Thursday, January 8, 2015

Charlie Hebdo and the long vanished freedom of the press

Sanctimoniousness is not one of the weak points of the Western press. In a rare moment, and off the corpses of more victims of the West's war of Terror, the West's leaders wax copiously on the Freedom of the Press. "The pen is mightier than the sword!", "we'll defend the free press to the last!" It would be commendable if their resolve lasted longer than a soundbite and wasnt meant to defend the freedom to churn out racist caricatures of muslims.

But the Free Western Press vanished long ago, somewhere in the 80s when the media bosses were smashing printers & journalists unions. From the embedded press in the 1st Gulf War, obediently churning out censored military dispatches, to the studied ignorance of the victims of the West's proxy war in the Donbass, the Western press is thoroughly corrupt.

An exemplar is of course the personal media empire of Rupert Murdoch whose sole purpose is to reflect the twisted imaginings of his conservative brain & to promote whatever political party has managed to bribe him.

But nonetheless, shouldnt Charlie Hebdo have the right to churn out insulting cartoons aimed at whoever they like? Superficially, yes, of course. Journalists have certainly the right to work without being gunned down in their workplaces. But all mass media must have social responsibility. It is supposed to expose corruption and strive to advance society.

Given the savagery of colonial (and present day) France in the muslim world, from Algeria to Syria, is it really the same thing to ridicule the Prophet as it is to ridicule pedophile priests?


Racism in France is a reality. It is a social phenomenon reflected in poverty and poorer job opportunities. Racism in France is directed against muslims, not white christians. This is a fact that allows far right, racist parties like the National Front, or Pegida in Germany, or UKIP in the UK to grow.

Charlie Hebdo purports to be of the Left. Is it really in the Left's mandate to add to the racist chorus? Secularism has become a fetish in France, and like democracy it has become a weapon to be used to keep the downtrodden in their place. There is no excuse for the Left to be involved in banning the hijab for instance. What then can they say to the president when he claims the latest French military barbarity in Libya, Mali or Syria is to defend the light of reason?