Following the French election commission's demands that media not cover the 'Macron leaks', and French TV channels choosing not to mention the hack, France's largest newspaper, Le Monde, has issued a statement explaining why it will not be reporting on any of the leaked documents (or the actual leak itself)... until after the election has confirmed 'their man'.
A few hours before the end of the official campaign, Friday May 5, thousands of internal documents attributed to the Emmanuel Macron's campaign were published on the Internet. Le Monde was able to review part of these documents, the result of a massive hack of the personal and professional email accounts associated with the [Macron) movement.
Whatever the origins of the hack, the publication of these documents two days before the second round, during the blackout period that forbids candidates and their supporters from expressing themselves, is clearly aimed at disrupting the electoral process.
Le Monde will not publish the contents of any of these documents before the second round.
- First because the volume of stolen documents - 15GB of files - make their analysis, cross-check, and confirmation that journalistic work requires, impossible to conduct during this time.
- Also, and especially, because these files were published 48 hours before the vote, with the clear goal of harming the validity of the ballot, at a time when the main interested parties are legally forbidden from responding to any accusations.
If the documents contain revelations, Le Monde, of course, will publish them, after having investigated, in accordance with our journalistic and ethical rules, without being made a tool of anonymous actors' publishing schedule.
So to translate into non-narrative-spin - the largest French newspaper refuses to mention leaked documents that are now open source, and appear genuine - and have not been denied by the Macron team, because there are lots of them (so pick a few) and it will upset the election (well isn't that the point?)... BUT they will report on whatever they find after investigating it... which obviously will occur after Macron is confirmed as France's next President.
As we detailed earlier, the parallels to the Clinton hacking are manifold, but now the establishment has better control of the fourth estate with few in the press actually touching upon the actual contents of the documents, which some say confirm prior allegations of illicit financial dealings and offshore accounts, and instead merely attacking the messenger. Indeed, as journalist Kim Zetter noted overnight, "Telling journos to not report on hacked emails misses point that nearly all important leaks occur because someone broke law or a contract" and then followed up with the following rhetorical question, flipping the situation by 180 degrees: "If GRU, intending to assault dem., hacks Trump & publishes emails showing his direct connection to Russia, should journos report on those."
One wonders if this embarrassingly pro-establishment behavior by an apparently 'free press' will smash France's rankings in the World Press Freedom Index even further (already below Lithuiania and Slovenia and just above Belize...)