France has thrown a hypocritical hissy fit over a satirical cartoon, ”L’Europe en 2022.” So exceptionally exquisite are the decent sensibilities of the French Foreign Ministry, that the Office summoned Russia’s ambassador to France, to whine that the tweeted caricature was “unacceptable,” in its reputed mockery of Europe.
With the exception of Reuters — self-appointed keeper of the sacred scrolls of fact-checking — only a handful of minor NATO-affiliated publications, including one from NATO Turkey, and one each from Gulfie-NATO monarchies reported on the hissy fit. Neither France Diplomatie — the French Ministry that did the summoning — nor Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian have bothered to tweet about it, as of this writing. Apparently sending a statement that the wire service did not share, was sufficient to assuage those fine sensibilities apparently mocked by Russia.
Per Reuters, France’s European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune described the cartoon as a “disgrace,” apparently particularly painful once given that “We [France] are trying to maintain a demanding channel of dialogue with Russia and these actions are completely inappropriate,” according to the Reuters report.
France’s Macron had a much more liberal view of free speech during his second trip in less than one month, to soothe “traumatized Lebanon” after the massive and deadly explosion which destroyed the Beirut Harbor.
In a speech during his 1 September 2020 visit — related to Charlie Hebdo, and to a Muslim-majority audience — he stated: “It’s never the place of a president of the Republic to pass judgment on the editorial choice of a journalist or newsroom, never. Because we have freedom of the press…[T]here is in France a freedom to blaspheme which is attached to the freedom of conscience. I am here to protect all these freedoms. In France, one can criticize a president, governors, blaspheme.”
He did not explain how he was in Lebanon to protect Lebanese freedoms (though there remains a sulfuric stench Sykes-Picot residual).
Perhaps an entitled, imperialist mindset is required to consider a series of humorless, baseless, and vile caricatures which seem to have the intention of inciting anger decent and proper free speech, while one based in accuracy demands universal condemnation.
According to Macron in Lebanon, politicians can be criticized, and the rudest blasphemy is doubleplusgood.
Also according to Macron in NATO Brussels, an honest cartoon is ‘false propaganda,’ and completely “unacceptable.”
Reuters did not include the ‘mocking’ caricature of NATO and the US destroying Europe in its report, maybe fearing it would be sanctioned by the regime that selectively promotes freedom of speech.
France’s hypocritical hissy fit over Russia’s concise polemic is a call to political cartoonists to up the ante.
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