Válerie Trierweiler, the girlfriend of French presidential candidate François Hollande, apparently became so upset upon finding her image splashed on the front page of Paris Match, that she took to Twitter to publicly express her fury.
The French magazine, which she happens to write for, published a photo of her and Hollande with the headline: “Válerie: François Hollande’s lucky charm: How their love was born.”
The journalist claims she was so outraged that she took to Twitter and posted the following:
The tweet read: “What a shock to find yourself on the front page of your own paper. I am angry to see the use of photos without my agreement and without letting me know.”
(As background, you you should know that Trierweiler, 46, met Hollande during an assignment, while covering politics for Paris Match. They kept their relationship under wraps for a while, but last November, she vowed to stop political coverage for the magazine citing a conflict of interest.)
Trierweiler later posted another tweet, sarcastically congratulating her own publication for depicting her as arm candy on International Women’s Day of all days.
The tweet translates to: “Bravo Paris March for its sexism on International Women’s Day… Thoughts for all angry women.”
In return, Paris Match’s Twitter page (which surprisingly, NEVER tweets to individual users) fired back:
“It’s true Válerie that we didn’t discuss the front page with you. That’s Match’s independence. You are in the best position to understand (that).”
Some took to Twitter and expressed their support, saying things like : “What a slap in the face by your own employer,” etc.
But honestly, I find the whole thing a bit suspicious. Somehow, it did not seem authentic.
Here is my reasoning:
The first evidence of possible manipulation is based on simple basics of social media- Notice that in her first tweet, Mrs. Trierweiler used a hashtag (#) for the word “Paris,” which is somewat strange because, if she indeed was so furious that she wanted to address her employer- Paris Match itself, the official Twitter account- she would have had to use the publication’s Twitter handle, which is @ParisMatch, and not #Paris. Using #Paris, however, did guarantee visibility all around the world. Coincidence? I think not.
Most importantly- if you became upset with your employer, would your first reaction really be to tweet about it instead of meeting personally with your boss to talk about it? At the very least, wouldn’t you send an e-mail?
One can only wonder– Did she make an honest mistake or was this all part of the plan? Can we assume that Mrs. Trierweiler, a journalist of her stature, does not even know the basics of Twitter? The rest of her tweets prove otherwise. This tweet, for example, shows she knows perfectly well how to address another person and a media organization on Twitter.
Or did she purposely do all this so that all Twitter users who follow the keyword “Paris” could see her tweet, thus drawing more attention to herself? She is, after all, no longer a mere journalist, but more prominently, a candidate for First Lady of France. She and Hollande, just like all the other candidates, need all the publicity and buzz they can get.
By the way, I’m not the only one to be skeptical of Valtrier’s Twitter rant. Other Twitter users, are also suspicious of it, including Twitter user @Frouteman, who tweeted: “@valtrier: today’s controversy proves your hypocrisy or your sense of propaganda?” Here is her original tweet in French:
I may be wrong, but all these little technical details do make me wonder. What do you think? Faux or not?