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President Emmanuel Macron attacks ‘self-absorbed’ French media | World | News

The offensive comes as the centrist appoints a former journalist, Bruno Roger-Petit, as new spokesman because of low approval ratings forcing him to rethink his communications strategy. 

Mr Macron was asked in an interview with France 2 television why he exerted such tight control over Elysée communications and spoke “so little” to the press.

He fired back: “I’m not interested in journalists, it is the French people I’m interested in, that’s what you need to understand.“

Mr Macron, who was visiting a school in eastern France to mark the “rentrée,” when schoolchildren go back to class after the long summer break, said that the media should be busy reporting on the 12 million schoolchildren filing back into the classroom, rather than asking him about his communications strategy. 

He added: “But journalists have a problem. They are too interested in themselves and not interested enough in the country. 

“Talk to me about the French people!” 

The 39-year-old president ironically was the media’s favourite candidate during France’s topsy-turvy presidential election.

Mr Macron said during his campaign that, unlike his media-friendly predecessors François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy, he would be a ‘Jupiterian’ president – a reference to the Roman god of gods – meaning he would hold the reins of power, but work behind the scenes and weigh his words carefully.

His cool and cautious presidential style however, quickly backfired: Mr Macron’s standoffish attitude has dented his popularity rating, which fell to a dismal 30 per cent on Monday, from 62 per cent when he took office in May.

Government spokesperson Christophe Castaner, for his part, told the French news channel BFM TV on August 26 that the government had encountered “difficulties,” but that the president and his team were there to “transform the country,” even if that meant taking on a degree of “unpopularity”. 

Mr Macron, however, was forced into a communications U-turn last week and named a new spokesman for the Elysée palace, former journalist Bruno Roger-Petit, seen as recognition that the president knows that he needs to adopt a more media-friendly approach to boost his approval ratings.

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