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Writing in the Huffington Post, Mehdi Hasan says he is ‘fed up with Free Speech Fundamentalists”.
You and I didn’t like George W Bush. Remember his puerile declaration after 9/11 that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”? Yet now, in the wake of another horrific terrorist attack, you appear to have updated Dubya’s slogan: either you are with free speech… or you are against it. Either vous êtes Charlie Hebdo… or you’re a freedom-hating fanatic.
Well, that’s what the mainstream media are telling us. The march for free speech in Paris soon mutated into a march for unity. (Marching right next to Francois Hollande: Ali Bongo of Gabon, who recently who recently “suspended” 3 newspapers. 1 for SATIRE).
The people who slammed Charlie Hebdo when its offices were firebombed were keen to be seen to declare “Jew suits Charlie”, the phrase being a shorthand for ‘look how good I am’. The West’s war on free speech was not over when racist Islamist goons raided the Charlie Hebdo offices and slaughtered the staff. Free speech remains a fragile right.
If you support campus speech codes, ban debate, participated in a campaign to get a TV or radio show off the air, then as Iowahawk says, “drop your #JeSuisCharlie sign”.
Charlie Hebdo understands the fashionable with their Hebdo-branded sandwich-boards.
Fran Lebowitz go to right:
“If people don’t want to listen to you, what makes you think they want to hear from your sweater?’ When I see someone wearing clothing with words on my first reaction is usually, ‘Ooo, I bet you’re really boring!’”
The magazine’s new cover sticks with Mohammed (as if they could choose another subject) and lampoons the weeping and righteous who use the magazine to advertise their sound morals. Others use the cover to show that they are sensitive to Muslims.
They all love Charlie Hebdo, but none are brave enough to be him.
Hasan goes on:
…In the midst of all the post-Paris grief, hypocrisy and hyperbole abounds. Yes, the attack was an act of unquantifiable evil; an inexcusable and merciless murder of innocents. But was it really a “bid to assassinate” free speech (ITV’s Mark Austin), to “desecrate” our ideas of “free thought” (Stephen Fry)? It was a crime – not an act of war – perpetrated by disaffected young men; radicalised not by drawings of the Prophet in Europe in 2006 or 2011, as it turns out, but by images of US torture in Iraq in 2004.
Radicalised by images of US torture they murdered Jews? We can add “being Jewish” to the list of “provocations” then. And the killers shouted: “The prophet has been avenged.”
Please get a grip. None of us believes in an untrammelled right to free speech.
None of us? Charlie Hebdo does. All of the people carrying “Jew Suis Charlie” signs do. Well, no of course they don’t. That’s just fashion, like wearing a Katherine Hamnett Me-shirt. Carrying a “Je suis Charlie” sign declaring #Illridewithyou or #bringbackourgirls (and pity fashion victim Michelle Obama for that display of indulgence) is vanity; wearing your beliefs as something you can pull on and off as the mood takes.
And irony of ironies:
French comedian Dieudonne has been arrested for allegedly defending terrorism in a Facebook comment referencing last week’s attacks in Paris.
Free speech no buts.. He should not be arrested.
Playing on the slogan “Je suis Charlie”, the comedian wrote: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Coulibaly.” Amedy Coulibaly is accused of murdering a policewoman and then storming a kosher supermarket, shooting dead four shoppers.
We all agree there are always going to be lines that, for the purposes of law and order, cannot be crossed; or for the purposes of taste and decency, should not be crossed. We differ only on where those lines should be drawn.
And yes. How we decide those lines is by testing them and with open debate. So. We are all for free speech.
As ever the mood turns to – yep – the Jews, who really were targetted victims of the slaughter (unless you watch CNN and know that if you want to murder Muslims you find them in the kosher store):
Has your publication, for example, run cartoons mocking the Holocaust? No?
The Holocaust was industrial mass murder. Well, to those who believe it happened; to those who believe the Jews are worthy of it (they never learn); to those who put on the anti-Semitic Holocaust cartoon show:
More than 200 Holocaust cartoons from around the world are on display at a museum in the Iranian capital, Tehran. Organisers of the exhibition say they are testing the West’s commitment to freedom of speech. A competition to choose the drawings was announced in February, in response to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by European newspapers. Israel’s Holocaust authority, Yad Vashem, criticised the exhibition, calling it a “flashing red light”.
The drawings were chosen from nearly 1,200 entries received from various countries including the United States, Indonesia and Turkey. One of the cartoons shows the Statue of Liberty holding a book on the Holocaust in one hand and giving a Nazi salute with the other.
No Jews murdered the cartoonists who mocked the victims of the atrocity that was the Holocaust. The Holocaust it not a religious figure. Unless Hasan says it is. Unless the Holocaust now defines the Jews more than their Covenant with God. If Jews can be portrayed as barbaric murderers and child abusers who never learned the ‘lesson’ of the Holocaust, maybe they can be rendered less. Rather than being the victims of industrial mass murder, they can be sub-humans who, you know, were asking for it.
Holocaust denial is rife in the Middle East. So too is anti-Semitism. There are so many parallels between the imagery used by classic anti-semitism and anti-Zionist propaganda:
Cartoonist Kirshen notes:
After the Holocaust proved the victimhood of the Jewish people, Antisemitism and the Antisemitic memes of the image-codes needed to evolve into a holocaustresistant form which would deny Jewish victimhood. Moral Inversion Codes invert the horrors by depict the victims as the perpetrators. Thus the Jew becomes the Nazi or the terrorist suicide bomber, rather than their victim.
When you’re a Jew you look for codes.
Norway’s Dagbladet showed this:
The same paper came up with this. The demon at the head (and like that fork) and the woman at the feet are both blood-soaked Jews.
The accusation is that Jews are barbaric. But the same goes for Muslims, who also cricumcise boys. One glance at their genitals indicate that they are subhumans, unworthy of mercy. Jews should abandon their ‘barbaric’ customs and adopt a civilised way of life. Deprive Jews of the empathy normally felt for human beings.
A decree by the Seleucid emperor Antiochus IV commanded Jews to leave their sons uncircumcised or face death. This decree against the ‘barbaric’ behaviour of an ‘uneducated’ people, issued by an imperial civilisation, was part of a comprehensive campaign to destroy the Jewish way of life. The revolt against the decree, led by Judah Maccabee, is still considered one of the defining moments of Judaism.
It is difficult to make sense of the strong views held by campaigners and policymakers who seek to criminalise and pathologise the circumcision of Jewish and Muslim boys. Last Tuesday, a resolution passed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe condemned male circumcision as a ‘violation of the physical integrity of children’. Unlike Antiochus IV, these parliamentarians did not use the narrative of a civilisational mission against barbarism to justify their assault on people’s way of life; instead they used the apparently neutral language of health and child protection to legitimise their crusade. The Council’s resolution called on governments to ‘clearly define the medical, sanitary and other conditions to be ensured for practices such as the non-medically justified circumcision of young boys’.
The Council’s attempt to stigmatise circumcision coincides with a growing campaign against circumcision in Scandinavia and Germany. In recent weeks there has been a veritable culture war against this age-old practice. Most of the time, the crusade is conducted in a very politically correct language which avoids any explicitly culturally loaded terminology. In this vein, the German Social Democratic parliamentarian Marle Rupprecht argued that the Council’s resolution, which she supports, ‘does not intend to stigmatise any religious community or its practices’. As far as she is concerned, it’s all about the child – and if the campaign against circumcision inflames anti-Semitism, well, that is a price worth paying for this holy cause, apparently
Having picked out the Jews – always the Jews – as the West’s scared cow (attack them and attck all the West holds dear; the Jewish State a scapegoat for globalization and modernity), Hasan concludes:
Let’s be clear: I agree there is no justification whatsoever for gunning down journalists or cartoonists.
That a pretty low bar: murder is wrong.
I disagree with your seeming view that the right to offend comes with no corresponding responsibility; and I do not believe that a right to offend automatically translates into a duty to offend.
A duty to challenge is what makes us free.
When you say “Je suis Charlie“, is that an endorsement of Charlie Hebdo‘s depiction of the French justice minister, Christiane Taubira, who is black, drawn as a monkey? Of crude caricatures of bulbous-nosed Arabs that must make Edward Said turn in his grave?
Lampooning racism by reproducing brazenly racist imagery is a pretty dubious satirical tactic….
It’s for these reasons that I can’t “be”, don’t want to “be”, Charlie – if anything, we should want to be Ahmed, the Muslim policeman who was killed while protecting the magazine’s right to exist. As the novelist Teju Cole has observed, “It is possible to defend the right to obscene… speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech.”
Ahmed was an innocent victim. Was he shot because he was a Muslim? The Jews were shot dead because of their religion. The Charlie Hebdo staff were shot dead for their beliefs. Hasan makes no mention of that. Instead anti-Semitism – which is murderous and very real – is again used as a weapon to show that those Jews get special treatment:
And why have you been so silent on the glaring double standards? Did you not know that Charlie Hebdo sacked the veteran French cartoonist Maurice Sinet in 2008 for making an allegedly anti-Semitic remark?
Always the Jews.
…Muslims, I guess, are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren.
If only the Jews has rhino hides it might have stopped the Islamists’ bullets.
You could see Jews and Muslims and blacks and browns as the Others, who fight for a place in Europe. But easier to compare and copntrast. Easier to show your own side as the bigger victims.
And then – for the third time – Hasan shows how Jews get preferential treament:
Weren’t you sickened to see Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of a country that was responsible for the killing of seven journalists in Gaza in 2014, attend the “unity rally” in Paris? Bibi was joined by Angela Merkel, chancellor of a country where Holocaust denial is punishable by up to five years in prison, and David Cameron, who wants to ban non-violent “extremists” committed to the “overthrow of democracy” from appearing on television.
You could pick any number of World leader whose committment to free speech and freedom credentials would wilt under scrutiny. But he picks the one Jew. You could pick on Turkey, a nation leading the world in journalist imprisonment.
But he picks the Jew. He picks the Holocaust.
Pick. Pick. Pick. Until it bleeds…
But it was all about free speech. And free speech with no buts. Voltaire proclaimed: “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.”
So. Say it. We’ll exhange views. No-one will get hurt. It’s good to talk…
France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls is the Socialist son of Spnish immigrants. He sees the anti-Semitism:
“If 100,000 French people of Spanish origin were to leave, I would never say that France is not France anymore. But if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure.”
Stephen Pollard , editor of the Jewish Chronicle tweets:
“Every single French Jew I know has either left or is actively working out how to leave. So, it’s a fluke that the latest target is a kosher grocer, is it? What’s going on in France – outrages that have been getting worse for years – put our antisemitism problems in perspective. It is the largest emigration of Jews anywhere since the war. That’s a simple fact.”
Is it bad?
Jews were the target of 40 per cent of all racist crimes in France in 2013 – even though they comprise less than 1 per cent of the population. Attacks on Jews have risen sevenfold since the 1990s.
Andrew Hussey, an author and expert on French Muslim affairs, says: “anti-Semitism is a fundamental part of French history and culture in a very damaging way. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the petite bourgeoisie felt under threat from the Catholic Church and socialist movements. They turned to the Jews to blame them for every fault in French society, which culminated in the Dreyfus Affair.”
“There is a new anti-Semitism in France… We have the old anti-Semitism, and I’m obviously not downplaying it, that comes from the extreme right, but this new anti-Semitism comes from the difficult neighborhoods, from immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, who have turned anger about Gaza into something very dangerous. Israel and Palestine are just a pretext. There is something far more profound taking place now.”
Patrick Worrall looks at the facts:
In 2014, some 6,658 French Jews left for Israel, more than double the 2013 total of 3,263 people. And this was already considerably more than the 1,923 Jews who left France for Israel in 2012…
The official Israeli Aliyah figures only show how many French Jews are moving to Israel. There are plenty of anecdotal reports of people leaving France for London and New York, although we can’t confirm or deny this with statistics.
FactCheck knows of one synagogue in north London that is renting space to a community group for French-speaking Jews, but we don’t know how big a trend this is.
So it is possible that the Jewish “exodus” from France is even bigger. On the other hand, the official figures don’t tell us how much traffic is coming in the opposite direction.
Nearly 75 percent of thousands of French Jews who participated in a recent survey said they are considering emigrating.
The survey, whose results were released Monday by the Paris-based Siona organization of Sephardic French Jews, encompassed 3,833 respondents from the Jewish community of France, Siona said.
Of the 74.2 percent of respondents who said they are considering leaving, 29.9 percent cited anti-Semitism. Another 24.4 cited their desire to “preserve their Judaism,” while 12.4 percent said they were attracted by other countries. “Economic considerations” was cited by 7.5 percent of the respondents.
In total, 95.2 percent of all respondents to the online survey conducted by Siona from April 17 to May 16 said they viewed anti-Semitism as “very worrisome” or “worrisome.”
Slightly more than half, or 57.5 percent, of respondents, said “Jews have no future in France,” while 30.6 percent said there is a future for Jews there.
Asked whether they had personally experienced anti-Semitic incidents in the past two years, 14.5 percent replied in the affirmative but of those, only 21.2 filed a complaint with police. Of the complainants, 27.6 percent indicated that their deposition had led to concrete results.
The decades-long targeting of French Jews has barely been reported in the British or western media, which subscribe instead to the mantra that the main evil is “Islamophobia”. They ignore the fact that, rooted in Islamic doctrine and appropriating obscene Nazi motifs, demonic Jew-hatred pours daily out of the Muslim world.
Such are the facts…
Pictures: Léon Lipschutz collection of Dreyfusiana and French Judaica
The Charlie Hebdo massacre and murders at a kosher supermarket in Paris got everyone talking about free speech.
(Their love of free speech ‘no buts…’ won’t last. The Paris free speech rally has morphed into a “unity” rally led by people with no interest in free speech. Gabon’s state-run media regulatory agency, the National Communications Council, suspended three newspapers in 2013, one of them a satirical work. That’s Gabon’s President Ali Bongo on the Paris march. Also marching was US campus censor Eric Holder and:
Let’s hope someone holds up a Charlie Hebdo cartoon and vomits on them all. If this is who you allow to lead a march to support free speech, you’re doing it wrong.)
But what about the racism?
Why-oh-why was the kosher store targetted? Anyone got the foggiest? Want to guess? The gunman and four hostages died at the Hypercasher supermarket near Porte de Vincennes. Yohan Cohen was murdered when he went for jihadi Amedy Coulibaly’s gun. Yoav Hattab died trying to grabbing one of two weapons held by the racist killer.
In all, Islamists murdered 17 people. Since then the BBC has written the following stories on Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. There have been attacks on Muslim places of worship and stores. Blessedly, the nutters have not hurt anyone.
BBC reports on the Anti-Semitic nature of the assaults:
January 10: “Charlie Hebdo hunt: Bloody end to sieges”
French President Francois Hollande not the BBC used the term:
“We must be implacable towards racism,” he added, saying that the supermarket attack was an “appalling anti-Semitic act”.
Well, if he says attacking a kosher supermarket was based on anti-Semitism, then we won’t argue.
That’s ONE story on anti-semitism.
BBC reports on Islamophbia since the assaults:
Total: 6 stories.
Does that seem odd to you? The real murders of Jews is less racially motivated than the largely perceived violent backlash against Muslims?
Jews are under threat in France. Only Jews – and this is true for the UK – pray behind guards and fences. Do men with walkie-talkies patrol your church or mosque at prayer time? Is your local Jewish school behind barbed wire? It is in the UK and it is in France.
Teacher Isaac Berg was in the kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes 15 minutes before Friday’s hostage-taking.
“We’re afraid, but what more could the government do to protect us?” he said. “Our schools and places of worship have already been guarded for the last two years. People wouldn’t want a police escort to go shopping.”
In Toulouse in 2012, Mohammad Merah murdered a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school, pulling an eight-year-old girl by her hair to shoot her in the head.
French President Francois Hollande has spoken out against an “unbearable” assault on a young couple near Paris which ministers say was anti-Semitic. The two victims, a woman aged 19 and her boyfriend, 21, were tied up in his family’s flat and the woman was raped.
Their lawyer said three men had burst into the flat, telling the boyfriend: “You Jews, you have money.”
In 2014, a French jihadist was accused of murdering four people in a gun attack on the Jewish museum in the Belgian capital, Brussels.
Since the Paris attacks, the Guardian has written 25 stories in Islamophbia, including:
Charlie Hebdo: Norway didn’t give in to Islamophobia, nor should France. The Charlie Hebdo killers want to provoke anti-Islam sentiment among the public, just as Anders Breivik did. But France must resist
Muslims fear backlash after Charlie Hebdo deaths as Islamic sites attacked
Muslims in Europe fear anti-Islamic mood will intensify after Paris attacks
And two on anti-semitism:
Paris’s Jewish community retreats in shock after deadly end to siege – Residents of neighbourhood where policewoman was shot dead say gunman Amedy Coulibaya intended to target Jewish school
Charlie Hebdo: first they came for the cartoonists, then they came for the Jews
What about the right-wing Press?
Well, the Sun has produced one stopry on Anti-Semitism, which is just that quote again:
But the girlfriend of Islamic extremist gunman Amedy Coulibaly is believed to still be on the loose after the attack which French President Francois Hollande described as a “dreadful anti-Semitic act”. Police have said Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, is “armed and dangerous”.
And two menions of Islamphobia:
Shereen Nanjarani notes in her column: “Wednesday’s attack will only stir up more Islamophobia. And that’s what the terrorists want.”
Well, that and to kill Jews.
The other mention in the Sun is this:
THE partner of murdered Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier has described him as “a real hero”.
Jeanette Bougrab was with vehement left-winger Charbonnier – known as Charb – despite having been a minister in Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government.
She said: “Stephane was an exceptional person, a real hero, a hero I loved in spite of our very different political views.
“A war has been declared in France. If you have a pencil, someone will kill you. He knew he was under threat, but he still declined government protection for Charlie Hebdo. He was accused of every sin and nobody defended him. Securalism is the fight against fundamentalist, he was ready to die for his ideas. But today those who defend secularism are accused of Islamophobia.”
Such are the facts…
Je Suis Charlie Hebdo: but Obama, Clinton and all the free speech loving cowards don’t want to be him
“Je Suis Charlkie Hebdo”. Everyone’s saying it. Free speech rules! The British politians who want to regulate journalists; the Twitter narks; the police; and the newly Enlightened all just love Charlie Hebdo and that free speech.
This Buzzfeed writer’s catharsis is not untypical of the collective epiphany.
When in 2011 the offices of Charlie Hebdo were firebombed following the trailing of a special edition mocked up to look like it was guest-edited by Muhammad (editor Stéphane Charbonnier had to live under police protection) Time magazine’s Paris Bureau Chief didn’t side with free speech. He went with this:
Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?
The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam. The Wednesday morning arson attack destroyed the Paris editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo after the paper published an issue certain to enrage hard-core Islamists (and offend average Muslims) with articles and “funny” cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed—depictions forbidden in Islam to boot…. do you still think the price you paid for printing an offensive, shameful, and singularly humor-deficient parody on the logic of “because we can” was so worthwhile? If so, good luck with those charcoal drawings your pages will now be featuring.
You crying? You feel the prick of tears? You angry? You should be. You should be furious. The cold-blooded attack on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo claimed 12 lives. You should weep for the lives of the murdered. They were champions of free speech and free thinking. And you should be angry that all we must hold dear is under attack.
The 12 dead are victims of a slaughter by violent, Islamic racists. The magazine’s “controversial” cartoons and editorials – always billed as “controversial” in the mainstream press, as if it were a bad thing – were meant to trigger a battle of ideas. The sane could debate the rights and wrongs. People would talk. No-one would get hurt – not by voices and debate. Charlie Hebdo would be the polemicists, fomenting a new view and changing the dialogue. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to buy it. You can criticise it. You can vote with your feet at the offence and blasphemy. But the Islamists took up guns.
The 12 victims were murdered for taking the piss out of Muhammad, for showing their comic liberty.
Is Islam so weak it cannot counter a French magazine? Is it so fearful it kills all debate, unable to confront ideas with sanity and reason?
And what now? Do we look to ourselves, the free thinking and censor our views so as not to offend the gun-toting nutters? Do we strive to understand the mindset of two men who see a picture and murder a dozen people? Hey, everyone’s a critic, right? Or do we skewer the censorious bastards with wit?
How brave are we in the West?
We banned the Jesus and Mohammed T-shirts. Police demand we tell on anyone saying something unsayable on Twitter, turning us into police narks.
You know what. Screw them. Say what you think. Don’t be gratutious. Don’t seek to offend. Just say what you think and believe. Be prepared to debate that view. Be open to ideas and people. If the other person disagrees, then your argument has failed. Don’t pick up a gun and shoot them dead. Don’t put them in prison. Mock them.
Free speech used to be a right in countries where it was allowed. It’s spread. Online, we enjoy speaking out, sharing our views, prejudices, stupidity and relishing our right to cause offence. These Islamists want to smah that. In doing so they have placed us all on the front line in the war on free speech. We must fight them.
Our police and protectors we need to uphold freedoms hard won are seeking to licence journalist with a poxy Royal Charter and spy on us with the horrendous RIPA law.
Fight it. Appeasement has its limits.
Charb, one of the caricaturists killed today, said:
“I am not afraid of retaliation. I have no kids, no wife, no car, no credit. It perhaps sounds a bit pompous, but I prefer to die standing than living on my knees.”
Stand up to tyranny.
Dental artist Jessine Hein has created dentures of David Bowie’s old teeth from acrylics, plaster and acrylic paint. The toothless can now what it feel like to hold, lick and suck on David Bowie’s teeth. This is great news for Bowie’s American fans who can experience the naturalistic thrill of crooked, English teeth.
Now with added tooth analysis:
The story of Prince Andrew and the allegedly underage “sex slave” Virginia Roberts is back in the news.
The front pages are full of lurid allegations against the Duke of York, formerly known as Randy Andy.
The story can be summed up simply. The BBC does a decent job:
Buckingham Palace has denied “any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors” by Prince Andrew, after he was named in US court papers. A woman named him in documents she filed in a Florida court over how prosecutors handled a case against financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The woman is 30-year-old Virginia Roberts. The story is not new.
She claims that between 1999 and 2002 she was forced by Epstein to have sex with the prince when she was a minor.
Obama and the FBI blame the hacking attacks against Sony Pictures on North Korea. Who knew the DPRK regime was capable? The hacks were triggered by the The Interview, in which two American journalists played by James Franco and Seth Rogen set out to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Amid threats of movie theater terrorism, Sony pulled the film from its Christmas Day release.
Reactions have been many:
The whole Sony story has a certain twisted dark comedy flavor with CEO Michael Lynton bickering with Obama over the release of what is said to be an unwatchable movie. It sure looks that way from the trailers. If the NORKS had any brains, they should just have let the film be released and it would have sunk like a stone. But perhaps they had other intentions — or someone did — beyond making fun of inane Hollywood studio executives or even silencing a movie.
The cyber attack on the studio has a serious side and it’s not really about North Korea. It’s about who helped North Korea, the assumption being that the NORKS don’t quite have the technical expertise to pull this off by themselves. Russia, China and Iran are the three candidates whose names have been thrown into the hopper as possible co-perps — maybe more than one of them.
Hollywood came to the Rev. Al Thursday as embattled Sony exec Amy Pascal met privately with the black leader for 90 minutes in a bid to fix the fallout from the cyberhacking leak of embarrassing, racially charged emails.
Pascal agreed to let Sharpton have a say in how Sony makes motion pictures, in an effort to combat what he called “inflexible and immovable racial exclusion in Hollywood.”
“We have agreed to having a working group deal with the racial bias and lack of diversity in Hollywood,” said Sharpton.
One important point in the President’s remarks today: a potentially ominous nod to the need for more regulation and control over the internet. The internet now is like “the Wild West,” he said, “We need more rules about how the internet should operate.” Cybersecurity is an urgent issue, and the Sony hacks underscore that, said the president. But when heads of state talk about more state control over the internet, rarely does greater freedom of speech result.
The only problem: At least one cable company preemptively surrendered to North Korean intimidation, too, reportedly saying it would not air the film. Now, even if Sony had a backbone transplant, it couldn’t release the movie.
Sony could still dump it on the Internet and let it spread virally. It would lose ticket sales, but the company would strike a defiant blow nonetheless.
Don’t hold your breath. Sony would rather go the way of appeasement. And so would everyone else, it seems.
For Pascal, 56, and Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, 54, the damage has gotten far worse as the flood of stolen material — including both of their email inboxes — keeps coming, and on Dec. 16, the hackers, dubbed Guardians of Peace, threatened a 9/11-style attack on theaters that show Seth Rogen’s North Korea assassination comedy The Interview. Pascal, the lead creative executive on Interview, tells THR she believes she has the backing of her Tokyo-based employers. But by now, high-level insiders have moved from speculating about whether she will be replaced to asking when and by whom.
The James Flacco Name Generator
At a press conference on Friday, President Obama said Sony made “a mistake” by canceling the release of The Interview. He also praised the film’s stars Seth Rogen and James … Flacco? If, like actor James Franco, you want a new last name—one you can share with an NFL quarterback—then use our name generator below.
What I wonder is why people aren’t a little more put off by a form of censorship that is more insidious, and will likely affect far more movies in the long run: the soft censorship of appealing to the Chinese government in order to reap the Chinese box office. There have been widespread claims that recent blockbuster movies like the latest Transformers have been written so as to appease Chinese censors. There’s nothing wrong with writing movies to reach out to a particularly huge foreign box office– why wouldn’t you want your movie to play to Chinese moviegoers?– but appealing to the Chinese government is a whole other ball of wax. That’s where you can see genuine self-censorship coming in. And while I imagine that this whole thing will blow over before long, without a great deal of long-term damage, I think the urge to play in China -and for the Chinese government — will only grow over time.
The problem of willingly selling out to the Chinese reminded me of Ayn Rand, whose bracing moral lessons I’m sure Freddie had in the back of his mind. Rand’s finest novel,The Fountainhead, is an anti-capitalist screed about the spiritual and cultural evil of catering to market demand. Forget the problem of giving the commie censors what they want. It’s wrong to give the free market what it wants, when what it wants is aesthetically debased, which it always is. The architect hero of The Fountainhead, Howard Roark, is the ultimate in spine, the patron saint of never selling out. When one of his perfect, austere modernist buildings is bowdlerized the better to suit the public taste, he blows it up. That’s right, Howard Roark is a terrorist, a jihadi for artistic integrity. Maybe Howard Roark is the answer. Maybe can show us the way. Maybe Sony needs to feel that it is unsafe not to release The Interview. Maybe Seth Rogen needs to blow something up! Or maybe Brian Beutler is on to something, and the best we can do is call on Anonymous to steal the movie and make sure that, in this case at least, market-based American spinelessness can’t put a gag on our precious stoner auteurs.
Sony is a for-profit entity, and not even an American one, that effectively has important influence over American culture. We don’t entrust for-profit entities with the common defense. And recognizing that the threat to a Sony picture is actually a threat to the freedom of American culture ought to lead us to a public rather than a private solution.
The federal government should take financial responsibility. Either Washington should guarantee Sony’s financial liability in the event of an attack, or it should directly reimburse the studio’s projected losses so it can release the movie online for free. The latter solution has the attractive benefit of ensuring a far wider audience for the film than it would otherwise have attracted.
After Sony Pictures announced yesterday that it was pulling the release of The Interview, a film about two American journalists sent to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, from its scheduled Christmas Day release after threats of movie theater terrorism, several theaters across the U.S. said that they would show Team America: World Police instead.
The basic idea was to replace one movie mocking the North Korean regime with another. Team America, an all-puppet comedy from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, pits its heroes against a sad-sack version of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. At the end of the movie, he’s impaled on a giant spike, and it’s revealed that he’s actually an alien cockroach. Fitting!..
The Daily Beastreports that theaters in Cleveland and Atlanta that had planned to make the switch say that Paramount, the studio behind Team America, has ordered them to stop. The Alamo Drafthouse in Texas, which also planned to show the puppet comedy, announced on Twitter this afternoon that due to “circumstances beyond our control” its Team America screening has been cancelled…. blocking replacement screenings of Team America can really only be described as next-level cowardly bullshit.
Sony was just the latest – Janice Turner:
Not only has Paramount pulled Team America, a decade-old puppet comedy parodying Kim Jong Un’s father, but a Steve Carell movie based upon the graphic novel Pyongyang. This is no comic, but an account by Guy Delisle of his time as an animator in a North Korean studio, constantly monitored by minders yet getting glimpses of the regime in all its absurdity and horror. This is a film that needed to be made.
And when the Sony cave-in was announced, Carell tweeted a still from The Great Dictator. It is an apt comparison: Charlie Chaplin’s devastating and humane 1940 parody did not bring down Hitler but it gave succour to those who were trying. Such was its propaganda value that while it was in production and Britain was still pursuing appeasement, the government planned to ban it for fear of riling the Führer. It was inspired by Chaplin watching Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will: while other anti-Nazis were awed and dismayed by its grandiosity, Chaplin fell about laughing…
…too often, the response to any threat has been cowardice and complicity. Hollywood just behaved like the entire British establishment which dropped Salman Rushdie after The Satanic Verses rather than turning on his illiberal persecutors. And even now Newsnight refuses to show an affectionate Jesus and Mo cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad, siding with Salafist extremists rather than moderate Muslims who argued the image was inoffensive.
What if one of America’s violent anti-choice groups threatens cinemas showing a film in which a woman has abortion? Will we capitulate every time the lawyers get nervous? Because Sony Pictures just put artistic freedom in turnaround. And this is no joke.
Free speech has been under attack for an age. North Korea was just picking up the vibe…
Two newspapers lead with news of alleged Westminster paedophiles who allegedly raped and murdered children in the 1970s and 1980s. The media calls these alleged killers and perverts ‘VIPs’. Doesn’t the acronym VIP place these alleged crimes firmly in their time. In the 1970s, VIPs were all the rage.
The Scotsman talks of the “paedophile abuse ring”. Again, the language is suggestive. The ‘ring’ suggests a closed circle tightly bound. But child abuse takes place most often in the home in secret. There is no ring, unless it’s a gold wedding band on the abuser’s finger. There is only depravity and opportunity.
The Guardian has news to chill and shock:
“London police: we believe claims of ‘VIP’ child sex abuse and murder”
Who cares what the police believe? The police should stick to facts, gather evidence and uphold the law of the land. Believing in something circumvents all the hard-fought barriers to proving guilt.
Scotland Yard says victim’s allegations against prominent political and establishment figures are credible and true
The police are now judge and jury. They are not looking for evidence. They are looking for proof. Because it is all ‘true’:
Scotland Yard officers have said they believe allegations that a ring of prominent politicians and members of the establishment abused and terrorised children as young as seven more than 30 years ago and went on to kill three young boys.
Detectives appealed for victims and witnesses to come forward and identified a flat in Dolphin Square, London, near the Houses of Parliament, as a scene of some of the alleged abuse, as well as military premises and other locations across London and the home counties.
The police are trawling for victims. But why haven’t more stepped forward? If there were so many victims, why have we not heard from more of them? Suffering sexual abuse is a horrific ordeal. But are all victims defined by the ordeal? Don’t some make successes of their lives? And do these people now feel confident enough to step forward and point the finger at the VIPs?
So far one victim, known by the pseudonym Nick, has come forward to tell of a decade of abuse he suffered at the hands of people including senior politicians and members of Britain’s establishment, and of three homicides. Police as yet have no bodies, full names of those abused or killed, or exact locations where the killings took place.
…as ‘yet’. The Guardian’s Vikram Dodd is in agreement with the police. It’s all true. Now show us the bodies.
But the detective in charge of the investigation pointedly described Nick’s allegations as “true” and said Nick had been abused from 1975 to 1984, between the ages of seven and 16.
Now in middle age, Nick has given partial names of other children who were abused, the Guardian understands, and has given names of “VIPs” alleged to be involved in the abuse. He is understood to have been scared of reprisals for telling detectives about the things powerful people did to him and other children.
Should we not treat one man’s claims with sceptisism? Doing so is not to call Nick a liar. Doing so makes any trial more telling. Hard questions will have been answered. Doubt will not linger.
If the allegations are correct, it represents one of the worst scandals in modern British history and endangers already thin public trust in the politicians who govern the country.
Not only trust in politicians. Trust in the police, too.
Police promised on Thursday to investigate “without fear or favour” but declined to say if any of those named by Nick had been interviewed as witnesses or suspects.
Or are dead, like Jimmy Savile, Cyril Smith and Peter Jaconelli.
Detective Superintendent Kenny McDonald, in charge of the investigation, said police policy dictates that officers believe a victim unless evidence emerges to undermine their account, but in Nick’s case experienced detectives from two teams had concluded his accounts were true. “Nick has been spoken to by experienced officers from the child abuse team and experienced officers from the murder investigation team. They and I believe what Nick is saying is credible and true.”
Again with the “believe”. Police didn’t listen then to the young woman being abused Rochdale. They did not listen to the Blackpool children, like Charlene Downes. They do not listen now. They work to an agenda. They hear only what suits them. They are not listening to Nick. They are using him to look good.
Nick waited 30 years to come forward and talk to detectives, having talked to the media first. It is clear detectives are not just investigating but building criminal cases to take to court.
Deputy assistant commissioner Steve Rodhouse thanked the media for their work but warned them not to compromise crucial witnesses. He said in one case Nick had been shown a picture of a suspect by a reporter. “I need to be able to convince a court that any identification made by Nick was done within the rules … and Nick was, crucially, identifying the [person] he remembers from 30 odd years ago, rather than the photograph he was shown by journalists in the more recent past.”
Can we ask it? Can we say that Nick might have researched the individual, that he might have seen them in years past on the telly? The defence barrister will ask it. They will ask far more probing questions. At least, they should do.
McDonald said: “I appeal to men who were subjected to abuse 30 years ago to come forward. We are also investigating the murder of three young boys – we are determined to find answers.” He said people who lived at or visited Dolphin Square in the 1970s “will have seen or heard something that they only understand the significance of now.
Not ‘may’. Will.
And then we get to the crux of the police mission:
“I would ask you to trust me. I will support you, and do everything in my power to find those responsible and bring them to justice. I need your accounts to help me do that. The abuse he has detailed that he was subjected to was carried out by a man on his own, a group of men or during what have been described as parties.”
Trust in me. Trust the police. The same police that let down young people on Oxford, Rotherham and elsewhere. The same police that swooped on Jim Davidson as he arrived at Heathrow Airport, nabbing before the cameras an innocent man who was coming INTO the country for a TV show not fleeing it.
Trust them. Trust the police who never knew anything of a ‘ring of VIP’ paedos until Nick spoke out.
Nick told the BBC last month that the abusers would inflict brutal punishments on any child who did not obey orders and children were picked up in cars to be taken to locations where they were attacked.
“People who drove us around could come forward. Staff in some of the locations could come forward. There are so many people who must have had suspicions. We weren’t smuggled in under a blanket through the back door. It was done openly and people must have questioned that and they need to come forward.”
One man wants to find out what happened to his son.
The Daily Express: “Father claims son was MURDERED by Westminster paedophile ring – and police covered it up”
Retired magistrate Vishambar Mehrotra, 69, recorded a telephone conversation with a male prostitute who said that his son Vishal may have been abducted and taken to a notorious south-west London guesthouse in 1981.
He took the recording to the police at the time, but claims that they refused to investigate an allegation which implicated “judges and politicians” and instead launched a “huge cover-up”.
The youngster was abducted while walking home from watching the Prince of Wales and Diana Spencer ride in a carriage to their wedding on July 29 that year. He had gone ahead of his family members towards his home in Putney, and was last seen less than a mile from the guesthouse.
According to Mr Mehrotra, he received an anonymous call some months later from a man who suggested that Vishal may have been abducted by “highly placed” paedophiles operating from the Elm Guest House in nearby Barnes.
He told the Daily Telegraph: “I was contacted by a young man who seemed to be in his 20s. He told me he believed Vishal may have been taken by paedophiles in the Elm Guest House near Barnes Common.
“He said there were very highly placed people there. He talked about judges and politicians who were abusing little boys.”
Vishal’s remains were discovered buried in woodland in West Sussex.
Was Vishal murdered by ‘VIP paedos’? We don’t know. But Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg does:
“We are in the early stages of really a reckoning with our past,” said Clegg, speaking on LBC radio, “of things happening on a scale and of a gravity which just a few months ago would have seemed unimaginable and almost too horrific to contemplate.”
A reckoning suggests facing up ‘our’ past. But we have very few details. And what about the here and now? And what’s this about ‘our’ past? Is any guilt now a collective guilt, encompassing everyone and anyone alive in the 1970s and 1980s?
The tale of Westminster paedos is not just an investigation into alleged crimes; it’s a chance for the country to unite and find a moral pupose. And the people running the show – the politicians and police we are supposed to challenge – are calling the shots.
As murderous Islamist Man Haron Monis/Sheik Haron held hostages in a Sydney chocolate shop, the BBC wrote this:
As a gunman holds people hostage in a cafe in Sydney, thousands of messages of support have been posted online for Muslims in Australia who are afraid of an Islamophobic backlash.
Got that? It’s not the jihadi with the gun and the bloody threats made true (two innocent people dead) we should worry about, it’s us. People tuning in on the telly and commenting online are so slack-jawed and reactionary they will see the gurning maniac and think they should race riot.
Idiots don’t need telling. They’re already in the club:
Did the ADL storm Lakemba, a suburb in south-western Sydney with a sizaeble Muslim population? No. It was just white fascists identifying with a deeply troubled, mentaly negligible man who posed no threat to Australian society as a whole. They saw in him a kindred spirit.
What Monis did was terrorise and kill people in a cafe. Terrible stuff. But let’s not amplify it. Let’s not magnify the lone nutter’s impact. Well, not unless in doing so it can make us look good in public.
Remember the Scottsbroro Boys? They were the nine Afro-American men tried and jailed for the rape of two white women in 1930s Alabama. The men – all of them – were innocent.
The State made the people fit the cime.
Today, so-called lad culture is being used to portray men on the street and on university campuses as rapists-in-waiting. We live in more equal age: whites and black men are all as guilty.
Professor Dan Carter first published his book on the Scottsboro Boys trials as long ago as 1969. He wrote:
“One day in the spring of 1931 a group of hobos, black and white, were travelling on a train in north Alabama. A fight broke out and the train had to be stopped near the town of Scottsboro. Nine young black men – the youngest was 13 – were arrested.
“But then the Deputy Sheriff realised two of the white hobos were in fact women. The young women worried they might be accused of prostitution, so they accused the black boys of having raped them.
“I think anyone today who studied the evidence would conclude no rapes occurred. In any case, what happened after March 1931 took on an astonishing life of its own. What happened on the train was just a part of the story.”
So. How did Jackie’s story of being a victim of gang rage at a University of Virginia fraternity ever make it into Rolling Stone? She didn’t want it in print. But the story fitted an agenda.
It was published.
Rather than being a shining beacon of truth and light in a pit of hidden depravity on campus, the horror has become like those 1980s stories of ritualised Satanic Abuse and other tales that instil fear and panic in the reader.
Rolling Stone’s veteran Matt Taibbi’s is aghast. He tweets:
* A few words about this UVA business, since people are asking…
* First, like everyone else at the magazine, I’m both mortified and sorry — for the public, for anyone affected, and for the source herself.
* Managing Editor Will Dana is a mentor and friend who has always had my back and is one of the few true good people in this business.* I’m broken up for him.
* People also need to understand that the mistake here did not involve the fact-checking department.
Kyron Horman – Anorak’s look at the story of the misssing Oregon child in the news. And the news is that police do not know what happened to Kyron Horman. They do not yet know if a crime befell him. The entire investigation is based on one thing: getting Kyron’s step-mother, Terri Mouton Horman, to tell them she did it. Only, she says she didn’t. And the local police’s ham-fisted attempts to entrap her and work with the media to force a confession have failed miserably.
If this case ever comes before a judge, you wonder how it has not already been prejudiced.
The hunt for Kyron Horman has battered freedom, not boosted it. The media-led public criminalisation of someone who hasn’t been convicted of a crime should give you goosebumps.
The Daily Star (prop. Richard Desmond) often leads with news of Big Brother, the show on Channel 5 (prop. R. Desmond).
Do the ownber’s business interests impace on the Star’s editorial policy? Of course not. It’s just that Big Brother (peop. R. Desmond) is such huge news is must be on the front page. These headlines appeared on the paper of record in 2014. We haven’t included the small front-page snippets, just the big splashes:
The Daily Express spent a large part of 2014 talking about Dementia. The story never went anywhere, but then… do its readers know?
Madeleine McCann is the story that keeps on spinning. When the innocent child went missing, the voracious media embarked on a feeding frenzy. Kate and Gerry McCann, her parents, were libelled, so too was Robert Murat. Books were written. TV shows were inspired. Fact became merged with fiction. Sensation was presented as truth. And all the while the child the press renamed ‘Our Maddie’ remained vanished.
2014 has not been a bumper year for storirs of Out Maddie, but there have been many many front page, mostly in the Daily Express, Daily Star and Daily Mirror. The paper talk is off “Maddie Cops” making arrests “soon”, “suspects”, “quizzes”, “diggings”, “clues” and “trolls”.
Much excitement at Anorak Towers are we open the flaps on the first One Direction advent calendar window.
The first flaps are situated on Niall Horan’s backside.
Five boys one runny cip.
El Salvador hs banned abortion. Amnesty has distilled the effects of this horror into an animated video:
Any woman seeking an abortion is now a criminal.
Ferguson is burning. And on the web, a Islamic State jihadi makes the poepls burning and marching for justice an offer:
Accept islam & give bayah to abu bakr al baghdadi & then we will send u soldiers that dont sleep !
Convert to militant, murderous Islam and the Islamic State will ride into Ferguson to murder the Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhsits and ban your sister and mum from going out alone.
Sure one white cop killed an unarmed black man, but he enver tried hard enough. With IS, lots of armed Muslims will kill millions of unarmed people. Think big, Ferguson! Freedom is yours to grasp!
Crisis over, America, you’ve just be raffirmed.
Westminster child abuse: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at the story of politicians sexually abusing children.
Yesterday the Home Secretary Theresa May went on Andrew Marr’s BBC show to tell everyone:
“How was it that in the past, but continuing today, the very institutions of the state that should be protecting children were not doing so? Why was it that these abuses were able to take place and that nobody was brought to justice as a result of that. We must as a society, I believe, get to the truth of that and because I think what we’re seeing is frankly – what we’ve already seen revealed – is only the tip of the iceberg on this issue.”
That was incredible. In looking for a conspiracy in the Tory Party over the 1970s and 1980s, a leading Tory adds her weight to the whispers. The top of the iceberg is based on very little fact. Is the iceberg just more of the same?
Mrs May has announced an independent inquiry to look into past abuse claims. The inquiry has been delayed by the resignations of Baroness Butler-Sloss and Fiona Woolf, the government’s first two choices to chair it.
Both stepped down after criticism over their personal links to senior figures from the 1980s. But speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Mrs May said it was “so important” to have the wide-ranging inquiry.
Police are at the pre-inquiry inquiry stage. They have been presented with many claims but few facts.
Mrs May said it was still “not possible” to say whether there had been a cover-up over the claims, despite a review into how the Home Office dealt with files alleging abuse from 1979-99.
The independent review by Peter Wanless, head of the NSPCC, which was published earlier this month, said it was impossible to say whether files were removed to cover up abuse – but found nothing to support such a claim.
Tommie Rose, 15, made what the Daily Mirror calls a “fortune” by selling food to his fellow pupils at Buile Hill High School, Salford. He employs casual labour, paying two mates £5.50 a day. Tommie earns £60-£70a day. Not too shabby.
But rather than being praised, Tommie Rose is being threaned with expulsion unless he gives up the day job.
Tommie has been here before. In 2011, he was suspended for 10 days for selling his lovely treats at the Oasis Academy in Salford. So. He changed schools. And he set about earning some more dough.
Poor old Emily Thornberry. She’s the Labour MP who mocked Dan Ware’s home in Rochester. Dan lives in home that displays flags supporting his country and West Ham United FC. He drives a white van. Intrepid Emily, who had journeyed from Islington to a neat road in Kent where working people live, thought it a hoot to show this cultural oddity to her Twitter followers.
We say poor Emily becuase having resigned her job in the shadow cabinet, Emily could argue she was only giving Labour suppoters what they wanted.
Mocking the white working class is ok, you see. Sure, the Daily Mirror today asks:
What does shadow Labour minister Emily Thornberry mean by this photo?
The Mirror quotes other Labour MPs, keen to show that not all the Party’s MPs are possess the Victorian colonial spirit:
Labour MP Simon Danczuk saying: “We all know what she was trying to imply. I’ve talked about this previously. It’s like the Labour party has been hijacked by the North London liberal elite and it’s comments like that which reinforce that view.”
Labour colleague Chris Bryant said: “The Labour Party was founded on the basis that everybody should be treated equally and that’s why Emily herself has said it’s a bit of an own goal.”
But Anorak readers will recall that its not just the London Labour elite who think white van man is a national embarrassment.
Mirror columnsit Brian Reade, a Liverpudlian, once journeyed to south-east London. In light of the murder of black teeanger Stephen Lawrence by a gang of white racists, Eltham was in the news. What he wrote was truly appalling:
Welcome to the Brook Estate in Eltham, south east London. The breeding ground of four of the five men accused of stabbing Stephen Lawrence to death as he waited for a bus a short walk away on the eve of St George’s Day six years ago.
Five products of a twisted philosophy drummed into them from birth. “If they’re black, stab ‘em in the back.”…
A way of life passed down from father to son. You see the link emerge in the fading white graffiti sprayed 30 years ago on the walls of the old railway bridges around the estate, written by the last generation of Eltham Boyz. In three feet high letters: “SKINHEADS.”…
Give me the father and I’ll give you the son who will give you the son who will abuse, persecute and even kill another human being for committing the heinous crime of not being born white.
Racism was inherited. Get the killers and purge the land.
This is White Man’s Gulch… This is E-reg Escort-land.
So much for anti-discrimination, eh. When did the entire white working class become pariahs?
GK Chesterton put it well:
“We are always ready to make a saint or prophet of the educated man who goes into cottages to give a little kindly advice to the uneducated,’ he wrote. But the real saints and prophets – those of the middle ages – were uneducated men ‘who walked into grand houses to give a little kindly advice to the educated.’ The wisdom of the poor was once deployed to moralise the rich; now that of the rich is used to demoralise the poor.”
Kicking the white working class is acceptable. What began with targeting football fans with new forms of control now extends to what car you drive and your home decor.
Emily Thornberry is not a rarity. She’s typical.
THE Westminster Peadophile ring story continues to build:
The detective who led the investigation into Britain’s most notorious child abusers said its files could provide evidence for Scotland Yard’s investigation of an alleged Westminster paedophile ring. Roger Stoodley said he would be delighted if the Metropolitan police were to reopen Operation Orchid, the inquiry into the Sidney Cooke gang, which abducted, abused and murdered children in the 1970s and 1980s.
GEMMA Collins is out the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! jungle and the Sun says she’s been bullied. No, not by a TV producer encouraging her to eat a kangaroo’s anus. Gemma’s been bullied by footballers on Twitter!
QUEENS Park Rangers ace Charlie Austin, 25, branded Gemma “the female Shrek” in a string of abusive posts on Twitter. His ex-Burnley team-mates Kieran Trippier, George Porter and Kevin Long also joined in.
Calling Gemma Collins Shrek is appalling. Hats off to the Sun for highlighting this shocking abuse:
Calling another human being Shrek is a shocking low, says the Sun:
The Sun ends with:
Their taunts came as the FA rolled out a week-long anti-bullying campaign.
Footballers are such bullies – even the ones who look like Shrek…