Update: There have been complaints about the misleading nature of this article because the French is media is not legally allowed to publish anything about the election during the blackout period. However, not every outlet obeys this law and Le Monde choosing to honor the blackout is just that, a choice; one that our own media would ignore in a heartbeat to get that one killer headline out.
When Wikileaks started releasing the DNC and Podesta emails stolen by Russian agents, the American media went into an unholy frenzy. They seized on every tiny revelation to generate breathless headlines about non-existent corruption and non-existent "election rigging." To this day, and I'm sure for the rest of my life, people will swear on their mother's grave that they know, for a fact, that the DNC fixed the 2016 primaries and will not be able to explain how in even the slightest detail.
Mission Accomplished. Spasibo!
The American press covered itself in shame with how easily it was manipulated by Russia and the world is paying for that lack of journalistic integrity in the form of Donald Trump squatting in the Oval Office. Fortunately, the French media appears to be less easy to exploit.
On Friday, nine gigs of data stolen from the presidential campaign of Emmanuel Macron, the independent candidate running against the fascist neo-Nazi Marine Le Pen, was dumped online 48 hours before the election. Coincidentally, campaigns are legally forbidden from publicly discussing the campaign in any way whatsoever during those 48 hours. That means Macron will be unable to respond to anything found in the stolen data, some of which appears to be fake. Also coincidentally, Wikileaks, that champion of freedom that seems to keep helping fascists undermine democracy, just happened to notice the leaked info almost immediately and spread word about it. C'est la vie, eh?
If this was the United States, the media would have gone right ahead and generated the same breathless headlines at the speed of outrage, heedless of how their "reporting" would impact the election. The people have a right to know, dammit!, even if what is being reported is Russian propaganda. And if the press makes a whole lot of ad revenue in the process, that's just a delightful happenstance and has no bearing on their decision-making process.
The French have a slightly different take on journalism.
Le Monde (The World), is one of France's top two newspapers and they've announced they will not report on, or even publish, the stolen emails until after the election (Google translated so be kind):
That's putting the country ahead of making money, a concept alien to Republicans and not a small amount of our media. If our media had acted with even a fraction of this kind of responsibility, we would not have a Russian puppet degrading the office of the presidency on an hourly basis.
We can only hope that when the Russians attack our elections again, our press will take a note from their French counterparts and act like journalists instead of carnival barkers.
There are 548 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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