Did France's interior minister spread fake news?

France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner is being accused of spreading false information. He was forced to revoke his accusation that demonstrators on May 1 had attacked a hospital after video footage emerged showing that the demonstrators in question had ran into the hospital to escape riot police. Commentators are outraged, but also point to weak points in the criticism of Castaner.

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Causeur (FR) /

The true enemies of the truth

The government has revealed its true colours, thunders Causeur:

“On the morning of May 2 the French heard Christoph Castaner's words as they opened their newspapers or turned on their televisions and radios, announcing that a group of demonstrators from the black block had stormed the intensive care unit of a large hospital in order to commit acts of violence and endanger patients' lives. Twelve hours later, after a number of citizens raised their voices, the edifice of lies crumbled and the government and its lackeys were forced to back-pedal. Now we know who disseminates fake news, who lies, who spreads conspiracy theories and who uses violence. And we also know why these people, who fear the truth, want to shut down the instruments of freedom of expression.”

Le Point (FR) /

What the critics are keeping quiet about

The criticism of Castener is justified, but it overlooks a key point, Le Point warns:

“His political opponents on the left were right to take aim at him. But none of them has bothered to remember that a hospital, like a school - for example the one in Rue Fagon in Paris' 13th district, which was attacked by demonstrators - is a sacred place of the republic, a sanctum that you cannot enter just like that. Especially when all the doors and security gates are double-locked in order to protect the sick and their carers, or children and teaching staff. A strange omission by those elements of the left who claim to defend public services.”