Isaac Stanley-Becker and Ellen Nakashima write: In France, few people even knew what was in the Macron team’s emails. The blanket ban on campaigning meant that far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and her National Front couldn’t mention them, though a deputy leader of her party did tweet early Saturday, “Will #Macronleaks teach us something that investigative journalism has deliberately killed?”
The answer was no. Most media chose to heed a request from the France’s electoral commission not to reproduce the emails’ contents. Le Monde, the major French daily, said in a statement that it had seen part of the documents but would not publish their details before the election, due to the volume of the dump and because the release had “the clear goal of harming the validity of the ballot.”
The paper’s editor, Jerome Fénoglio, said in an interview that the documents would have been leaked earlier if they had contained damaging information. As it was, he said, “the best hope was to make noise.”
He said the response of the media in France carried lessons for journalists elsewhere, including those in the United States who rushed to reproduce pre-election leaks without thoroughly investigating their origins.
“Hiding information is not the same thing as refusing to be manipulated by those who diffuse the information,” Fénoglio said. [Continue reading…]