The French Presidential Debate Was Shades of Trump-Clinton

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Heather Hurlburt wrote for New York magazine about how the French presidential election is reminiscent of the U.S. election in 2016: 

If Hillary Clinton’s return to the airwaves and Donald Trump’s response-tweeting have got you nostalgic for the acrimony and nauseating tension of the 2016 debate season, consider watching the full two-and-a-half-hour political spectacle that played out in France yesterday.

In advance of Sunday’s vote in that country’s presidential contest, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen squared off against independent ex-Socialist Emmanuel Macron in the first and only debate between the two finalists. And we do mean squared off: The TV format seated the two face-to-face, separated only by their desks. As anyone who lived through 2016 could have predicted, the moderator lost control, and the occasion spun into a fury of interruptions and insults: “smirking banker,” “parasite,” “priestess of fear.” The only thing missing was a direct threat of imprisonment.