THE LEADER of the Front National, Marine le Pen, has said she will take legal action against media that refer to her party as “extreme right”.
“The act of dressing the Front National up in this deliberately pejorative term is a breach of journalist ethics, an act of activism and an intellectual blunder,” she said in an interview on RTL.
She added: “I will see in court if this is a pejorative term voluntarily used to damage the Front National and a breach of the impartiality that you should be using.”
Le Pen objects to the term which is also used to describe violent groups and terrorists.
She wrote on lexpress.fr that describing the party as such as “an error of analysis”.
“In the same bag they put Breivik (the right-wing extremist behind a massacre in Norway), Aube dorée, (the Greek Neo-Nazi party), they shake it up and tell themselves that that will be a good dirty image,” she said.
Attacking the label “extreme right” is the latest move in the strategy of ‘dediabolisation’ for the Front National, a plan to create a broader appeal for the party.
Le Pen has also distanced herself from the anti-Semitic and Holocaust denying remarks made by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the former leader of the party and expelling party members for making Nazi references.
Jean-Marie Le Pen carried out a similar strategy against the term “extreme right” while leading the party in the 1990s, consistently using his right to respond in the media and winning court cases against Libération and le Monde.
A poll by BVA for Le Parisien found 65% of French had a bad opinion of the Front National. Furthermore 77% agreed with the description “extreme right”, 71% aggressive, 62% demagogic and 58% racist.
French MPs have been quick to respond, especially on Twitter where the hashtag #fnextdroite was created especially. Several were quick to take up the challenge and go on record as describing the FN as “extreme right”.
Photo: Front National