United States right-wing media figures have rallied behind “far-right populist” Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election by endorsing her, positively comparing her to President Donald Trump, and attacking her opponent Emmanuel Macron with anti-Semitic smears and comparisons to former President Barack Obama.
Far-Right Candidate Marine Le Pen Advances To Final Round Of French Presidential Elections
Le Pen To Face Macron In Final Round Of French Presidential Elections. On April 24, CNN reported that “far-right populist” and former National Front leader Marine Le Pen and her opponent Emmanuel Macron would compete against each other in the final round of France’s presidential election on May 7. CNN’s report noted that “neither candidate hails from [France’s] establishment parties,” adding that Le Pen is known for her “anti-immigration, anti-European Union message.” From the report:
Voters in France have comprehensively snubbed the country's political establishment, sending far-right populist Marine Le Pen and political novice Emmanuel Macron through to the second round of the country's presidential election.
With 97% of polling stations declared, newcomer Macron was leading the field with 23.9%. National Front leader Le Pen was close behind on 21.4%.
The result upended traditional French politics: Neither candidate hails from the establishment parties that have dominated the country for decades.
Speaking in Henin-Beaumont, a Front National stronghold in northern France, Le Pen rallied her supporters to her anti-immigration, anti-European Union message.
“The French people must seize this opportunity, because the enormous challenge of this election is the wild globalization that puts our civilization at risk,” Le Pen said.
“Either we continue to disintegrate without any borders, without any controls, unfair international competition, mass immigration and the free circulation of terrorists, or you choose France with borders,” she added. [CNN, 4/24/17]
US Conspiracy Theorist And Neo-Nazi Websites Endorse Le Pen
Infowars: “The Time Has Clearly Arrived For Le Pen,” And This Is “A Trump-Style Phenomenon.” Paul Joseph Watson of right-wing conspiracy theory website Infowars claimed in an April 18 video that “the time has clearly arrived for Le Pen” and that her popularity with younger French voters “proves what I’ve been saying all along: Populism is the new punk. All the energy is behind Le Pen.” Watson continued to say that her success mirrors a “Trump-style phenomenon” and “Brexit all over again.” From the video:
PAUL JOSEPH WATSON: 39 percent of young people aged 18 to 24 support Marine Le Pen, almost double the number of her closest rival Emmanuel Macron. 39 percent, which proves what I’ve been saying all along: Populism is the new punk. All the energy is behind Le Pen. The French are sick and tired of their country being stuck in the malaise of anemic economic growth, high taxes, and high unemployment. Sick of being told to accept another ominous form of occupation, this time under the guise of “Islamofascism.”
The time has clearly arrived for Le Pen.
The spirit of Charles de Gaulle has infused Le Pen’s campaign. You also have a Trump-style phenomenon, where people in the rural areas feel left behind and abandoned. This isn’t left versus right. This is Brexit all over again. This is the people versus the establishment, and that’s why the establishment is terrified of President Marine Le Pen. [Infowars, 4/18/17]
Infowars: Le Pen Is “Raising The Critical Issues Affecting France And The Rest Of Europe.” Infowars’ Dan Lyman lauded Le Pen’s “rousing” speech after she moved on from the first round of elections and celebrated that she and her party had “managed to overcome a variety of roadblocks put in their path by the devious government-media-technology machine.” Lyman continued to say that the “‘system’ has worked feverishly to prevent her and French patriots from raising the critical issues afflicting France and the rest of Europe.” From the April 24 post:
Marine Le Pen delivered a rousing speech to her enthusiastic supporters last night, declaring that it is time to “free the French people” from the destructive policies of open borders, open immigration and crushing EU regulations.
She addressed the incredible headwind her campaign has faced, as the “system” has worked feverishly to prevent her and French patriots from raising the critical issues afflicting France and the rest of Europe.
“It is clear to all French that the system tried by all means to prevent the great political debate that this election was supposed to be,” she said. “This debate is finally going to happen.”
Le Pen and Front National have managed to overcome a variety of roadblocks put in their path by the devious government-media-technology machine. [Infowars, 4/24/17]
Daily Stormer: “Why Le Pen MUST Win" And Why “French Lads” Should “Vote For Her.” Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, wrote in an April 19 post, “I do still hope [Le Pen] wins.” Anglin also alleged that he was “100% certain that there are forces at work that go very far beyond the alleged democratic process” and that “if Le Pen Wins, and doesn’t do Frexit, the whole world will know that Democracy is a hoax.” Anglin concluded his post by saying, “So do vote for her, French lads.” The Daily Stormer also shared a YouTube video on April 9 called “Why Le Pen MUST Win,” in which YouTube personality Matthew Drake said that “on the issue of immigration, I believe there’s only one viable choice: #ImWithHer.” Drake finished the video by saying, “Vive Le Pen, and vive la France.” [The Daily Stormer, 4/19/17, 4/9/17]
Gateway Pundit: Le Pen’s Success Will Foreshadow "A Brighter Future For France, Its People, And Indeed The World.” The Gateway Pundit, a right-wing blog that traffics in conspiracy theories and fake news, praised Le Pen in an April 25 post that outlined “four steps Le Pen needs to take in order to win the French presidency.” The post concluded that even if she loses, Le Pen’s success thus far could portend “a brighter future for France, its people, and indeed the world.” From the post:
In order to win Le Pen should graciously lose on May 7. Polls and pundits alike envision a spread of perhaps 30 or more points between Macron and Le Pen, but the loss does not need to be permanent. By focusing on the long game—the financial worries of France’s workers and middle class, dissatisfaction with the statis (sic) quo, and especially the certain, continuing attacks of Islamacist terrorism—with a steady message and a resolute will Le Pen may successfully set herself up for the next round of France presidential elections in 2024. Populism is not going away, because the globalist elite have neither the desire nor the plans to address the serious concerns of every man and every woman. Le Pen’s success, while perhaps not entirely achievable at the moment, is nevertheless based on an optimistic if not sound footing: on April 23 Le Pen had beaten her and her father’s previous election performances, perhaps portending a brighter future for France, its people and indeed the world. [The Gateway Pundit, 4/25/17]
“France First”: US Right-Wing Media Praise Le Pen Ahead Of Runoff
Mark Steyn: “I’m Rooting For Marine Le Pen Because Macron Is Just Like A Completely Hollow Suit. On Fox News’ Fox & Friends, conservative columnist Mark Steyn expressed his support for Le Pen, declaring, “I'm rooting for Marine Le Pen because Macron is just like a completely hollow suit.” He compared Le Pen to Trump, claiming, “Le Pen is part of the same thing as Brexit and the Trump thing,” and dismissed criticism as “the media and the bureaucracy ... ganging up on the insurgent candidate.” From the May 5 edition of Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Could we be seeing the Trump effect happening in France? Here to weigh in is author and journalist Mark Steyn. Mark, who do we root for in this from the American perspective?
MARK STEYN: Well, I'm rooting for Marine Le Pen, because Macron is just like a completely hollow suit. He’s --
STEYN: Well, he’s not independent, he’s like the sock puppet of the failed Euro establishment. What I find -- I was listening to Hillary whining a couple of days ago about why she lost, and if you think back just six months or whatever it was, everyone was saying, “Oh, well, if you are a woman, it's time for a woman. We need a woman president. We’ve ought to --.” No one is saying that at all about Marine Le Pen. No French feminists or European feminists say it's time for a woman to lead France. She has just being demonized. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/4/17]
Fox Contributor Nigel Farage: “I'm Supporting Marine Le Pen.” In an editorial for The Telegraph, Fox contributor Nigel Farage endorsed Marine Le Pen, writing, “I’m supporting Marine Le Pen, and if she fails this year, she will win in 2022.” [The Telegraph, 5/3/17]
Fox & Friends: Le Pen “Has Been Compared To President Trump,” And Obama Is “Not Supporting The One Who Resembles President Trump.” On the April 21 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade cheered Le Pen for being “concerned about the French borders, and the French people, and not so concerned about being politically correct.” He also said that the French election was “very reminiscent of our election,” prompting his fellow co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt to note that Le Pen “has been compared to President Trump.” Earhardt added that former President Barack Obama was “not supporting the one who resembles President Trump, clearly”:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): The first round of the [French] presidential election is this Sunday, and suddenly Marine Le Pen, who is the far-right candidate, she could actually -- she’s been all about the borders, all about security. She could actually see a surge.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): She’s been saying “France First,” and she’s a little concerned about the French borders, and the French people, and not so concerned about being politically correct. I cannot do her definitive biography. I can’t do any of these French candidates’ definitive biography, but just know this: They are somewhat -- this is very reminiscent of our election and who represents what philosophy with our key ally.
DOOCY: And she has been compared to President Trump.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): To President Trump. And that’s why President Obama is backing the more -- the centrist or the more liberal president --
DOOCY: He made a phone call to him.
EARHARDT: OK. So he’s not supporting the one who resembles President Trump, clearly.
DOOCY: Right. He, yesterday, apparently called Emmanuel Macron, who is a centrist, and, that’s interesting.
KILMEADE: You have a candidate in Le Pen who says, “I’m not really that thrilled with the European Union. I’m really ‘France First.’” And Donald Trump, as you know, praised Brexit. He says, “Hey U.K., I’ll cut you a separate trade deal. We don’t need an E.U. trade deal.”
EARHARDT: Well, what happened in this terrorist attack could tip the vote. We’ll have to see. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/21/17]
The Daily Caller: “Who Cares If Marine Le Pen Is Not A ‘Conservative?’” Daily Caller deputy editor Scott Greer defended Le Pen in an April 24 op-ed, which attempted to appeal to conservative Americans who see her as “a trade protectionist who advocates for aggressive government intervention into the economy.” Greer wrote that Le Pen’s popularity is “the new, nationalist reality for the West” and that “with riots and terror attacks now regular events in the country, immigration now seems a far more important issue than bank policy.” Greer concluded that the election was a referendum on “national identity” and an opportunity to choose “whether France wants to remain France, or embrace an open borders future.” From the op-ed:
National Front leader Marine Le Pen reached a new milestone Sunday after qualifying for France’s presidential run-off against liberal heartthrob Emmanuel Macron.
That development made a lot of supporters of Donald Trump happy that a similar candidate was finding success in Europe. However, several American conservatives were horrified by those on the Right showing support for Le Pen.
The retort: She’s not a conservative!
It is true that Le Pen is not really conservative in the American mold — especially if you think American conservatism is primarily interested in free markets and limited government. Le Pen is a trade protectionist who advocates for aggressive government intervention into the economy.
That’s a huge red flag for movement conservatives stateside. Additionally, her stances on immigration and Islam are also too much for comfort to the conservative establishment.
But this is the new, nationalist reality for the West. The old standards for what constitutes the Left and Right no longer make sense, as Madame Le Pen pointed out herself.
The primary issue for the National Front is immigration. The reason most voters are casting ballots for the party have something to do with that issue and the future of France’s national identity. With riots and terror attacks now regular events in the country, immigration now seems a far more important issue than bank policy.
Of course, movement conservatives like to see the entire world through the lens of the American political spectrum circa 2005 and left and right are defined nearly entirely by economics. But the world is changing, America included.
No longer are the big fights of our time economic. They are about national identity. The choice between Macron and Le Pen is not one about who’s going to tax the banks more. It is about whether France wants to remain France, or embrace an open borders future. [The Daily Caller, 4/24/17]
Fox News: Le Pen’s Policies Are “One Way Of Fixing” France’s “Stagnant Economy," And “She's Also Tough On Security” And Borders. On April 24, Fox senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot called Le Pen a “firebrand, right-wing populist” and uncritically declared that her anti-E.U. stance “is one way of fixing [France’s] stagnant economy.” Palkot asserted that Le Pen is “tough on security” and “wants to crack down on the borders and take out terror suspects,” while Macron “takes a more inclusive tone.” From the April 24 edition of Fox News’ Happening Now:
GREG PALKOT: Also through, firebrand, right-wing populist Marine Le Pen. She wants to ditch the E.U. She wants to ditch the common currency, euro, or at least renegotiate France’s terms with these bodies and institutions. This is one way of fixing the stagnant economy. She’s also talking about slapping new tariffs on imports coming into the country as a way to boost jobs. She’s also tough on security too, wants to crack down on the borders and take out terror suspects. Macron, well, he takes a more inclusive tone. [Fox News, Happening Now, 4/24/17]
Wash. Post: Breitbart “Has Been Covering Marine Le Pen’s Candidacy Enthusiastically.” On April 27, The Washington Post reported that “alt-right” website Breitbart “has been covering Marine Le Pen’s candidacy enthusiastically.” Though the site has not explicitly endorsed her, Le Pen’s niece asserted that she is “aware that Breitbart is supporting the National Front” and “very flattered” from the support. Breitbart London has frequently published content about Le Pen’s far-right messaging on Islam and immigration, which closely mirrors Breitbart’s extreme anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bent. Posts about Le Pen include reporting on her declaration that the “survival of France” is at stake and her assertion that Islam is a “monstrous totalitarian ideology that has declared war on our nation, on reason, on civilisation.” Breitbart London also reported on her comments that she would “bring Islamist fundamentalism to its knees” if elected. [The Washington Post, 4/27/17; Breitbart London, 4/23/17, 4/22/17, 4/4/17]
“France’s Obama”: Right-Wing Media Launch Attacks Against Le Pen’s “Manchurian” Opponent, Emmanuel Macron
Breitbart: “Manchurian Candidate Macron Is France’s Obama.” In an April 24 post titled “Manchurian Candidate Macron Is France’s Obama,” Breitbart’s James Delingpole attacked Le Pen’s opponent, calling him “a slippery, snake-oil salesman with a winning smile and nice suits” and “the living embodiment of the French Deep State.” From the Breitbart London post:
That is, Emmanuel Macron is going to win this presidency because it was decided long ago by France’s Establishment that he was the least-worst option of the candidates available.
The fact that he is a hollow man – a slippery, snake-oil-salesman with a winning smile and nice suits – who will do almost nothing seriously to address France’s massive social and economic problems is a help, not a hindrance.
Reports that Macron is a breath of fresh air who will transform French politics could hardly be further from the truth. Macron is an énarque – liberal elite through-and-through; the living embodiment of the French Deep State. [Breitbart London, 4/24/17]
Infowars Repeatedly Invokes The Rothschild Family When Discussing Macron. Infowars frequently identifies Macron with the Rothschild family, given his tenure with Rothschild & Cie Banque. For years Infowars has posted conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family “and their 200 years of political influence,” including that they tried to conspire with George Soros to stop Brexit, they have a “fascination with [the] occult,” and they were “hoarding gold” due to a coming financial collapse. According to a May 3, 2015, report from The Independent, such “crude, racist smear[s]” about the Rothschild family began in 1846 after “a political pamphlet bearing the ominous signature ‘Satan’” accused the family of cheating stock markets to make millions of Francs off of the Battle of Waterloo. Although “every aspect” of the pamphlet “represent[ed] a derogatory racial stereotype” about Jews, and “the story was also false,” the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory “left a mark that can be seen to this day.” [Infowars, 2/27/17, 4/28/17, 4/24/17, 4/18/17, 8/28/08, 6/21/16, 9/18/13, 1/28/13; The Independent, 5/3/15]
This post has been updated to include additional examples.