Je Suis Fox News?

 

The terror attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo led even the most censorious of progressives into showy defenses of free speech. Too-little-too-late support for the murdered cartoonists included public protests, Twitter campaigns, and ten-thousand editorial cartoons notably focused on omnipotent pencils instead of Mohammed.

These new converts set aside talk of “microaggressions” to insist freedom of expression was an essential pillar of Western civilization, whatever that is. No matter how offensive speech might get, we must tolerate it all the time. “I may disapprove of what you say, but I will retweet a hashtag noting your right to say it.”

What a difference two weeks make:

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told CNN on Tuesday that her city intends to sue Fox News after it broadcasted interviews asserting that there are “no-go zones” in the French capital where police and non-Muslims fear to tread.

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Hidalgo said Fox had “insulted” the city.

”When we’re insulted, then I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,” Paris’s Socialist mayor said. “The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honour of Paris has been prejudiced.”

The future must not belong to those who slander the city of lights.

The mayor’s threat comes after a full apology from Fox News, even though the comments weren’t from network anchors, but interviewed guests. National security expert Nolan Peterson claimed that Paris had Muslim-controlled “no-go zones” on air while UKIP party head Nigel Farage agreed with the characterization. If Fox News is responsible for these guest opinions, why not prosecute them for interviewing radical cleric Anjem Choudary the same week?

Left unmentioned is the fact that MSNBC proudly hired Al Sharpton despite a decades-long track record of violent provocations, lies, and tax evasion. CNN featured Van Jones, an admitted truther who publicly questioned if George W. Bush orchestrated the attacks on 9/11. While I disagree with the politics of both, I have no interest in suing their employers or demanding they be fired.

Fox News’ jealous critics and the Parisian mayor should re-read their week-old paroxysms of support for an unbridled press. Because free speech doesn’t work if you’re only allowed to offend religious figures but not secular ones.

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There are 17 comments.

  1. Inactive

    How about to show our understanding of French sensibilities we in Philadelphia name a street after the two Islamists who shot a Parisian police officer lying helpless on the ground?

    • #1
    • January 20, 2015, at 4:36 PM PDT
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  2. Member

    Freedom of expression doesn’t cover libel (or lying).

    Does a news network have any legal responsibility for disseminating (without any fact checking or caveats) the views of ‘national security experts’ it repeatedly interviews?

    If so, Fox (and perhaps some other networks) may be in for a torrid time of it.

    • #2
    • January 20, 2015, at 4:55 PM PDT
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  3. Inactive

    JG – have you been out in that AZ sun too long? Here is how this works. The march against free speech moves forward year by year. However, should there be some “unpleasantness” that scares the proles for the short-term we’ll have a rally and hold up some signs for a bit to settles things down. Then, it is back to business.

    • #3
    • January 20, 2015, at 6:28 PM PDT
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  4. Contributor

    Lies are protected speech in America criminally, but not civilly from slander. I don’t know what the Parisian laws about slander are like, but can you slander a place, not a human being? I’d be shocked.

    But it’s Europe.

    • #4
    • January 20, 2015, at 6:29 PM PDT
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  5. Thatcher

    Jon,

    I am officially starting a new consciousness raising “phrase”. The microaggression thing is obviously the creation of the hyper sensitive left wing idiot who expects a life free of all criticism. We need our own “phrase” that makes clear what we on the right consider to be important.

    My new special phrase is “microgenocides”. Really catchy, you bet. We could catalog the microgenocides that take place almost every week. You know the kind that the MSM and the administration don’t want to dwell upon.

    Charlie Hebdo style killing.

    Boko Haram traditional murder of whole villages full of people and the kidnapping of women for the slave trade.

    ISIS beheading videos, ISIS torture photos, ISIS gang rapes, ISIS crucifixions.

    Iranian executions, whippings, hand choppings.

    How about a few honor killings from around the world of wives, daughters, sisters.

    Marxist inspired mass starvations of groups who they consider “on the wrong side of history”.

    Doesn’t this sound exciting. Really tops lefty hand wringing over somebody calling Lena Dunham fat & stupid. Fox just needs to think outside the box a little.

    By the way, I really think the socialists days in power are numbered in France. They have done everything they can to marginalize Le Pen. Too bad you can’t marginalize the truth.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
    • January 20, 2015, at 7:03 PM PDT
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  6. Member

    Defamation laws outside the US are nearly all less favorable to free speech; in France and the UK, I believe, truth is not a defense to the “right kind” of accusation. In any case, I’m unaware of American law allowing one to defame a city; certainly when someone is simply expressing their opinion.

    There’s also a disparity between what the guest talking to la trés belle Mme. Kelly is saying, and the map being shown. The guest is talking about certain suburbs; the map is showing Paris–what’s the deal with that? Paris, I suspect has some scary bits; the suburban trains to and from Paris must be rather scary at night.

    Is that the French John Stewart?

    In any case, Maire Hidalgo is a [can we use French vulgar language on Ricochet?].

    • #6
    • January 20, 2015, at 7:16 PM PDT
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  7. Member

    Boris Johnson not too long ago had some choice things to say (publicly) about the morose worldview of Liverpudlians — there was a hue and outcry (ironically validating no small part of Johnson’s initial assertions), and Johnson apologized, but I don’t recall the controversy landing in civil much less criminal court proceedings. This in a country where the libel laws can strike an American as surprisingly scary.

    Basically, this Paris business is emblematic of what Downton Abbey servants said to one another this past Sunday night about a group of visiting Russian aristocratic refugees crying upon viewing some Tsarist-era mementos: Makes sense, because they’re foreigners.

    • #7
    • January 20, 2015, at 7:42 PM PDT
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  8. Editor

    Right, remind me after I’ve finished up all the admin stuff I need to take care of today that everyone needs a backgrounder on Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, or as we thought of her before she and Paris stepped into the limelight recently, “our village idiot.”

    Our Parti Socialiste village idiot.

    Don’t let me forget.

    • #8
    • January 20, 2015, at 7:47 PM PDT
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  9. Inactive
    AIG

    Jeeze. If saying stuff that wasn’t true was a legal offense, how would any news outlet survive?

    Paris, you probably have bigger things to worry about than being ridiculed on Fox News.

    • #9
    • January 20, 2015, at 11:10 PM PDT
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  10. Editor

    Right. Have been reading the French news on this, near as I can guess: Total PR stunt. Possibly some law could be used to establish the comment was injurious to tourism revenues. Which are, of course, what’s at stake. And I must say she’s played it well, because now she’s getting everyone to hear what she has to say, which is, “Come visit Paris and spend your money, it’s safe!” About which she’s right.

    But the larger message she’s giving–which I guess she hasn’t thought about too deeply–is “Paris is full of idiots.”

    And the even more worrying message she’s giving is, “Hey, Eighth-Rate Dictators!” Next time you sue a newspaper out of business for offending you, you can say, ‘This is the way it is even in highly civilized countries!'” Which they will.

    But of course, she doesn’t really care about that, because, you know–she’s a socialist. So all she cares about is the money.

    • #10
    • January 21, 2015, at 3:59 AM PDT
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  11. Thatcher

    Jon, Claire & all,

    We must understand Anne Hidalgo and be sensitive in describing her. I would say she is reality handicapped. This is the complete lack of capacity to recognize reality. We must feel her pain. On a day to day basis she can’t tell her a(coc) from her elbow.

    Farage: Paris Mayor’s Threat to Sue Fox News Over No Go Zones “Incomprehensible”.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #11
    • January 21, 2015, at 7:58 AM PDT
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  12. Thatcher

    Jon, Claire & all,

    The sun rose in the east this morning. Before I make anymore extravagant claims let me show some evidence.

    Fabrice Balanche, a well-known French Islam scholar who teaches at the University of Lyon, recently told Radio Télévision Suisse: “You have territories in France such as Roubaix, such as northern Marseille, where police will not step foot, where the authority of state is completely absent, where mini Islamic states have been formed.”

    French writer and political journalist Éric Zemmour recently told BFM TV: “There are places in France today, especially in the suburbs, where it is not really in France. Salafi Islamists are Islamizing some neighborhoods and some suburbs. In these neighborhoods, it’s not France, it’s an Islamic republic.” In a separate interview, Zemmour — whose latest book is entitled, “The French Suicide” — says multiculturalism and the reign of politically correct speech is destroying the country.

    French politician Franck Guiot wrote that parts of Évry, a township in the southern suburbs of Paris, are no-go zones where police forces cannot go for fear of being attacked. He said that politicians seeking to maintain “social peace” were prohibiting the police from using their weapons to defend themselves.

    Read the full story at the Gatestone Institute’s site.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #12
    • January 21, 2015, at 9:22 AM PDT
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  13. Editor

    James Gawron:Jon, Claire & all,

    The sun rose in the east this morning. Before I make anymore extravagant claims let me show some evidence.

    Before you take that as evidence, my plan this weekend is to go to as many of these neighborhoods as the RER permits (depending where and when it’s on strike), and come back with a report. Seems that I’m a journalist, and I live here, so I really ought to settle this properly.

    Last I was in most of these places, about a year ago, I was looking for low-cost rental properties. Many of them are really very nice. I decided against it because the RER is always on strike, and since the whole point of being here was to be close to my father, I didn’t want to be so far from him that I couldn’t get to his apartment quickly in an emergency.

    But I’ll schlep out there as a journalist over the weekend, and come back with a report on the state of the ‘burbs. Note my very high confidence–very–that I will go out to the burbs, interview the locals, and come back to tell the tale, possibly after having quite a good lunch. And no, I don’t mean Neuilly. I propose to go the Heart of Clichy-sous-bois, etc., and bring all of Ricochet along with me.

    And back.

    • #13
    • January 21, 2015, at 8:01 PM PDT
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  14. Thatcher

    Claire Berlinski:

    James Gawron:Jon, Claire & all,

    The sun rose in the east this morning. Before I make anymore extravagant claims let me show some evidence.

    Before you take that as evidence, my plan this weekend is to go to as many of these neighborhoods as the RER permits (depending where and when it’s on strike), and come back with a report. Seems that I’m a journalist, and I live here, so I really ought to settle this properly.

    Last I was in most of these places, about a year ago, I was looking for low-cost rental properties. Many of them are really very nice. I decided against it because the RER is always on strike, and since the whole point of being here was to be close to my father, I didn’t want to be so far from him that I couldn’t get to his apartment quickly in an emergency.

    But I’ll schlep out there as a journalist over the weekend, and come back with a report on the state of the ‘burbs. Note my very high confidence–very–that I will go out to the burbs, interview the locals, and come back to tell the tale, possibly after having quite a good lunch. And no, I don’t mean Neuilly. I propose to go the Heart of Clichy-sous-bois, etc., and bring all of Ricochet along with me.

    And back.

    Claire,

    I want you to go with escort, armed escort. I’m sure you know France far better than I. However, let’s just say I’m superstitious.

    Armed escort.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #14
    • January 21, 2015, at 8:13 PM PDT
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  15. Editor

    James Gawron:

    I want you to go with escort, armed escort. I’m sure you know France far better than I. However, let’s just say I’m superstitious.

    You want me to take an armed escort with me? I reckon we need a bit of a definition on this one. The phrase is quite elastic. While I don’t think it’s accurate to say that the French police are overreacting to this, I do think if I show up anywhere in France right now with what one generally imagines when we think of “an armed escort,” I’d wind up in custody with a lot of explaining to do. That would have nothing to do with the neighborhood, either. If I walk out of my apartment with anything that looks like anything in those images to which I linked, the local cops–everywhere where such scenes might be a bit out of the ordinary, I reckon–would feel duty-bound to take at least a passing interest in it.

    My job here is to report the news, not make it, and certainly not under the headline, “Dumb American pulls weird publicity stunt in France, wastes time and resources of overworked cops with better things to do.”

    • #15
    • January 22, 2015, at 4:34 AM PDT
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  16. Thatcher

    Claire Berlinski:

    James Gawron:

    I want you to go with escort, armed escort. I’m sure you know France far better than I. However, let’s just say I’m superstitious.

    You want me to take an armed escort with me? I reckon we need a bit of a definition on this one. The phrase is quite elastic. While I don’t think it’s accurate to say that the French police are overreacting to this, I do think if I show up anywhere in France right now with what one generally imagines when we think of “an armed escort,” I’d wind up in custody with a lot of explaining to do. That would have nothing to do with the neighborhood, either. If I walk out of my apartment with anything that looks like anything in those images to which I linked, the local cops–everywhere where such scenes might be a bit out of the ordinary, I reckon–would feel duty-bound to take at least a passing interest in it.

    My job here is to report the news, not make it, and certainly not under the headline, “Dumb American pulls weird publicity stunt in France, wastes time and resources of overworked cops with better things to do.”

    Claire,

    Just because I am concerned for your safety doesn’t mean that I’m just an insensitive trigger happy kind of guy. I was hoping to send ED 209 but he has a “glitch”.

    You like cats don’t you. How about we get a nice leash for this kitty.

    Tiger

    OK OK I’ll keep working on it. Please accept some kind of security backup. Let’s just say I’ve grown accustomed to your face and would prefer to see it as often as I can. Please don’t screw that up for me would you.

    One last thing. I think even parts of the MSM are beginning to cave on this issue.

    Cave: CNN’s Anderson Cooper Admits to CNN’s Muslim ‘No Go Zone’ Cover Up

    Regards & Concerns,

    Jim

    • #16
    • January 22, 2015, at 8:37 AM PDT
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  17. Thatcher

    Claire,

    I don’t know if you saw this article by Pamela Geller.

    Inside France’s Sharia No-Go Zones

    There are no rules there, especially not for Jews. A Jew in these areas can take a beating at any time! The police do not go in unless they come with huge backup. If a police car gets lost there, it will get smashed to pieces! They provoke fires, so that the firemen come and get stoned! 

    But I can tell you that living in these places is no picnic, and all these fake politicians can go live there and see if they can hold on for 10 minutes.

    That is true. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and other politicians who have claimed that there are no Sharia no-go zones should walk through some of the areas that are widely identified as such, and see how long they last if they are women with heads uncovered.

    Pam may be to the right of Attila the Hun but it doesn’t sound good. I remember when Benazir Bhutto went back to Pakistan. I just knew what would happen. They really are crazy Claire and I really am concerned about you.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #17
    • January 23, 2015, at 10:57 AM PDT
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