RT debunks charges of ‘fake news’ on French election
Western media accuses RT of 'spreading fake news' citing an Emmanuel Macron story RT never published.
The accusations against RT were leveled by Richard Ferrand, secretary-general of Macron’s En Marche! party, in an interview with the France 2 TV channel.
RT responded to the allegations that it had targeted French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron with “fake news” in a statement:
“RT adamantly rejects any and all claims that it has any part in spreading fake news in general and in relation to Mr. Macron and the upcoming French election in particular. Furthermore, we are appalled that such baseless accusations are taking place on a quotidian basis. Indeed, it seems that it has become acceptable to level such serious charges at RT without presenting any evidence to substantiate them, as well as to apply this ‘fake news’ label to any reporting that one might simply find unfavorable. It is both ironic and deeply disappointing that, in the noble fight against fake news, journalistic standards are so casually sacrificed when the conversation concerns RT.”
International news media outlets picked up the Ferrand interview, apparently without checking the facts.
Many outlets relied on Monday’s Reuters report, which claimed that RT ran comments by French National Assembly member Nicolas Dhuicq about Macron being an agent of 'the big American banking system.'
The Reuters claim was entirely false as RT has never published such a report.
Reuters did not provide any other examples of RT’s supposed role in the “fake news” attack on Macron in its lengthy article on the subject.
Furthermore, the agency did not contact RT's press office for comment to give the network the right of reply. Neither did almost all the outlets who reprinted the false claims.
Reuters amended their report and removed mention of RT from the discussion of Dhuicq's comments only after RT representatives reached out to the news service. The Reuters website eventually added the RT statement to their report.
However, Reuters has not provided any indication that the original report was amended in any way, that it included uncorroborated statements about RT and, that the network was denied the right to reply to these allegations prior to the article’s publication.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.