Former President Richard Nixon seems to have no more trust in French journalists than he does in their American counterparts.
He is to appear on the most popular French television program, "Screen Dossiers," Nov. 28, but no reporters will be allowed to question him directly.
A spokesman for Nixon's agent in French, Montreal Publisher Alain Stanke, said that the ex-president had found particularly attractive the program's format for filtering questions telephoned in by the public.
A special service takes calls from viewers during the program and groups them into themes. They are then passed on to an interviewer who poses them to the guest.
The only other person the viewers will see during Nixon's appearance will be a moderator, whose role will be to ask Nixon to elaborate answers that seem to cryptie or technical to be understood by a French audience.
Contrary to the program's usual practice, no journalists will be invited to the studio.The program is scheduled for three hours in prime evening time.
he first 50 minutes are to be newsreels and other back ground information on Nixon's career.
The rest of the time will be devoted to questions and answers.
"Nothing stops a journalists from calling and asking a question," said agent Stanke's French representative, Sophie Robert, who took part in the preparatory discussions at Nixon's home in San Clemente, Calif. He is coming in conjunction with the publication in French of his memoirs.
Robert said Nixon had expressed great preference for answering questions from the public rather than from journalists. Nixon found the program's format to be "a very rich means of expression," whe said.
Ever since Nixon's statement to reporters, "You won't have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore," in 1962. When he though his political career was finished. He has had tense relations with the press.
Robert Stressed that Nixon had placed no conditions on what questions could be asked. Both Robert and a member of the Dossier staff said that Nixon would not be paid for his appearance. A Dossier spokesman said that the program had agreed to pay Stanke $30,000 to cover the costs of bringing Nixon over and lodging him and his party at the plush Ritz Hotel. If there is any money left over, Stanke can keep it.
The Nixon party, including Stanke and the Secret Service guards that Nixon has a right to as an ex-president, are scheduled to come Nov. 25 via the regular Concorde flight from New York. After the French television program, Nixon is to leave for an appearance at Oxford University in England.
While in Paris, Nixon will also have the services of U.S. Embassy security men. A spokesman said that is the only thing the embassy is planning to do for the former president. U.S. Ambassador Arthur Hartman has longstanding plans to be out to town during Nixon's whole visit, the spokesman said.
As for the French government, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said that no high official would fee Nixon. The last time Nixon was here on a private visit, in the 1960s, French President Charles De Gaulle received him in style - against the advice of the Foreign Ministry which said he appeared washed up politically.
It could not be determined immediately whether any Galluist party Chiefs, who are fond of doing the opposite of whatever President Valery Giscard d'Estaing is doing, will see Nixon this time. A spokesman for Paris Mayor Jacques Chirac, Gaullist party leader, said: "Speaking personally, on the international level, Nixon is a great man for whom I have a lot of respect. On the American internal level, it's not my place to judge."