Did French channel C8 manipulate a news report on the National Front? - CrossCheck

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Did French channel C8 manipulate a news report on the National Front?

Several representatives of France’s National Front party accuse television channel C8 of having manipulated a report in order to discredit them by including testimony of a fake party-sympathiser making homophobic and racist comments. They say that Kevin, the party-sympathiser, is actually a “sound engineer at Canal+”, a channel that belongs to the same group as C8, and published a screenshot of his Facebook page where he presents himself as such. However, C8 and Kevin’s father deny these allegations and this screenshot was most likely fabricated.

(Translation: ‘The infamous racist militant and homophobe from the documentary on @C8TV is in fact a sound engineer for Canal+! Lagache is a scoundrel!’)

One of the National Front’s vice-presidents, Steeve Briois, admonished the C8 channel on Twitter, in a message that was retweeted hundreds of times. Marine Le Pen told AFP: “This is the type of manoeuvre that is used by the media. It’s shameful and I hope that they’ll be severely reprehended.”

C8 rejected the allegations in a press release published on social media. C8 said it saved the Facebook profile of the witness in question “just after the filming”, and that there was no mention of a “job or employer”. No modifications have been detected since and it appears that the screenshot was probably fabricated.

In the press release C8 also said that TVPresse Productions, the production company behind the report, “has, in their rushes, a non-tampered sequence in which an executive of the FNJ (organisation of Le Pen youth supporters) from Nice says that it was another executive who sent and recommended this person for interview.

Journalists from French newspaper Libération who had access to these images have confirmed the statement. They also contacted the person who published the Facebook screenshot, Cyril Martinez, the deputy FNJ departmental Secretary in the Alpes-Maritimes, who admitted not having verified the image’s authenticity.

When contacted by Buzzfeed, Kevin’s father denied that his son worked at Canal+, adding that “Kevin is known as being handicapped.. He was searching for his political identity and had been with the Republicans. Now he wanted to try out the National Front.”