The battle took place in Parliament, in the street, but also on the sets. For three months, the executive and the opposition waged an intense media war around the pension reform. All have taken over the televisions and radios, leading their offensives sometimes at dawn. This is what the Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, whose voice and face are now familiar to us, did. In the space of a few weeks, the former member of the formerly unknown Socialist Party has established himself as the main defender of a disputed text. He has deployed on all fronts, to the point of becoming the most invited political figure in the morning according to our latest exclusive Le Figaro-Politiquemedia list. It alone accounts for 22 passages, out of a total of 569 recorded, from January 2 to April 21.
The device is not new: in times of crisis, a government closes ranks and carries the voice of its president. The first attempt at pension reform in 2019 had already given rise to significant ministerial mobilization, and the little-known Minister of Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, had saturated the antennas in full social movement affecting his sector. The scenario repeats itself today, and Olivier Dussopt did not step up alone. No less than nine other ministers are thus in the top 10. Among them Olivier Véran (spokesperson, 2nd), Gabriel Attal (Public Accounts, 11 appearances), Bruno Le Maire (Economy, 10 appearances) or Gérald Darmanin (Interior , ranked 10th). “There was a strong cohesion within the government in the defense of the text”, observes Vincent Lefebvre, founder of the Politiquemedia agency and communications adviser. All came to provide after-sales service for the reform, even taking precedence over members of the presidential majority. The patroness of Renaissance, Aurore Bergé, for example, has fallen significantly, moving from third place in our last edition to twelfth this time.
At the helm of the 7:40 am interview on RTL, Amandine Bégot confirms: “There was first a whole time of explanation from the government.” This time was also one of communication hiccups, multiple over the interviews. “It was a moment of cacophony where we no longer understood anything. The ministers followed one another and did not say the same thing, and we tried to get out of there, ”says the journalist. Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has herself engaged in the exercise five times to clarify the information given. And so as not to dilute the speech too much, the less identified ministers, with the more distant portfolio, kept away. Some are even totally absent, like Jean-Christophe Combe (Solidarities) and Isabelle Rome (Equality between women and men).
In a competition both in the National Assembly and in the media, La France insoumise and the National Rally have for their part done everything to win the title of main opponent. Their attempts are reflected in the facts, since the coordinator of LFI Manuel Bompard and the vice-president RN of the Palais Bourbon, Sébastien Chenu, share the third position. “We took care to maintain a balance across the entire political spectrum by not limiting ourselves to the main players in the government”, specifies Adrien Gindre, head of the TF1-LCI political service and in charge of the 8:30 am interview.
The Nupes alliance has allowed the left to deploy even more widely, taking advantage of the regular presence of the very media-rich François Ruffin (12 appearances), the communist Fabien Roussel (10 appearances) or the ecologist Sandrine Rousseau (9 appearances) - first woman in the ranking. The Socialists, on the other hand, were much more discreet and Jean-Luc Mélenchon himself preferred later formats. The same is true within the flame party, where Marine Le Pen has saved herself compared to previous rankings. The triple presidential candidate gave way to the rare rising figures of her troops, such as deputy Jean-Philippe Tanguy (9 appearances). Regularly at the top of the charts, the now president of the RN, Jordan Bardella, recorded a drop (10 appearances).
Republicans have also made their voices heard at strategic times. “The very political moment of the right was that of the vote on the text, when it was a question of knowing what LR was going to do”, specifies in this sense Amandine Bégot. Three personalities thus stand out and coincide with the currents that have crossed the party. They are the head of the LR senators Bruno Retailleau (12 appearances), the boss of the LR deputies Olivier Marleix and, between the two, the turbulent Aurélien Pradié (10 appearances) whose media rise has allowed him to give an echo to their unique positions. It should also be noted that the elected representative of the Liot Charles de Courson group - also closely watched during the examination of the text -, made a timid entry into the ranking. With a morning appearance, the parliamentarian with very rare speaking felt it necessary to publicly express his strong disagreement.
Finally, if they are not considered as political personalities, it should be noted that the presence of union representatives intensified throughout the sequence. “When the question arose of how to get out of this crisis, many unions were invited. Their presence has sometimes made it possible to create a dialogue with the executive through the media,” says Amandine Bégot. The journalist retains above all the president of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, whose number of interviews broke records on his antenna.