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The Daily Vertical: Vive Le Agitprop! (Transcript)

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

Well, don't look now, but the Kremlin's agitprop machine and it's international proxies have just found a new playground and a new target.

The playground is France's presidential election campaign and the target is former French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron.

Over the weekend, Macron was subject to a coordinated smear campaign in Russian media -- both domestic and international.

On Saturday, Sputnik called him "an agent of the big American banking system" who was supported by "a wealthy gay lobby."

And on Sunday, the Kremlin's chief propagandist Dmitry Kiselyov warned that Macron was "an appointee of the globalist elite" and suggested he was a closet homosexual.

Bankers and gays and globalists -- Oh my!

Macron, of course, has emerged as a surprise dark horse in France's elections.

Running as an independent, he's drawing big crowds, is running strong in the polls, and has emerged as a major challenge to Marine Le Pen, the right-wing National Front leader and the Kremlin's darling.

Now until recently the French presidential election was going swimmingly for Russia.

It appeared to be heading for a runoff between two Kremlin-friendly candidates: Le Pen and conservative Francois Fillon.

But suddenly Fillon is embroiled in a financial scandal. And suddenly, Macron is surging.

Suddenly the runoff looks like it could well be Le Pen vs. Macron instead of Le Pen vs. Fillon.

Suddenly it's no longer win-win for the Kremlin anymore.

So we should expect the anti-Macron propaganda to keep on coming.

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