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Thursday, March 8, 2018
CNS Whitewashes Far-Right Ties of French Speaker At CPAC
Topic: has a new favorite foreign politican: far-right politician Marion Marechal-Le Pen, the similarly far-right granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the far-right National Front and niece of the current National Front leader, Marine Le Pen.

But CNS had to hide Le Pen's extremism in order to favorably write about her appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Managing editor Michael W. Chapman did the honors, under the overenthusiastic headline "France's Marion Le Pen at CPAC: 'Just Like You, We Want Our Country Back!' America First and France First!":

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 23, conservative Catholic French politician Marion Marechal-Le Pen said the election of President Donald Trump proves that when "the people are given the opportunity to take their country back, they will seize it," and that she supports a policy of America First for the American people, Britian First for the British people, and France First for the French people. 

Marion Le Pen, 28, also defended the family, the nation, natural law, and a common morality. "What do we want?" she asked. "Just like you, we want our country back."


Marion Le Pen is the niece of Marine Le Pen, who ran for the French presidency on the conservative National Front ticket in 2016-17. Marion Le Pen is also the granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front, but who was removed from the party in 2015 by Marine Le Pen who denounced his extreme views. Marion Le Pen is in agreement with her aunt on most issues and she is seen as more traditionally Catholic and pro-family. 

Marion Le Pen is a National Front party member and she served in the National Assembly from 2012 to 2017.

See what Chapman did there? He called Marion Le Pen "conservative," not far right, and portrayed Jean-Marie's expulsion from the National Front as evidence the party stopped being "extreme."

But Chapman was too busy gushing over Le Pen's speech to mention the fact that his fellow conservatives were denouncing CPAC for inviting her because of her affiliation with extreme politics.

Later the same day on which Chapman's fawning article appeared, CNS published another article by correspondent Faycal Benhassain in which he too tried to portray  Marion Le Pen as merely conservative -- declaring that "In her speech at CPAC, she spoke about a resurgent conservative youth on both sides of the Atlantic" -- but he did use the "far-right populist" label on Marine Le Pen. Ultimately, though, Benhassain does move Marion further to the right:

Some experts argue that Maréchal-Le Pen’s tone and committed ideas could well appeal to the right wing electorate, even as Le Pen struggles to recover from her election defeat.

Alexandre Devecchio, a reporter with conservative newspaper Le Figaro, says he believes Maréchal-Le Pen hopes to see an implosion of the FN, to make way for a large new right-wing party.

Finally, CNS did fully move toward accurate labeling of Le Pen in a March 2 article by Patrick Goodenough stating that "French far-right leader Marine le Pen said Thursday that the bringing of criminal charges for tweeting graphic images of ISIS violence was clearly an attempt to silence her." Still, Goodenough endeavored to portray Le Pen's graphic tweets as reasonable.

Don't want to insult CNS' new darling too much, after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, April 7, 2019 2:30 PM EDT

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