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Presidential: Gilles Bouleau called François Hollande to prepare the debate



VSIt will therefore be a Gilles Bouleau-Léa Salamé duo. A few days before the debate between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, the rhetorical apotheosis of a campaign marked by the absence of direct confrontation between the candidates, the journalist from France 2 and his colleague from TF1 return in The Parisian on how they intend to prepare, animate and supervise this major event.

In a joint interview, one confesses her stage fright when the other plays the appeasement. “Me, I’m scared, confesses Léa Salamé. There is a monumental democratic expectation, in a strange campaign, without notable debate. To approach it, she explains that she “planned to talk about it with Nathalie Saint-Cricq to find out how she had experienced it (during the debate between the two rounds in 2017) and how she would do it differently, today “.

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“Every micro detail is discussed”

More surprisingly, Gilles Bouleau for his part made contact with someone who was on the other side, that of the candidates, during the debate between the two rounds in 2012, the former President of the Republic, Francois Hollande. “With Léa, we come out of fifteen days of complicated political interviews, we know the programs by heart”, he assures before adding: “I spoke with François Hollande to find out how he had prepared. He replied that the most important thing was to enter the brain of the other, to anticipate, even to surprise as with the “Me, president” that he had improvised in 2012.

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As the debate on Wednesday April 20 approaches, the candidates have, according to journalists, already presented their conditions. “There are questions about the temperature, the shape of the desks where the candidates will be installed, will they be standing or sitting, on the cutting plans, the distance between them – which should be reduced – and that with us”, says Lea Salame. “Every micro detail is discussed, she continues, and that does not shock me, because they are gambling with their lives and the future of a country. They can’t leave anything to chance. A candidate who sweats, who is badly seated, goes in disfavor. »

“It’s not up to politicians to give journalists a good or a bad mark”

Another requirement, known publicly and source of controversy: the sidelining of Anne-Sophie Lapix. Marine Le Pen’s teams like those of Emmanuel Macron would have requested it. Together, the two journalists criticize this decision. “Let him have an opinion, OK. But that he declares it publicly, I find that a little more disturbing, estimates Gilles Bouleau. In a face-to-face, politicians do not choose their interlocutors or the questions, but they are free to answer. »

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Léa Salamé, who, like Anne-Sophie Lapix, works at France 2, considers that “it is not up to politicians to give journalists a good or a bad point on a TV set”. She adds: “Anne-Sophie put herself in danger by agreeing to take part in this political program (Elysee 2022, on France 2) when she was not obliged to. In addition to being an excellent journalist, she is a courageous and upright woman. »




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