The TF1 group "firmly" supported Sunday its journalist Ruth Elkrief, victim according to it of "odious invectives and inappropriate insinuations", after controversial remarks of the leader of France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, calling the LCI columnist "fanatic" and accusing him of despising Muslims.
In reaction to tense exchanges on Sunday on LCI between Ruth Elkrief and LFI coordinator Manuel Bompard, particularly on the situation in the Middle East, Jean-Luc Mélenchon attacked the journalist by name on the social network X (ex-Twitter): "Ruth Elkrief. Manipulative. If Muslims are not insulted, this fanatic will be outraged," he wrote.
Ruth Elkrief. Manipulative. If Muslims are not insulted, this fanatic will be indignant. What a shame! Well done @mbompard for the retort. Elkrief reduces all political life to his contempt for Muslims.
— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) December 3, 2023
He continued: "What a shame! Congratulations Manuel Bompard for the reply. Elkrief reduces all political life to his contempt for Muslims."
Mélenchon accustomed to controversy
"The TF1 group strongly supports Ruth Elkrief and deeply deplores the odious invective and inappropriate insinuations to which she is subjected," the audiovisual group, parent company of the LCI news channel, wrote on the same network.
The TF1 Group strongly supports Ruth Elkrief and deeply deplores the odious invective and inappropriate insinuations to which she is subjected.
— TF1 Group (@GroupeTF1) December 3, 2023
"The TF1 group is wrong to support the journalism of accusations and obsessive invectives against an absentee from the set who cannot respond," replied Jean-Luc Mélenchon, for whom "this kind of method discredits its authors."
Before this online joust, the former presidential candidate's remarks had caused a lot of indignation on X, especially in the journalistic community.
"Patrick Cohen and Ruth Elkrief targeted this week by the far right for one, the far left of JL Mélenchon for the other... Who will be surprised? Shame on them," commented the editorialist of France Inter and deputy editor of Les Echos, Dominique Seux, in reference to the questioning of the journalist of France Télé Patrick Cohen during a rally of the ultra-right.
"P. Cohen targeted from the outside right, R. Elkrief from the outside left. Journalists who are being intimidated because they are Jewish? So they wouldn't be objective? Danger! We must collectively denounce these practices that threaten freedom of information and democracy," wrote RMC and BFM journalist Apolline de Malherbe.
"Jean-Luc Mélenchon's attack on Ruth Elkrief is unacceptable," said CNews journalist Pascal Praud on X. "Every journalist in France should condemn" these words "against one of our most remarkable colleagues."
Full and friendly support to our dear colleague @ruthelkrief https://t.co/tTN9zY8eyl
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) December 3, 2023
For its part, BFM TV, Ruth Elkrief's former employer, was keen to show its "total and friendly support" for the journalist, also on X.