We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
Matthew Continetti nails the free speech phonies:
…the outpouring of support for free speech in the aftermath of the Paris attack coincides with, and partially obscures, the degradation of speech rights in the West. Commencement last year was marked by universities’ revoking of appearances by speakers Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali for no other reason than that mobs disagreed with the speakers’ points of view. I do not recall liberals rallying behind Condi and Hirsi Ali then.
Free speech is under the cosh on campus. The students demand complaince.
Because black can be very flattering. Richard Fernandez on why bad guys get the best outfits:
“Our Western leaders are on one side of the chessboard and the big kingpins of the international Jihad — the Middle Eastern billionaires and the heads of rogue state intelligence agencies — are on the other. Their foot soldiers in the lands of Islam might be starvelings fighting for a pittance. But their recruits in the West, the Lone Wolves, come from that part of the population which in each generation doesn’t want to stay on the conveyor belt. . . . It’s easy to forget how important image-identification can be. One reason the Brownshirts out-attracted the Communist youth street gangs was the Nazis’ investment in uniforms. While Communist street fighters were dressed in clothes that made them look like municipal garbagemen, the Brownshirts wore uniforms by Hugo Boss.”
Charlie Hebdo deserved it because of what France does to Muslims. The UK deserved 7/7 because of what the UK does to Muslims. The USA deserved it because of what the USA does to Muslims. The Muslims deserve it because of what Muslims do to Muslims in Syria. The Muslims deserve it because of what Muslism do in Gaza. The Muslims deserve it because of what Muslims do to Jews in Gaza. The Muslims deserve it because of what Muslims do to Christians in Egypt. Buddhists deserve to be murdered because of what they do to Muslims in Mayamar. Muslims deserve it because Hamas makes a virtue of placing civilians in danger and using human shields.
The Jews deserve it because of what Israel does to Muslims.
The Jews deserve it because of the banks. The Jews deserve it because they are all rich. The Jews deserve it because they make Passover with the blood of Christian children. The Jews deserve because they are the darkness that will not embrace the light of Christ. The Jews deserve it because they contol the world. The Jews deserve it because they assimilate and are the ‘spy within’. The Jews deserve it because they control the media. The Jews deserve it because they have a Jewish lobby that dictates wars. The Jews deserve it because they never learn, even after the pogroms and the Holocaust. The Jews deserve it because there is a Jewish country. The Jews have recreated the Warsaw ghetto. The Jews are not worthy of the Holocaust.
The Jews always deserve it.
Well, so they say.
The BBC reporter Tim Willcox is talking to a Jewish woman scared for her future in the face of murderous anti-Semitism:
The Jews always deserve it. But it’s never anti-Semitism. It’s just the way it is…
Fox News gaffe-master Steve Emerson says sorry to the people of the Birmingham (now twinned with Mecca)
So. We saw the Fox News terrorism expert Steve Emerson explain to one and all that Birmingham UK is a no-go area for non Muslims.
On his blog, you can view his video on an article called ‘Emerson on Fox with Judge Pirro on How the US is Manipulating the Truth on Radical Islam’.
Emerson is in the business of terror:
He serves as the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism…
He and his organization have been quoted or profiled in hundreds of newspaper and television stories since 9-11.
He’s now issued a correction:
Next up on Fox, global jihad expert Bill Wyman on Charlie Hebdo #jewsuisunrockstar.
Fox News has the experts who know about Islam and the UK.
Terrorism ‘expert’ Steven Emerson states that Birmingham, UK is ‘entirely Muslim’ and that non Muslims ‘simply don’t go in’.
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…
“I thought he wanted to buy it and cook it at home, but he said he wanted to eat it now,” says Zhang Lun, a stallholder at a market in China’s capital Beijing.
Bao Yu had been browsing Lun’s wares when he picked up a live tortoise and tried to eat it.
First they came for Charlie Hebdo. Then they came for the Jews. Then people threw stones at the headquarters of Germany’s Hamburg Morgenpost, which had reprinted Charlie Hebdo’s Mohammed cartoons.
The paper says an incendiary device was thrown into the cellar. Some files were burnt. No-one was hurt.
Martin Rowson hs been called a coward. Why? Rowson, a Guardian cartoonist, drew this cartoon and not a different one:
After the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo, the new free speech activists on Twitter are demanding more free speaking. Failure to comply with what they want will result in criticism.
You looking for a hero for the Charlie Hebdo story? Look no futher than Dutch cartoonist . When yold that Prince Harry, the Queen, The Pope, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin are now ‘Je Suis Charlie Hebdo’, responded:
“We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends.”
“It really makes me laugh. A few years ago, thousands of people took to the streets in Pakistan to demonstrate against Charlie Hebdo. They didn’t know what it was. Now it’s the opposite. But if people are protesting to defend freedom of speech, naturally that’s a good thing.”
Let’s see how long this love of free speech lasts…
Spotter: Dutch daily Volkskrant.
Photo: Prince Harry signs a book of condolence at the French Embassy in Knightsbridge, London for the victims of the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, with photos of the 12 victims above.
The News-Enterprise, based in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, has sacked fired two staff members for a front-page story which erroneously quoted the Hardin County sheriff as saying that most police “have a desire to shoot minorities”:
“Hardin County Sheriff John Ward said those who go into the law enforcement profession typically do it because they have a desire to shoot minorities.”
Editor Ben Sheroan says the quote is false. He says the change might have been malicious or intended as a joke.
No minorities were hurt in this error…
Kenan Malik is writing on Charlie Hebdo and free speech:
The irony is that those who most suffer from a culture of censorship are minority communities themselves. Any kind of social change or social progress necessarily means offending some deeply held sensibilities. ‘You can’t say that!’ is all too often the response of those in power to having their power challenged. To accept that certain things cannot be said is to accept that certain forms of power cannot be challenged. The right to ‘subject each others’ fundamental beliefs to criticism’ is the bedrock of an open, diverse society. Once we give up such a right in the name of ‘tolerance’ or ‘respect’, we constrain our ability to confront those in power, and therefore to challenge injustice.
Yet, hardly had news begun filtering out about the Charlie Hebdo shootings, than there were those suggesting that the magazine was a ‘racist institution’ and that the cartoonists, if not deserving what they got, had nevertheless brought it on themselves through their incessant attacks on Islam. What is really racist is the idea only nice white liberals want to challenge religion or demolish its pretensions or can handle satire and ridicule. Those who claim that it is ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ to mock the Prophet Mohammad, appear to imagine, with the racists, that all Muslims are reactionaries. It is here that leftwing ‘anti-racism’ joins hands with rightwing anti-Muslim bigotry.
What is called ‘offence to a community’ is more often than not actually a struggle within communities. There are hudreds of thousands, within Muslim communities in the West, and within Muslim-majority countries across the world, challenging religious-based reactionary ideas and policies and institutions; writers, cartoonists, political activists, daily putting their lives on the line in facing down blasphemy laws, standing up for equal rights and fighting for democratic freedoms; people like Pakistani cartoonist Sabir Nazar, the Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, exiled to India after death threats, or the Iranian blogger Soheil Arabi, sentenced to death last year for ‘insulting the Prophet’. What happened in the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris was viscerally shocking; but in the non-Western world, those who stand up for their rights face such threats every day.
What nurtures the reactionaries, both within Muslim communities and outside it, is the pusillanimity of many so-called liberals, their unwillingness to stand up for basic liberal principles, their readiness to betray the progressives within minority communities.
Barnaby Raine responds:
No. You don’t have to be a theocrat to worry about a magazine that caricatures and denigrates Muslims and their religious symbolism in a period when that othering is a prominent mechanism by which imperial violence is justified, you just have to be vaguely progressive. Some Muslims may not mind the cartoons. I do mind, not as a “nice white liberal” desperate to appease some alien community, but as a left-winger who opposes the politics implicit in and fuelled by mocking the marginalised.
On a more general note, the above article seems to mirror the French left’s racially charged language of secularism in drawing political dividing lines at an ideal rather than a material level. To be on the left is not a purely ideal position based on identifying the ‘best ideas’ and siding with them, it is above all a material position, it entails siding with the oppressed in any given power relation. The right takes the other side. Marching alongside the representatives of a state that bans Muslim women from dressing as they choose, bans pro-Palestine demonstrations and has banned Muslims from protesting against Charlie Hebdo in the past, and mobilising the idea of “free speech” in the defence of that state and in the defence of a magazine that mocks Muslims while the ‘War on Terror’ stigmatises them should all be considered fairly simply right-wing. This article even berates Charlie Hebdo for firing a cartoonist responsible for anti-Semitic caricatures. That is either naive in imagining that speech-acts occur in a vacuum rather than potentially involving material consequences, or it is reactionary for being aware of those consequences — steps towards the legitimisation of anti-Semitism, in that case — and not caring. Similar CH cartoons about Muslims have been much more common and have not resulted in firings, unsurprisingly given the surrounding political context. So express outrage at the murder of 12 journalists, of course. But is it really necessary to paint them as progressive heroes, when their social function was anything but that?
We’d add one thing: Free speech not buts..
Chances are that if you are being sent mix tapes in prison you are not all that rich. But Universal music wants its cut of the pie. It wants prisoners to pay for those mixes:
“Such so-called ‘mixtapes,’ unless authorised by the copyright owner or owner of corresponding state law rights, are nothing more than collections of infringing, piratical compilations of copyrighted or otherwise legally protected sound recordings and copyrighted musical composition.”
So says Universal.
If you’ve bought the CD and want to share it with a friend – much as you might lend someone a book or a newspaper – you can’t.
The artist Julien paints a portrait of the French cartoonist Jean Cabut, also known as Cabu, as a tribute to him, in Marseille, southern France, Friday Jan. 9, 2015. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of a satirical newspaper Charlie-Hebdo Wednesday, and killed 12 people: eight journalists, including Cabu, two police officers, a maintenance worker and a visitor were killed in the attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Next week’s Charlie Hebdo cover: “Urgent: hiring 6 new cartoonists”:
I was hoping for something more offensive. But if this is the cover, it’s well done.. But most likely it’s a very good fake.
Update: That Charlie Hebdo cover is a fake…a brilliant fake. It’s a tribute by French TV show Les Guignois.
Transfer Balls: Is Isco heading to Arsenal? Hell, is Isco leaving Real Madrid for Arsenal, Liveprool, Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea. Yesh, readers, it’s a Full House of balls! All five of the richest Enlighs Premier League clubs are links to Isco. But what is the news?
Well, in truth Transfer Balls fashion the story began in the trusty Daily Sar:
Number of quotes: nil.
Number of sources names: nil
Number of links to sources: nil.
The Star is a depsrate organ. But what of the other newspapers of record that see the Star’s scoop and then repeat it as fact?
The desperate Daily Mirror, which ends all Transfer Balls with a questions mark. At least the Daily Star just says it. It’s honest balls. The Mirror says it and then runs away.
The Daily Express adds:
And then it happens. Yeah, the Star breaks news that the Isco transfer story is utter balls. And Wenger never mentions Isco once.
Look out for Wenger rules out move for Messi. Wenger rules out move for Ronaldo. And Wenger rules out move for Balotelli…
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.
Free Speech: The Sun champions the rights to think aand say what we like.
Following the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine, the Sun says “free speech is a cornerstone of our democracy”. We are in a “freedom fight”.
But how does that sit with the Sun’s featuring on Rochester Man Dan Ware’s “No Nonsense” manifesto.
Apparently, the Sun thinks it’s “nonsense” that anyone who burns a Remembrance Day poppy is not jailed.
When did a poppy – one you’ve bought with your own money or made with your own hands – become a sacred object?
Free speech: it’s the right to cause offence.
Lovers of free speech love Charlie Hebdo. But do any of us want to be Charlie Hebdo? The US media is gutless.
Only the big nosed Jew stays in the picture:
But in Germany, it’s different.
The German satirical magazine Titanic has announced a press conference:
TERRORIST ALERT: At 16 o’clock, a press conference is scheduled in the TITANIC editorial offices, with [commercial TV station] RTL, [public broadcaster] Hessischer Rundfunk, [German daily newspaper] Frankfurter Rundschau, and all other private and public media present. This is an opportunity for terrorists to not only execute satire editors, but also the entire lying German press. There will be sandwiches afterwards!
Titanic editor Tim Wolff adds:
“Of course, on the personal level, we are scared when we hear about such violence. However, as a satirist, we are beholden to the principle that every human being has the right to be parodied. This should not stop just because of some idiots who go around shooting… If it is indeed Islamists, I still don’t see any reason for alarm. We have published very critical jokes about Islam in the past and we have found that Muslims, at least in Germany, are quite capable of dealing with this kind of humor.”
Yesterday, men screaming ‘“Allahu akbar” murdered 12 people in Paris when they attacked the Charlie Hendo magazine offices. Like you, we know who did it. Yeah. The Jews. Always the Jews.
Writing on the grandly titled International Business Times, Gopi Chandra Kharel explains all:
Charlie Hebdo Attack and Mossad Link: Is Israel Venting Its Fury For France’s Recognition of Palestine State?
Headlines ending with a question mark can always be answered ‘no’. But a Jew told me that. So. We should read on…
There is no clarity on which organisation is behind the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday and therefore, conspiracy theories are gaining traction in internet forums.
Piss Christ! Can we all say that in unison? Piss Christ!
Anyone shoot you in the face? Anyone threaten to murder you? Go on. Say it again. Louder. PISS CHRIST!
The Associated Press thinks nutters and victims of Christianophobia might be listening and driven to murder by hearing or seeing Piss Christ. To spare its clients the death threats and being murdered by Christianists, this bastion of free speech has removed Andres Serrano’s 1987 photograph Immersion (Piss Christ) from its image library.
Piss Christ (no exclamation mark) is a photograph of a small plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist’s urine. It is not to be mistaken for Christ Piss, which is used to describe the wine served at my niece’s Holy Communion.
Now that 12 people are dead the liberals can return to the view that free speech is free with no ‘buts’? The Twitter narks that call the police on anyone saying things they don’t like, police persecuting people for saying the unsayable online and a State-approved license for journalists are all horrific assaults on our free thinking.
Shame it took a massacre in France to remind liberals that freedom to think is also freedom to offend.
Take Buzzfeed’s Siraj Datoo. In 2012, he wrote on Charlie Hebdo and those Mohammed cartoons:
Charlie Hebdo did, and always should, have the right to publish such images. The freedom of the expression is fundamental in a democratic liberal society and each individual must be allowed to express their opinions in a peaceful and democratic way.
In 2006, Christopher Hitchens spoke about the Kurt Westergaard, the Danish caricaturist came under attack from Islamists after he had drawn a 2005 caricature of the Prophet Mohamed with a bomb hidden in his Turban. The cartoon was one of 12 similar cartoons on Mohamed published Jyllands-Posten newspapers.
Westergaard was forced into an life on the run. Hardline Muslims wanted him dead.
One day, a 28-year-old man broke into Westergaard’s home. He was armed with an axe and a knife. Westergaard was home looking after his five-year-old granddaughter, Stephanie. Westergaard ran into his “panic room”. Stephanie was outside in the living room.
After the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, the liberal turns to Islamophobia. It’s not the murderous bigots we should be uniting against, standing on the front line in this horrendous assult on free thinking and free speech. No. It’s about making a stand against Islamophobia.
What good is legal freedom of speech if violent enforcers of a different, older, and foreign set of laws take it upon themselves to punish you extrajudicially?
Richard Seymour writes:
The murder of Charlie Hebdo journalists is appalling. But we should fear the coming Islamophobic backlash.
If your first thought on seeing cartoonists murdered by Islamic racists was to wonder about non-Islamic racism against the racists, you’re not alone.
Now, I think there’s a critical difference between solidarity with the journalists who were attacked, refusing to concede anything to the idea that journalists are somehow “legitimate targets,” and solidarity with what is frankly a racist publication.
The perfect response to the attack on free speech and Enlightenment. Vive la liberte!
The murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo will not quiet us: