Despite asking for full press accreditation in April, the Macron campaign did not give RT what is a standard press credential to cover major campaign events. According to RT, Emmanuel Macron’s campaign didn’t give an actual reason for denying RT’s journalists and crew passes. They instead, repeatedly stated,
“They are still being processed”.
Because RT never got the passes, RT’s journalists and crew had to cover the Macron victory rally from outside the hall. None of the other candidates denied RT access to their events, including Marine Le Pen who will now face Macron in the second round of elections in two weeks.
Macron’s hostile attitude to RT throughout the campaign was surely the reason that the broadcaster was denied access to his event last night.
Security very high OUTSIDE Macron HQ, I say outside because we weren't allowed in, after sending countless requests in recent days and weeks pic.twitter.com/mypIiwYUA1
— Polly Boiko (@Polly_Boiko) April 23, 2017
One of Macron’s campaign aids, a man called Mounir Mahjoubi accused RT as well as Sputnik of spreading ‘false information’ about Macron and even more bizarrely, said that the Russian media outlets were working with ‘fascist organisations or extreme right news organisations’.
Not only are these insulting and baseless accusations, but in fact the opposite is true. RT and Sputnik have both been on the front lines exposing fascism where it actually does exist. RT and Sputnik have covered the fascist led coup in Ukraine and its blood-soaked aftermath in great depth while many western, including many French media outlets have simply ignored the events.
RT responded to the accusations saying,
“It seems that it has become acceptable to level such serious charges at RT without presenting any evidence to substantiate them, as well as to apply this ‘fake news’ label to any reporting that one might simply find unfavourable”.
If Macron becomes the next French President what will this mean for RT and moreover, what will it mean for freedom of the press in modern France?
The attitude Macron’s campaign has displayed towards RT is simply appalling. Few journalistic organisations operating in the modern market place of ideas can really influence an election beyond giving air time to the candidates themselves.
If giving air time to candidates that many in the MSM wrote off as ‘losers’ is a crime, then RT is guilty. I prefer to refer to this as having balance which is the only thing that one could accuse RT of promulgating during its election coverage.
The question must be asked, if Macron becomes President will he ban RT from France? I wouldn’t put it past him to do something like that. That sounds a lot like the ‘creeping fascism’ which the MSM associate with Marine Le Pen. The irony beggars belief.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.