“Macron and Soros fake news from Italy!”
FranceInfo – Soros, Rothschild, fake news!
Liberation’s FakeNews checker: Is it true that Macron was financed by Soros?
– No, of course not, it’s Fake News from a Fake Tweet.
The Russian propaganda model. Not ours, not NATO’s, not Washington’s, nor possibly Macron’s.
Today he is the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs in France. In 2017 he was the CTO of Macron’s campaign and boasted of systematically employing the technique of “cyber blurring” to entrap and confuse Macron’s “adversaries.”
The Moroccan Mounir Mahjoubi admits that his team, that is to say Macron’s own camp, flooded the internet with disinformation about their own candidate in the 2017 French presidential election.
He told the New York Times that:
“We created false accounts, with false content, as traps. We did this massively, to create the obligation for them to verify, to determine whether it was a real account…”
“Mr. Mahjoubi refused to reveal the nature of the false documents that were created, or to say whether, in the Friday document dump that was the result of the hacking campaign, there were false documents created by the Macron campaign.”
There is mention of the “the quantity of the documents we put in…” and in L’Express “…we created fake content… in a massive way “
One wonders if after giving the above interviews Mahjoubi thought to himself – “We created fake news, and the public, our opponents, the media, the journalists, and the “fact checkers” all swallowed it like second-rate door-wipes. Wow.”
The infamous Russian firehose?
Where are Mahjoubi’s fake documents and fake accounts today?
Have experts compiled an index? Or is everything the “fact checkers” flagged and attributed to Le Pen, Fillon, and Mélenchon, the claims about Soros on Twitter and Facebook, about Saudi Arabia, about Rothschild, about homosexuality, about offshore accounts, precisely such an index?
Just how many of the stories attributed to bigots, homophobes, racists, anti-Semites, to the Front National and internet “bots,” were really the work of Mahjoubi and the team with the firehose that got Macron elected?
Duplicity is not new to Macron. It is similar to the way Michèle Marchand had orchestrated the slanders against Mathieu Gallet as Macron’s gay-lover. It is trolling taken to its logical, political conclusion, in which Macron naturally excels.
An efficient way to counter fake news, is to create it, retweet it using personas passed off as political enemies, alert the fact checkers, and let favorable media do the rest of the talking. The method is not new. David Axelrod used it with Obama’s birth certificate, inventing the Birthers with well-placed statements, making Obama the master of Trolls.
It is what the Clintonites did with RussiaGate. To misdirect attention from their incompetence, and Israeli, UK, Ukrainian, and Mexican interference in America’s Presidential election, they drummed up phony charges against Russia, and smeared Trump as Putin’s agent. They knew what they were doing. It was a tried and tested technique.
A Cold-War technique revealing the background of its operators.
RAND speaks of a “Firehose” because RAND is deflecting from America’s own techniques of “strategic communication,” which it helped to formulate since the 1950s. Macron benefited from such vile techniques because he is exceptionally duplicitous, his campaign was partly foreign, staffed by hyphenated French-men, and could never have succeeded without recourse to them.
It is a technique which uses the term “Fake news,” as a modern euphemism for disinformation and propaganda.
In their early days Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram needed traffic to grow, and they all chose to expanded their user base with troll farms, with content farms, with click-bait, in what were the progenitors of today’s botnets and “Fake News.”
The very use of these platforms is tantamount to trolling, the majority of trolls and bots being indistinguishable from ordinary users. As there is no sure-fire way to determine what kinds of speech and online behavior deviate from GAFA’s User Agreements, it is conveniently left to algorithms and human prejudice to decide. To system engineers, and corporate censors. To armies of underpaid, overworked human sell-outs, sheepishly subjecting their own brains to the psychological trauma of excessive exposure to computer screens and schizophrenic social policing.
Without a formal investigation of Macron, Mahjoubi, of Facebook, Twitter, and Google what can anyone know about how much of the anti-Macron material denounced by Macron as slander originating from his opponents, actually originated from within his own camp?
What is certain, is that professional fact checkers were either willingly co-opted by Macron’s camp, or became useful idiots in circumventing France’s election law, rules of media impartiality, and campaign finance regulation.
One organization which vaunted its conscious centrality in this subversion of French democracy is CrossCheck.
Organized by FirstDraft, CrossCheck was funded by Google News Lab, and supported by Facebook through promotional advertising on their platform, for which no estimates or accounting exists.
FirstDraft is run from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center for Media Studies, which makes no bones of receiving funding from Soros’ Open Society Foundation. A significant amount of the center’s international fact-checking activity is done with FirstDraft, and includes projects with the Open Society Foundation.
According to the Shorenstein Center, Soros partnered with Facebook and FirstDraft to create Correctiv in Germany to monitor “fake news” in the 2017 federal election. In Denmark, in Latvia, and Romania Soros was the primary “fact checker” through various NGOs the Open Society Foundation financed. Shorenstein provides a partial list of Soros’ work in this domain.
Run by FirstDraft, CrossCheck was Google’s, Facebook’s, and Washington DC’s response to Russia’s supposed interference in America’s 2016 election.
CrossCheck, Google, Soros
During France’s presidential election CrossCheck was ensconced in the heart of the French media, analyzing and relaying its message to every engaged netizen in France via Facebook and Google, whose algorithms were likely tweaked in its favor. A list of its “partners” is available on its website. In its own words
“CrossCheck, a collaborative journalism project powered by the First Draft coalition and supported by the Google News Lab.Over ten weeks, between February and May 2017, it gathered more than one-hundred journalists from thirty-seven French newsrooms in order to fact-check information during the presidential election.”
Sometimes seen as rivals, the collaboration of Facebook and Google was exceptional:
“Google News Lab and Facebook, who were willing to work together on this project and provided much needed resources.”
The Google News Initative – working to defend the free world against fake news:
“Google cares deeply about journalism. We believe in spreading knowledge to make life better for everyone. It’s at the heart of Google’s mission. It’s the mission of publishers and journalists Put simply, our futures are tied together.”
Do no Evil.
Google sells everyone’s data via fake front sites, Robert Epstein documented their ability to manipulate the masses, Google Leaks exposed blatant political biases, and intelligent people trust it to deliver news to their door.
Soros occasionally invests in Google, making him a major share-holders. Like all NGOs dedicated to transparency CrossCheck is opaque, but Soros’s Open Society Foundation is mentioned as a founding donor and member.
France does not publicly disclose campaign donations. Nor does the country dwell on PACs and indirect campaign contributions, making Soros’ funding of operations favorable to Macron’s election impossible to pin down. CrossCheck is proof that it took place, and calling a Soros-Macron connection “fake news” is fabulously dishonest.
CrossCheck shares no annual reports, financial details, nor shareholders minutes with the public. The same goes for the Shorenstein Center, Google News, FirstDraft, and the Open Society Foundation which refuse to provide exhaustive information about their grants and a comprehensive overview of their donors.
FirstDraft partnered with ProPublica for their Election Land project. ProPublica is heavily dependent on Soros grants, a single undertaking in 2016 received half a million dollars from him. The Open Society’s interest in the Election Land project is no secret.
Claire Wardle is co-founder and director of CrossCheck/FirstDraft.
She was also head of social media for the United Nations Refugee Agency and Director of News Services for Storyful. She is one of the world’s experts on user-generated content, and has led substantial research projects—with an emphasis on qualitative research methodologies—investigating how UGC is handled by news organizations. She was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Information and Entertainment.
Storyful, is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, a big player in corporate and political espionage, dark money funding, Murdoch being a neocon fellow-traveler, and a wannabe Jew. Storyful was founded by Mark Little, about whom more bellow.
Jenny Sargent is the managing director of CrossCheck. She has partnered with the Open Society Foundation on previous projects. Ben Sargent (her husband?), is CrossChecks’s director of operations. Another relative Jack (son?) is responsible for all projects and especially the technology aspect of FirstDraft. Jack is likely the brains behind the technology of FirstDraft/CrossCheck.
Marie Bohner was the point person on CrossChecks’ French end. She was a journalist and freelancer with L’Obs, owned by Xavier Niel.
On its profile page CrossCheck thanks 22 “individuals who formed or worked for our original coalition.” Also provided is a list of software on which CrossCheck relies, and media groups with which it partners. Many of the 22 individuals are affiliated with the technologies or media lists.
Seven of the 22 names have been the recipients of Soros grants at some point in their careers, like Andrew Baron seen here with George Soros, or Josh Sterns a former collaborator of Soros funded activities on more than one occasion, and Ferguson Bell who regularly receives grants from the Soros Foundation.
Many of the digital technologies FirstDraft uses to monitor and penetrate the digital realm are linked to Mark Little. As founder of Storyful, Mark sits on the board of SamCard , the technological backbone of FirstDraft.
Storyful owns Verify, also listed as a technology used by FirstDraft. Mark Little regularly associates with Open Society staff, at the Global Editors Forum, financed by the Open Society foundation and Google.
Datamir, rounds out the FirstDraft digital arsenal. It is run by former Google staff, together with veterans from Reuters.
Unmistakably pro-Macron, uncompromisingly conspiratorial, 100% neocon. Bellingcat is a full-blown, well staffed propaganda outfit working FirstDraft’s fundraiser spectrum with Omydiar, Meedan, NED, Google, Soros.
Andy Carvin of the Atlantic Council, honed his propaganda skills with PBS and National Public Radio. He is a professional Russia-basher. The Atlantic council receives money from Soros, and collaborates (pdf link) with the Open Society Foundation on various projects. Andy is listed amongst the 22 founders of CrossCheck.
Equally stupefying is the mention of Craig Silverman amongst this list of 22. Silverman is media editor of BuzzFeed. He is billed an “expert” in fake news. No doubt implying expert in its fabrication.
During the French presidential campaign BuzzFeed made-up a dramatic story about Le Pen’s party, and CrossCheck made sure it would stick.
Fake News about Fake News
15th of March 2017 the FN (now called RN) created a parody in response to a hit-job documentary against them by Ernotte’s France Television. Ernotte’s journalists filmed masked men talking smack about Marine Le Pen. The masked men said she liked/defended Hitler. Le Pen’s people responded with a staged video of a supposed Ernotte assistant, talking about how Ernotte and Macron were palls, and the media was in Jupiter’s pocket.
Buzzfeed and the French establishment media turned the Le Pen parody into a real life Fake News story. Marine Le Pen was outraged, but Buzzfeed maintains that her video was maliciously spread as documentary evidence intent on slandering Ernotte and Macron.
Even Liberation, a newspaper to the left of BuzzFeed is calling its bull: “Buzzfeed and the Parody of the FN: False Fake News also Exist.”
Some believe even Liberation is soft-peddling here. Ernottegate is a paradigmatic case of supposed Fake News monitors busily engaging in lies and disinformation. BuzzFeed and CrossCheck deserve more than cordial disagreement from fellow media hacks.
First, Silverman’s outfit concocts the “Fake News” story by distorting the context in which the FN made the video. CrossCheck then picks up the story, and instead of flagging the video as a patent parody, confirms every single BuzzFeed premise.
A brilliant and nuanced coordination! It’s not enough to troll opponents via mis-attribution, even more Goebbelsian to claim they deliberately spread as true something they explicitly created as a fake!
Talk about leveraging media power, setting the agenda and wrecking other’s intentions and framing. As demonstrated in the Schrameck article, Delphine Ernotte is a Macron operative overseeing France’s State television network – facts which CrossCheck labeled a “conspiracy theory,” in reporting premised on Silverman’s Buzzfeed articles!
An empirical analysis of CrossCheck is straightforward, and requires no Artificial Intelligence. An average IQ will do. 70+ articles are online and easily accessed. An hour is all it takes to confirm a blatant bias in favor of Emmanuel Macron. A pathologically selective filtering of Twitter and Facebook, an obsession with an imagined far right, and to sum it up as an unimpressive, second-rate, political hack-job.
CrossCheck admits to the “perception of bias,” but blames it on the amount of lies circulating about Macron:
“But even though participants had intentions to be transparent and credible, CrossCheck’s claim to objectivity was challenged by the overwhelming amount of disinformation directed at Emmanuel Macron. CrossCheck’s participants faced a dilemma: debunking all of disinformation on Macron could reinforce the audience’s assumption concerning the media’s partiality, but ignoring it would go against their deontology. They justified their choices by insisting on quality and depth in their work.”
The “dilemma”… scouring the internet for the obscure anti-Muslim tweets, writing up a defense of Dar Al Islam, or waiting for Silverstein’s BuzzFeed editorials…hm hm hm
That Soviet “Firehose” again:
“Factually, the bulk of disinformation targeted Emmanuel Macron more than any other candidate. That was kind of a trap. Obviously for us journalists it’s complicated because all information processing implies balancing. The problem is that we’re not going to invent cases of disinformation which don’t exist. Ergo we reinforce that circle in which people say that journalists defend him anyway.”
How true it would all sound, if CrossCheck’s work wasn’t out there to read and sift-through, and if this reading didn’t make it so obvious just who needed to keep its ten interns busy churning out mediocre pro-Macron filler.
Take the fake banker’s offshore accounts. Clumsily fabricated pics. Put together in five minutes on Photoshop. Who other than Mahjoubi would want to waste the time it took to get them noticed online?
4Chan was a sucker’s paradise. A Moroccan troll heaven. Easy to dangle bait for Wikileaks, for CrossCheck, for retired grannies with hard-ons for Macron. By the time Facebook flags the real life posters of the message as “bots,” the troll’s tracks are swept clean, and useful idiots whose accounts are deactivated by Twitter are sent into the digital dustbin:
“Ten days before the vote, Facebook announced it “[had taken] action against over 30,000 fake accounts” in France. Company officials later revealed to congressional committee members and staff that the number of suspended Facebook accounts was actually seventy thousand.”
The propaganda mill couldn’t function without good old fashioned censorship; without Bellingcat, Soros the Atlantic Council, Omidyar, Knight Foundation, Shorenstein, NED, BuzzFeed, CrossCheck; without the means to shut up their political opponents and shut down their digital and public lives.
Facebook and Twitter have no qualms about purging accounts of people they despise, a form of censorship masquerading as deplatforming. As arbiters of what constitutes a “bot,” Zuckerberg and Vanguard Group are the master Trolls. All who oppose Macron are populist trash, fascists:
“The weekend of the final vote in France, several accounts were suspended by Facebook and Twitter. Because most of them were in the “fachosphere”, the far-right online community, their activists denounced a major censorship operation.”
When real people complained of a political purge, FirstDraft’s media partners dismissed them as digital criminals, suspended for not respecting French election laws, and Facebook’s user agreements. Proving otherwise amounted to proving a negative.
CrossCheck’s belief that its neutrality was undermined by the sheer volume of the Fake News about Macron is pure malarkey. It was played by Mahjoubi’s team, and a straight forward analysis of its output exposes blatant methodological and political bias.
90% of its stories are Fake. Labeled as “fake”, that is. Only a handful are “doubtful,” and only one is True. Readers are welcome to guess which one was true, before continuing (A pause is suggested. Five seconds will do…right – a brief overview of its “Fake” stories).
Fully thirteen stories are unambiguous defenses of Macron, compared to a total of five mentions of Fillon, of which one is neutral and four are attacks on him and his supporters: the man who threw baking flower in Fillon’s face, was not a terrorist, kind of; Fillon has not been cleared by the Justice Department, etc.
Nor does Macron’s tally include work defending Bernard-Henri Lévy, François Asselineau, and Hollande, which were all at least partially pro-Macron.
More than twenty stories defend Muslims and refugees against libel imputed to Le Pen’s FN, but not coming from a single reputable “right wing” source, and certainly not the FN itself. CrossCheck shows its true colors. The farce about it having to defend Macron because Boy Wonder was the butt-end of oh-so-many nasty jokes exposed as mendacious.
More than twenty refutations of inane memes dug-up in the furthest recess of the internet, given publicity by CrossCheck in one giant smear job against French populists and an imagined Front National.
Silverstein, Bellingcat, the Sargent family – don’t cherry-pick at hazard. They follow a predefined neocon smear method. Avoid Soral’s Egalite et Réconciliation, and mention Fdesouche once.
Fdesouche – the information clearinghouse with the widest reach of any alternative media in the French language.A Breitbart without the Zionist-Mercer angle. One doesn’t have to share its agenda, but its credibility is beyond reproach.
CrossCheck will justify avoiding Soral or Fdesouche as a purposeful snub of “extremist” sites it refuses to legitimate. In truth, these sources do their own crosschecking far better than anything FirstDraft and its web of Soros/Google financed idiots will ever put together. The real French can’t be cowed nor manipulated. CrossCheck’s purpose is to fabricate bogey-men for the conformist, socially aspiring middle class. It isn’t in the business of political dialogue, nor dispassionate analysis.
One CrossCheck post defends Mélenchon against the rumor of a Rolex watch. It says the FN must be the rumor-monger. Evidence?None.
Le Pen is the subject of roughly five posts, of these one is irrelevant, three are against her, one is filler, and one wins the incredulity prize – CrossCheck being the only place on the planet taking seriously a hoax poll showing her in the lead.
Was it vital to know that Le Pen did not retweet Masha and the Bear? Oh, that’s right, Masha wears a veil, lest anyone be allowed to forget Le Pen’s irrational Islamophobia.
Speaking of the Kremlin – it did not tweet that it would help Le Pen win. The tweet came from a Russian media group close to Putin, suggesting that the story wasn’t entirely fake even if CrossCheck affirmatively labeled it as such.
One article bothers with Joseph Paul Watson. Even though his work checks out CrossCheck urges caution with stories from thought-criminals.
In one case CrossCheck defends Le Pen unambiguously – marijuana money isn’t paying for her campaign. The source of the “story”? A French Onion clone picked up by a single Caribbean black-audience website which apparently didn’t get the joke.
Many of the 40% of CrossCheck’s defenses of Muslims and “refugees,” bleed into a defense of Macron. Saudi Arabian money did not finance his election, and neither did money from Al Qaeda. A Bretton lighthouse will not be converted into a mosque. Macron promised Sharia on the island of Mayotte (coincidentally it was stated by someone linked to the campaign, and the island is majority Muslim)!
So what was the only True story CrossCheck identified?
An early poll showing Macron leading the election pack.
Two days prior to the second round vote, French and global media stoked hysteria with Fake News about MacronLeaks. First, the Russians did it! Second, Le Pen was Putin’s butler! Third, anyone reading the Leaks or sharing them, was violating French election law!
Too much convenience from a few thousand vanilla emails. Hundreds of repetitive texts stuffed into irrelevant exchanges. A perplexing file about the
CIA’s Texas Pacific Group’s muscled take-over of France’s Gemplus, consisting of 571 documents mentioning Takieddine, Sarkozy, Saudi Arabia, and BNP filler in a clever honey-pot intended to lure Russian hackers?
Were all the files in MacronLeaks put together by Mahjoubi? Did he troll Trump and Putin using 4Chan, and sap months of Wikileaks resources by distracting Assange with cyber-garbage?
A “honey pot” presumes a target. Voters were told the target of Mahjoubi’s brilliance were “Russian hackers” (Fancy Bear) who were hungry for “kompromat” on Macron.
The reaction to MacronLeaks suggests the real targets were the French media, French voters, and Julian Assange. As such, Mahjoubi wasn’t their author, but a fig-leaf for a serious NATO information operation; Bellingcat, the Atlantic council, the Integrity Initiative, deeply embedded in the Omydiar-Soros “fact check” news-control network through CrossCheck and FirstDraft.
MacronLeaks led to another massive wave of social media censorship. If the Macron camp claimed that the hackers were Russian and the leaks originated with Jack Posobiec and “Putin’s” Wikileaks, the media parroted the claim as truth. Facebook and Twitter went into overdrive by censoring and deactivating thousands of accounts which could prove otherwise. Mahjoubi’s traces, if any, were obliterated.
Was MacronLeaks perhaps the product of Mahjoubi’s “Firehose of Falsehood”?
Its files hail from four Macron staffers, among whom only two of any importance. One is a dodgy Going Forward (today LREM) parliamentarian. A drug-addict buying MDMA with government funds, delivered to his government office consumed in the toilets of the French lower-chamber. A subscriber to a gay clothing-line listserve; the kind of rank and file dimwit a party might want to get rid of via undue publicity.
The draconian censorship in which Facebook and Twitter engaged during the campaign, the American origin of CrossCheck and its executives, the distinctly military methods of waging information warfare, constitute a foreign intervention in French domestic politics.
The costs of running CrossCheck are secret, but finance from Soros, Google, Facebook, and countless other American-based “Journalistic” funds, its work constitutes an infraction of French campaign finance laws, along with a prima facie disrespect for laws limiting the amount of time candidates are allowed in the media. An attack on the French republic, circumventing constraints intended to assure equitable access of candidates to the election process.
The PR Men
CrossCheck could not have operated without Stéphane Fouks knowledge since his Canal+ owned Havas PR agency assured Macron’s strategic communications throughout the campaign. At Havas, Fouks ran a tight ship. He controlled Macron’s image, and it was a well-controlled. The electorate heard nothing negative about Macron, and Fouks takes the credit.
Critical questions were written off as “Fascist” in a tactic borrowed from Obama, when Whites, Asians, and Hispanics insufficiently enthusiastic about the Big O were consistently smeared as “racists.”
Mahjoubi’s couldn’t have operated without Fouk’s authorization. His Firehose of Falsehoods provided grist for the French fact checking mill which Fouks oversaw. Every newspaper had a fact checker, with or without CrossCheck as a partner and Fouks’ team was on top of their work.
Disproportionate lies about Macron meant disproportionate coverage of him in the news, without violating laws limiting candidate access to air-time. Trolling their opponents with ready-made junk about themselves was a foolproof method of discrediting these opponents as unfocused irrational bigots out of touch with a superior political reality. The kind of impression Mélenchon, Le Pen, and Fillon made.
What did voters know about Macron? The virgin boy with zero political experience, a bureaucrat whose two year stint at the Economics ministry was marred by social tension resulting in staged violence in front of a children’s hospital?
As much as Stéphane Fouks would let them.
Another guru working the PR-end for Macron was Claude Posternak. His work parallels that of CrossCheck and was known to Stéphane Fouks, since they shared staff through Canal+.
Posternak organized the earliest pro-Macron fan club (Transition), a kind of weather balloon to measure Macron’s electoral potential. Posternak owns the eerily named “Matrix” (La Matrice) corporate brand monitoring system. A one man show, with annual revenue of €700k, but he is also the founder of L’Important, a news-service based on Twitter generated content.
L’Important is run by Posternak’s daughters, and preoccupied with certifying accuracy on the internet. It amounts to an internet-monitoring system. A low-grade family version of the Medeen, Verify, Storiful, Datamir, SamCard, used by CrossCheck, Soros, Shorenstein, Google, and others to data-mine the social web in pursuit of material by which to slander their enemies. Tools capable of finding a needle in a haystack, marginal and insignificant claims made on the social web, take them out of context, amplify their importance, and grant them visibility and currency for whatever purpose PR operatives see fit. Dummy accounts, and trolling internet forums are no doubt part of the package.
The exact amount of Posternak’s and Fouks’ contributions to Macron’s Fake-News-slander-pipeline of which CrossCheck and Mahjoubi’s “massive fake content” were the pillars, can’t be known without serious investigation.
How much of the “fake news” that Google and Soros flagged via their CrossCheck platform, were created by Mahjoubi?
Following Macron’s election, Mahjoubi was rewarded with a ministerial post as secretary of state for digital affairs.
During the campaign Macron’s team were addicted to Russia’s Telegram. French intelligence warned of a possible Russian hack, and the BBC enthused that “they’ll get him through Telegram.”
In its review of “Macron Leaks an Operational Post Mortem” the Atlantic Council states that after a meeting with Frances intelligence agency” the campaign staff switched from Telegram to WhatsApp,” touting this as the smarts of the new president, and Mahjoubi.”
Three years on, and voters discover that Macron’s team remains solid Telegram users. From Bernard Mourad to his (now former) director of communications, Macron never quit Putin’s fold.
Googling the term “cyber-blurring” generates a plethora of articles. Not one links to material prior to English language interviews with Mahjoubi, and many of the articles observe that cyber-blurring is a technique Mahjoubi picked up from private industry.
Ironically, a year after Mahjoubi’s interviews, the media crowed that the business world needed to learn how to defend against hackers by emulating Mahjoubi’s innovative cyber-blurring technique.
Someone needs to get their story straight. This kind of inconsistency is a pattern with Macron groupies in the media. Everything and its opposite is true, when Jupiter is being feted.
As the journalist Endeweld remarks in his musings about Macron, Macron is a manipulator, and everything he touches is a lie. So is Fouks. So is CrossCheck, FirstDraft, George Soros. So are the Rothschilds.
So are many socially successful individuals. Politicians are expected to be honest, but manipulation is their bread and butter. To deal with the very real human dimensions of necessary manipulation, democracies have laws and regulations whose respect assures a modicum of the rule of law. Macron has circumvented these laws, and as a result, accelerated France’s current political, social, and economic decline.
In his childish conceit, Macron perceived his election as an exoneration of his methods, which he conflated with a vindication of his beliefs. A mediocre mind doesn’t perceive unfavorable consequences. A mediocre mind only perceives its own success. Slandering Le Pen, and the right comes second nature to a man and a coalition who didn’t hesitate to even slander their own.
Censorship, corruption of state institutions (the police and judiciary in the case of Fillon), backroom deals with French media tycoons, is what made such ghastly manipulation possible. Olivier Marleix’s “Corruption Pact” from Macron’s days as the Economics Minister. The sale of Alstom.