The ‘fake news’ about Emmanuel Macron, attributed to Russian media, came from French media and a French MP.
In an interview with France 2 yesterday, Richard Ferrand, secretary-general of Macron’s En Marche! accused Russia of spreading “fake news on a daily basis, and then they are picked up, quoted and influence the democratic (process)”. When pressed for an example by the interviewer, he mentioned a rumour “that Emmanuel Macron slept” (at the expense of the taxpayer) “at the French Embassy, during a trip to Lebanon in January.”
Only a few hours later, did RT in fact quote Le Vent , but in a wider article, about Macron’s visit to Lebanon, and not directly about his alleged expenses. We were unable to find the story anywhere on Sputnik France.
Rumors about sexuality came from MP Nicolas Dhuicq
Another example attributed to Russian media – the rumors about Emmanuel Macron’s sexuality. According to Reuters:
Macron on Feb. 7 was also forced to kill rumours of a gay relationship outside his marriage to Brigitte Trogneux.
The media reports about Macron emerged from Russia
Though according to The Local.fr:
The reports were based on statements from centre-right Les Républicains MP Nicolas Dhuicq, known for his pro-Russian stances.
Conservative MP Dhuicq, who staunchly opposed same-sex marriage in 2013’s parliamentary vote, insinuated that Macron was backed by a wealthy “gay lobby” and that rumours about his sexuality – namely that he was cheating on his wife and having a gay affair with France radio chief Mathieu Gallet – would soon be revealed.
The boy who cried wolf?
RT denied accusations it was involved in so called ‘fake news’, saying in a statement:
“It seems that it has become acceptable to make such accusations against RT without bringing any evidence, as it seems to have become normal to award a “false news” label to RT about any article that is found unfavorable”
It should also be noted, Western media did it’s part to spread the rumors, with stories about him “laughing off gay affair rumors” making headlines on the Telegraph, the BBC, Reuters, CNBC, Washington Post and indeed this blog.
Though Russia media may well yet play a part in the 2017 French Presidential election, it may be better to wait for when they do before calling wolf. Otherwise, if and when it is true, no one will believe you.