French politics

Front national, Le Petit Journal and freedom of press.

The "Petit Journal" journalists crew evacuated by the FN security team during Marine Le Pen's speech, the 1st of May, Paris

The “Petit Journal” journalists crew evacuated by the FN security team during Marine Le Pen’s speech, the 1st of May, Paris

French Front national really changed, it is so obvious and Marine Le Pen keeps claiming it. The far right movement female leader keeps saying to anybody who wants to believe her, her party is clean and got rid of parasites who tarnished her new image, as her father and FN co-founder, Jean-Marie Le Pen, recently.

On the last 1st of May, the far right movement celebrated Jeanne d’Arc, maiden of Orléans, at place de l’Opéra in the heart of Paris. Every year since the mid-80’s, it pays tribute to the young woman to challenged the English army during the Hundred Years’ War. She is a symbol, the symbol of the French resistance and the French identity against the foreigner.

As every year, most of journalist came to cover the event and broadcast the speech delivered by Marine Le Pen. Le Petit Journal, a Canal Plus satirical show, came to make a reportage and interview people. Relationships between the TV show and the FN were never cordial but it is not surprising Le Petit Journal was not allowed to join the Press Room.

To cover the event, Le Petit Journal decided to be spotted near the VIP Room where all the FN executives and representatives were located. But the journalists were quickly attacked and assaulted by Bruno Gollnisch, Member of the European Parliament. The representative explained his privacy has been violated although he was just chatting with Florian Philippot, FN vice-president and waiting for near the stage where Marine Le Pen delivered her speech.

Some Le Petit Journal’s journalists have been injured just after the altercation with the MEP and the security crew. Since the incident, Yann Barthès, producer and host of the show, denounces repeatedly what happened the last weekend. But what is quite surprising – even scary – is that no French media firmly condemned Bruno Gollnisch’s altitude, as if the incident had no signification.

Whereas the FN tries to show itself as an ordinary party, this story reminds it is a total bullshit once again. So far, Marine Le Pen succeeded to give the impression her party really changed, it was more competent and mature to get the power, able to accept the French republican values and able to lead the country in a near future. But, in reality, the French Front national still seems to have some problems with elementary principles as – for instance, randomly! – freedom of press. But rather than focusing on this serious attempt on fundamental values, the French press is more interested by the Le Pens’ familial dispute!

Five months ago, the French media wept the murder of Charlie Hebdo’s journalists and put freedom of speech and press forward. Five months later, barely any media expressed to defend their colleagues and tackle the Front national. Marine Le Pen can introduce herself as someone who made her break-up with her father and introduce her party freed of his demons and his controversial past, the fact is this far right movement is still dangerous for the French democracy from the moment it is assaulting a fundamental issue of the French society.

Time has come for all the journalists to assume their responsibilities. But are they still aware of?