French President Emmanuel Macron called out journalists Monday for being “too interested in themselves,” claiming they should instead focus on the French people.
Macron made the statement to a group of TV reporters Monday after they criticized him for conducting so few interviews with the press. Macron, who was visiting a school at the time, fired back that reporters should be asking about the millions of kids returning to school, not about the president, The Telegraph reported.
“I’m not interested in journalists, I’m interested in the French people, that’s what you need to understand,” Macron told reporters. “Journalists have a problem. They are too interested in themselves and not enough in the country. Let’s talk about the French people.”
Macron’s approval ratings have slipped since his May election, with only 30 to 40 percent saying they approve of his presidency so far, according to the Sun Daily. It’s unlikely that his jousting with the press contributes to his unpopularity, however, as Macron promised before the election to keep away from reporters in order to avoid political drama.
French news channel BFM TV said the president’s statement “appears contradictory given the lengths Emmanuel Macron goes to manage his image since the start of his mandate.”
Macron hasn’t ignored the criticism entirely, however, as he appointed a former journalist to be his spokesman last week. Some claim the move is Macron subtly acknowledging that he needs to become more effective at message management.
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