An excellent example of why the government should stay out of the news business
I can definitely understand why France's president wouldn't want this picture to be seen by others, but the key quote below is in bold. The article is from the Times of London:
President Hollande found himself at the centre of an embarassing debate yesterday after Agence France Presse (AFP), the French press agency, withdrew a photograph that left him looking like a village idiot.
Critics accused the agency, which depends largely on the French state for its financial equilibrium, of self-censorship in an attempt to avoid ruffling Mr Hollande’s feathers. . . .Given the desire of government to punish those who run news stories that make them look bad, this story provides a good example why the media should be protected from financial or regulatory pressures that the government can impose on them. In this case, the desire to hide the picture might have backfired.
But the row merely added to the publicity surrounding the picture, which went viral on French internet sites amid widespread hilarity. . . .