https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/12/the-times-is-worried.php

We have written here and here about Eric Zemmour’s candidacy for the presidency of France. Zemmour is a French patriot who is concerned about mass immigration from the third world. This makes him a virtual Satan in the eyes of the New York Times; the second linked post discusses a Times attack on Zemmour.

Yesterday the Times printed another assault on Zemmour. The headline delivers, in the eyes of Times reporters, the ultimate insult: “Echoes of Trump at a Rally for France’s Far-Right Upstart.” The main theme of the article is that Zemmour is a far-right extremist. The reader can’t escape it:

Zemmour, the polarizing far-right polemicist…candidate of the traditional far right… Zemmour, a French far-right candidate …the traditional far right…“reduce the cost of adherence” to the far right…this quest to stake out a position on the extreme right may also backfire…gradually spread far-right ideas across society, especially through Fox-style news networks…have now embraced his more extremist ideas…designed to popularize his extreme ideas…“The cool is a way to defuse and neutralize otherwise extremely violent” ideas…Mr. Zemmour risked “being overwhelmed” by the extremism of his own supporters…

So, we get it: Eric Zemmour and his voters are far-right extremists. Now, I don’t have much respect for the intelligence of people who rely on the New York Times for their news. If they had any sense they wouldn’t do that. But even dim-bulb Times subscribers might wonder, What positions does Mr. Zemmour hold that are so extreme and so far to the right?

This is actually the only Zemmour policy position mentioned in the Times article:

The main economic proposal he outlined last weekend — slashing business taxes — is unlikely to speak to working-class voters.

Even in the fun-house mirror world of the New York Times, cutting business taxes doesn’t make a candidate a far-right extremist. Skepticism of mass third-world immigration and pride in France’s history explain the Times’s hysterical opposition to Zemmour, but the paper never mentions any specific Zemmour policy proposal on immigration or any issue other than corporate taxation. And as for opposition to mass third-world immigration, Zemmour’s skepticism is hardly outside of the French mainstream. On the contrary, he speaks for many, likely most, Frenchmen, which is why the left fears his candidacy.

What the Times does do, in lieu of discussing his policy positions, is smear Zemmour’s followers as thugs who brutally attack “anti-racism” demonstrators, a characterization that the paper adopts uncritically. Thus:

At one point during the rally, antiracism activists were attacked in the sort of brawl rarely seen at French political events. … dozens of his supporters attacked antiracism activists. The violent brawl could stain his image … Midway through his speech, dozens of sturdy militants threw punches at several activists from SOS Racisme, an antiracism organization…

But wait! If you read almost to the end of the Times’s anti-Zemmour screed, you find that the “anti-racism” protesters started the melee by attacking Zemmour:

Prosecutors have opened investigations into the violence, including one against a man who lunged at and grabbed Mr. Zemmour as he walked toward the stage.

I don’t think Zemmour is likely to win the French presidential election, but the fact that leftists worry about his appeal is apparent from the amateurish hit jobs we see in the left-wing press.

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