Several reporters in France boycotted a rally for the far-right National Front Party on Sunday after it denied some news organizations access to the event.
The party denied press credentials to reporters from at least nine publications, including Charlie Hebdo, StreetPress, MediaPart, Rue89, SkyNews and BuzzFeed France. Other publications, including Bloomgberg, Libération and Le Monde, responded by skipping the event to show solidarity with their banned colleagues.
The National Front’s dubious reason for denying credentials was due to “lack of space” in the 1,000-person venue, according to a reporter for BuzzFeed France.
This “is not the first time the National Front has barred journalists, newspapers and TV programs from its meetings,” Liberation editor Johan Hufnagel wrote in a blog post, adding that the party’s “anti-democratic, anti-freedom measures must stop.”
Le Monde editor Luc Bronner similarly condemned the National Front’s actions.
The National Front’s tendency to ban critical media outlets has previously drawn condemnations from free press advocacy groups like Reporters Without Borders ― and comparisons to U.S President Donald Trump.
Trump and National Front leader Marine Le Pen share nationalist platforms, as well as a perception that the media at large is biased against them. Both have a history of blacklisting reporters or media outlets that give them unfavorable coverage.
Unlike Trump, however, Le Pen suffered a bruising loss on Sunday, with En Marche candidate Emmanuel Macron projected to take in about 65 percent of the vote.