October 16, 2021

Eric Zemmour, a media rise between attraction and repulsion

On September 11 on France 2, Eric Zemmour was cooked in “On est en direct” by Léa Salamé and Laurent Ruquier in front of 816,000 viewers (16.8% market share). He was received two days later by his colleague from CNews Pascal Praud, on RTL the following day, then on RMC the following day. To promote his book, France has not said its last word (Rubempré, 21.90 euros), Eric Zemmour was spoiled for choice. “Everyone wanted it”, says one of the journalists who interviewed him. The putative presidential candidate is set to face Ruth Elkrief, on LCI, on September 27.

Only the public service seems to be choosy: “C to you” (France 5) and France Inter prefer to wait until he announces his candidacy. The first morning in France, where the essayist dreams of going, explained to him that she would have preferred to welcome him exclusively. “It’s a pretext. To be the first, you would have had to contact me sooner. France Inter was in no hurry to invite me ”, critic Eric Zemmour at World, assuring that he would have ” sure “ privileged France Inter if the opportunity had been given to it.

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It took nineteen years for the polemicist to go from a simple TV commentator in the small political theater to a bulky actor in the center of the stage. Since his first regular television appearances in September 2002 on i-Télé, the journalist from Figaro has continued to skillfully grow his small business with the microphones and cameras that were obligingly extended to him. His career is reminiscent of that of Joe Biden’s predecessor in the White House. “Trump held a weekly Fox News lozenge between 2011 and 2015, before declaring himself a candidate, explains Alexis Pichard, author of the book Trump and the media. Both have a similar strategy: their audience pushes them up in the polls. “ In 2017, when the American media creature ascended to the supreme office, CNN, which had broadcast its meetings until the overdose, apologized.

Five hours of daily airing

For Eric Zemmour, the tipping point is in 2019, when he arrives on CNews. “Bolloré insists that I agree to come to CNews every day. I am weakly resisting “, reveals the polemicist in his book. The Breton industrialist assures him of his support, even in the event of a blunder, and offers him five hours of weekly airing. Every evening, he pours with the success that we know (700,000 viewers on average) his nationalist and Islamophobic logorrhea, in the face of a debonair Christine Kelly and complacent columnists. “This scenic device changes everything, analyzes the political editorialist Jean-Michel Aphatie. Debaters, when there are any, come to him. It is made the pivot of French intellectual life. “

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