The President vs. the American Media

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“I hate being pictured with words which are not mine,” Mr. Macron instructed me, and after a wave of complaints from readers and an offended name from Mr. Macron’s workplace, The Financial Times took the article off the web — one thing a spokeswoman, Kristina Eriksson, mentioned she couldn’t recall the publication ever having performed earlier than. The subsequent day, the newspaper printed a letter from Mr. Macron attacking the deleted article.

In late October, Politico Europe additionally deleted an op-ed article, “The dangerous French religion of secularism,” that it had solicited from a French sociologist. The piece set off a firestorm from critics who mentioned the author was blaming the victims of terrorism. But the hasty deletion prompted the writer to complain of “outright censorship.” Politico Europe’s editor in chief, Stephen Brown, mentioned that the article’s timing after the assault was inappropriate, however that he had apologized to the writer for taking it down with out clarification. He didn’t cite any particular errors. It was additionally the primary time, he mentioned, that Politico had ever taken down an opinion article.

But French complaints transcend these opinion articles and to cautious journalism that questions authorities coverage. A skeptical Washington Post evaluation from its Paris correspondent, James McAuley, “Instead of fighting systemic racism, France wants to ‘reform Islam,’” drew heated objections for its raised eyebrow at the concept that “instead of addressing the alienation of French Muslims,” the French authorities “aims to influence the practice of a 1,400-year-old faith.” The New York Times drew a distinction between Mr. Macron’s ideological response and the Austrian chancellor’s extra “conciliatory” deal with after a terror assault, and famous that the remoted younger males finishing up assaults don’t neatly match into the federal government’s give attention to extremist networks. In the Times opinion pages, an op-ed requested bluntly, “Is France Fueling Muslim Terrorism by Trying to Prevent It?”

And then, after all, there are the tweets. The Associated Press deleted a tweet that requested why France “incites” anger within the Muslim world, saying it was a poor phrase selection for an article explaining anger at France within the Muslim world. The New York Times was roasted on Twitter and within the pages of Le Monde for a headline — which appeared briefly amid the chaos of the beheading — “French Police Shoot and Kill Man After a Fatal Knife Attack on the Street.” The Times headline rapidly modified as French police confirmed particulars, however the screenshot remained.

“It’s as though we were in the smoking ruins of ground zero and they said we had it coming,” Mr. Macron’s spokeswoman, Anne-Sophie Bradelle, complained to Le Monde.

As any observer of American politics is aware of, it may be laborious to untangle theatrical outrage and Twitter screaming matches from actual variations in values. Mr. Macron argues that there are massive questions on the coronary heart of the matter.

“There is a sort of misunderstanding about what the European model is, and the French model in particular,” he mentioned. “American society used to be segregationist before it moved to a multiculturalist model, which is essentially about coexistence of different ethnicities and religions next to one another.”

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