The president against the American media


“I hate to be photographed with words that are not mine,” Mr. Macron told me, and after a wave of complaints from readers and a furious call from Mr. Macron’s office, the Financial Times withdrew the Internet article – something from a spokesperson, Kristina Eriksson, said she has no recollection of the post ever being released before. The next day the newspaper published a letter of Mr. Macron attacking the deleted article.

At the end of October, Politico Europe also deleted an opinion piece, “The dangerous French religion of secularism», Which she had requested from a French sociologist. The article sparked a storm of critics who said the writer blamed victims of terrorism. But the hasty deletion prompted the author to complain of “outright censorship”. Politico Europe editor-in-chief Stephen Brown said the timing of the post after the attack was inappropriate, but apologized to the author for removing it without an explanation. He did not cite specific errors. It was also the first time, he said, that Politico had withdrawn an opinion piece.

But the French complaints go beyond these opinion pieces and cautious journalism that questions government policy. A skeptical Washington Post analysis from his Paris correspondent, James McAuley, “Instead of fighting systemic racism, France wants to ‘reform Islam’,” raised strong objections for his raised eyebrow at the idea that “instead of s ‘attacking the alienation of French Muslims “, the French government” aims to influence the practice of a 1,400-year-old faith. The New York Times contrasted Mr. Macron’s ideological response with the Austrian Chancellor’s more “conciliatory” speech after a terrorist attack, and noted that the lone young men who carry out attacks do not fit perfectly with l government focus on extremist networks. In the Times opinion pages, an editorial asked bluntly: “Is France fueling Muslim terrorism by trying to prevent it?”

And then, of course, there are the tweets. The Associated Press deleted a tweet that asked why France “incites” anger in the Muslim world, saying it was a bad word choice for a item explaining the anger against France in the Muslim world. The New York Times was toasted on Twitter and in the pages of Le Monde for a headline – which appeared briefly amid the chaos of the beheading – “French police shoot and kill man after deadly knife attack in street” . The Times headline quickly changed when French police confirmed the details, but the screenshot stuck.

“It’s as if we were in the smoking ruins of Ground Zero and they said that we had planned it,” lamented Mr. Macron’s spokesperson, Anne-Sophie Bradelle, to Le Monde.

As any observer of American politics knows, it can be difficult to disentangle the theatrical outrage and the matches screaming on Twitter from real differences in values. Mr Macron argues that there are big questions at the heart of the matter.

“There is a kind of misunderstanding about what the European model is, and the French model in particular,” he said. “American society was segregationist before moving to a multiculturalist model, which is essentially based on the coexistence of different ethnicities and religions side by side. “


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