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Emmanuel Macron in "Les Rencontres du Papotin": what if it wasn't just communication?


FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE - On Saturday January 7, the Head of State granted an interview to reporters from the newspaper Le Papotin, all of whom have autism disorders. Communication specialist Arnaud Benedetti analyzes this meeting.

Arnaud Benedetti is associate professor at Paris-Sorbonne University.

He is editor-in-chief of the political and parliamentary review.

He published

How are the politicians dead?

- The great malaise of power

(editions of Cerf, November 2021).

The interview of the President of the Republic by people with autistic disorders, broadcast on Saturday January 7 on France 2, is


, some will obviously say.

And it was necessarily so, in the sense that all expression is essentially communication.

Others will see it as


, from the moment this communication is "publicized", public, offered for demonstration to the greatest number and at a very prime time on the major public service channel.

The question is whether or not the exercise pursues other objectives than those of showing solidarity, support, humanity to a cause, to women and men with disabilities, and inclusion in everyone's society.

The reality is that the presidential performance immunizes itself from all suspicion because, rubbing shoulders with the exceptional spontaneity of interlocutors reluctant to pretend, he brings back to him the virtues of it in an almost mechanical way.

There can't even be a suspicion of cleverness because the encounter falls under the register of tautology.

The effectiveness of tautology in its time was dissected by Roland Barthes in his exploration of myths.

It constitutes one of those rhetorical figures which enclose or barricade the offer of

expression by making it almost impervious to any critical reading.

It declines an unfalsifiable logic.

Here, it is the reference to an uncontested, incontestable, necessary humanity;

this humanity is necessarily human through the media encounter it generates: the human consequently is in the human and everything is empathetic in the format because everything is organized so that it is.

So be it and it cannot be otherwise.

This scenic tautology has miracle-working value.

It is indeed the President who heals, who repairs, who relieves, who bends over and who in a natural movement summons the intimate as much as he is summoned by the latter.

Because in fact, once again, the iron law of one of the fathers of communication sciences, Marshall MacLuhan,

: "The message is the medium"


Emmanuel Macron is thus more Emmanuel Macron than head of state, more man than politician, more him than this other who can irritate or provoke, more Emmanuel than Macron.

Arnaud Benedetti

Emmanuel Macron has often been criticized for his deficit, even his lack of proximity and inclusiveness.

By responding to the invitation of the editorial staff of


composed of autistic journalists, the Head of State makes up for this lack.

It is carried by the medium which, by its specific nature, structures its exhibition and tells the story;

he confesses personal things, which privatizes the body politic, erases in a certain way the most "allergenic" asperities by operating a rapprochement which desacralizes, of course, but without the communicating artefact ever betraying the apparent and sought-after sincerity of the issuer.

Emmanuel Macron is thus more Emmanuel Macron than head of state, more man than politician, more him than this other who can irritate or provoke, more Emmanuel than Macron.

The familiarity has something in this context of an evangelical transubstantiation.

Therefore how indeed to be offended, even to criticize,

doubt also without appearing excessive, petty, sectarian, an ostentation whose goal is to reintegrate otherness into the great community of humans?

There are two ways of conceiving communication: the first comes under the anthropological order of sharing, of communion, while the second is inseparable from the instrumental register, that is to say from this disposition to produce adhesion , and some more lucid or less sympathetic, will see manipulation.

By making himself Emmanuel much more than Macron, the one who remains President has privileged the first, creating a relationship for once equivalent and symmetrical, far from the overhangs and assurances relating to his status and his personality.

Then, everyone will be free to believe it or not...

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-09

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