pen, an implacable investigator, a free voice. Dreaded and admired, he was for many French people one of the most familiar faces of political journalism. »

Philippe Alexandre was born in Paris on March 14, 1932 into a family of Jewish origin whose story he will tell in a book. My tribe more than French (Robert Laffont, 2017). After studying at the Janson-de-Sailly high school, a time when, already pionate about politics, he devoured the newspapers daily, with his baccalaureate in his pocket, the one who defined himself as a “autodidact of journalism” enters at 19 as a freelancer at fight. In 1957, Marcel Dault hired him as an editorial secretary at The liberated Oise. ” I saw, he will confide, how to buy a newspaper, a printing press, and a senator’s seat. » From 1959 to 1969, he contributed to numerous newspapers, from French days in the “Literary Figaro”.

It is one of his first books – he will publish about twenty, including nine with his wife Béatrix de L’Aulnoit –, The Elysée in danger (Fayard 1969, republished 2008), which led Jean Farran, station manager, to open the doors of RTL to him. From April 27, 1969 to November 6, 1996, Philippe Alexandre will deliver over twenty-seven years more than 8,000 morning political editorials of two and a half minutes. The hard tooth, the pen dipped in acid, he spares no politician. Polemicist, he set foot where it should not, questioning the suicide of Robert Boulin (1920-1979) – which earned him a trial where he was condemned -, pinning the “red billionaire”, Jean-Baptiste Doumeng (1919-1987), accused of not having paid taxes. He also crossed swords with Jean-Marie Le Pen and criticized the government for not having banned the National Front: “We would have had three weeks of protests and we would have heard nothing more. But, for tactical reasons, the power has made the short scale to Le Pen. » Legend has it that he had as many libel suits as his books.

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