Marine Le Pen

Bilal Zaiter
5 min readFeb 22, 2023

The Misleading Discourse

Photo by Aimee Vogelsang

A teacher was just tragically killed. By a student. Shortly after, Marine, or one of her aids quickly posted on about the incident. At the time, there was little information available about the crime, as it was still fresh and the details had not yet been fully established. We did not know much about the crime yet. No one could. It was still fresh. We can imagine how fresh it was. Blood smells in the air.

While the need to share news is important and can inform people, it is crucial to ensure that the news is accurate and not manipulated. Informed citizns can always make better choices. However, the spread of fake or manipulated news can be harmful and undermine the very foundation of democracy. Therefore, while sharing news can be beneficial, it is imperative to verify the accuracy of the information being disseminated. But then there is an additional layer to that.

Take this story as an example. Today’s big and horrible event from France was about “teacher at a private school in Saint-Jean-de Luz near Biarritz [who] died after being fatally stabbed by a student on Wednesday” reads the news. That is informative. That is factual. Not opinionated.

Marine’s feed read slightly different though. The news story from her Twitter’s account was about her condolences to the teacher’s family and friends who was killed by a “cold-heart” student. Well, unless Marine Le Pen has developed some kind of supernatural power to measure heart temperatures, it’s safe to say she didn’t measure anything, let alone the student’s heart. Looks like the only thing she’s measuring is the temperature of her political messaging strategy!

But the speed with which Marine Le Pen used social media to contribute to the discussion is not the only indication of where our society is headed. It is also not appropriate to politicize a purely human case. Unfortunately, be prepared for what is coming ahead.

News Break

In my opinion, the worst part is how Marine Le Pen strategically structured her discourse to reinforce her political messaging. It is no secret that one of her top priorities has always been to propagate a false correlation between immigration to France and national security.

Even on this tragic day for France, the victim and her family, the student and his family and friends, his classmates, the school, and the entire community, Marine Le Pen chose to prioritize her political agenda of national security over education, the well-being of individuals, and the good of society. It is a disappointing and disheartening move that detracts from the gravity of the situation at hand.

It is not unusual for politicians to use tragic events to push their agendas. However, what is unique in this case is how Le Pen quickly took advantage of the situation by using social media to communicate her message to the public within minutes of the event. This shows that Le Pen’s team is highly attuned to using social media as a powerful tool for political messaging.

Below is a discourse analysis of Marine Le Pen’s tweet regarding the school killing incident in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, which may help to shed light on her approach to the tragedy.

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko

Discourse analysis of the Marine Le Pen Tweet about the school killing event at Saint-Jean-de Luz :

  1. Argumentative structure and moves: The message follows a basic argumentative structure, with a clear claim that “ultra-violence has conquered our society, even reaching schools,” and a call to action to address the problem for the safety of the French people. The move from expressing condolences to calling for action is typical of persuasive arguments that seek to motivate people to take a particular course of action.
  2. Fallacies: There do not appear to be any explicit fallacies in the message, although the use of emotionally charged language such as “ultra-violence” could be seen as a way to appeal to people’s emotions rather than their reason.
  3. Linguistic and rhetorical devices: The use of the term “ultra-violence” is an example of hyperbole, which is a rhetorical device used to emphasize a point. The phrase “conquered our society” is also hyperbolic, suggesting that violence is so pervasive that it has taken over society. These hyperbolic phrases are designed to shock and grab the reader’s attention. Additionally, the phrase “it is urgent to act for the safety of the French people” uses urgency as a persuasive device, appealing to the reader’s sense of immediacy and importance.
  4. Medium and speed of publishing: The fact that the message was published on social media just a few minutes after the incident suggests that Le Pen was seeking to capitalize on the event quickly to reinforce her political messaging. The use of social media as a medium is also significant because it allows for a rapid and direct communication with followers, which can generate quick reactions and responses.

Overall, it appears that Le Pen is using the event of the killing of a teacher by a student to reinforce her political messaging on the need for increased security and the control of immigration. The use of emotionally charged language and hyperbole, combined with a call to action, are typical of persuasive arguments aimed at motivating people to take action. The speed of publishing on social media is also significant, as it suggests that Le Pen was seeking to capitalize on the event quickly to reinforce her political messaging.

While it is not uncommon for politicians to politicize tragic events, it is troubling to see how quickly Marine Le Pen and her team used the school killing in Saint-Jean-de-Luz to further their political agenda. This highlights the importance of critically analyzing the discourse of political leaders, especially in times of tragedy, to gain a better understanding of their motives and intentions.

Read more on the benefits of studying the discourses of political leaders in the aftermath of tragedies here.

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