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Breitbart News plans expansion to Germany, France

The controversial U.S.-based conservative news site announces move into Europe ahead of major elections


Breitbart News plans expansion to Germany, France

As populism rises in Europe, Breitbart News sees the continent as a new market, according to a Reuters report published shortly after the U.S. presidential election. The controversial news site’s planned expansion into France and Germany comes shortly before French presidential elections this spring and German federal elections later this year.

In France, national elections could feature National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who wants France out of the European Union, and conservative Republican Francois Fillon. In Germany, Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union seeks to remain chancellor, while a newer, more nationalistic party, Alternative for Germany, is on the rise.

The Los Angeles-based Breitbart News expanded its reach beyond the United States when it established itself in Britain in 2014, appearing to align itself with the U.K. Independence Party and the related campaign for Britain to leave the European Union. According to Reuters, the day of Britain’s June 23 “Brexit” vote was Breitbart’s “most heavily trafficked day up to that point,” both in London and the United States.

Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart founded Breitbart News in 2007. After his death in 2012, Steve Bannon took the helm as executive chairman of Breitbart News Network and emerged as a controversial figure when the site appeared to align itself with Donald Trump and his supporters during the U.S. presidential election. After Trump won the election, he named Bannon his chief strategist and senior counselor.

In the wake of allegations leveled against Breitbart News of associations with the “alt-right” and white supremacists, some companies, including Kellogg’s and BMW, discontinued advertising on the site late last year. Bannon has denied allegations of racism.

Breitbart’s main news site now has links that will take readers to content from its London, Jerusalem, Texas, and California bureaus.

Laura Hendrickson Laura Hendrickson is a graduate of the WJI Mid-Career Course.

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