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Sunday, October 02, 2016


Les Déplorables The French right is discovering that there are more and more things you can't say

A country is heading for trouble when its most popular writers worry that their words will land them in jail. France is that way now. Two years ago, TV commentator and journalist Éric Zemmour published Le Suicide français, an erudite, embittered, and nostalgic essay about the unraveling, starting in the 1970s, of the political system set up under the leadership of World War II hero Charles de Gaulle. (See "French Curtains," The Weekly Standard, December 8, 2014.) The book sold 500,000 copies. Since then, it seems, Zemmour has spent half his time collecting prizes and the other half defending himself in court.

In September, he was let off by a French tribunal for a 2014 remark he made on the radio station RTL. "The Normans, the Huns, the Arabs, the great invasions that followed the fall of Rome," Zemmour had said, "have their modern equivalents in the gangs of Chechens, Roma, Kosovars, Africans, and North Africans who mug, rob, and rape." The French court decided his words were not so extremist that Zemmour needed to be punished, but France's media authority, the Conseil Supérieur de l'Audiovisuel, issued a warning to RTL. Over the summer, Zemmour was fined by a Belgian court for making similar statements.

Free speech is no longer possible ...

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