City of Paris to sue Fox News for defamation

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, says the city is planning on suing Fox News.

The charge? Lying about France in general, and Paris in particular, by claiming it is filled with Muslim-inhabited “no-go zones” so dangerous that “real” Frenchmen dare not tread.

Except that, as I reported the other day, it’s not true.

I lived in one of Fox News’ Muslim “no-go zones” in Paris for a few months back in 2009. Near Metro Goncourt in the 11th, it’s a colorful neighborhood comprised mostly of blue collar north Africans and (rather-white) gays. So it’s not only not a no-go zone, it’s not even a no-gay zone.

I noted last week that it was interesting that conservatives were acting so pro-French in the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks two weeks ago, in which masked gunmen shot and killed 12 people (including two police officers) at the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. (Another gunman went on to kill another police officer, and then take hostages at a kosher supermarket (he killed four of the hostages).) Conservatives in America were irate that President Obama didn’t show solidarity with our French allies by attending a religious service and march for the victims in Paris.

Well, that didn’t last long. Only days later, the lead conservative propaganda organ was back to bashing the French, this time with a little Islamophobia mixed in for good measure. (Conservatives did the same with New York City; a place they loathed and routinely vilified, until September 11, when you’d have thought Ronald Reagan was born in Chelsea.)

Back to Paris. CNN’s Christiane Amanpour broke the news yesterday that the mayor of Paris says the city his going to sue Fox for “insulting” and “discriminating” against the city.


Interestingly, Fox “corrected” its error and apologized — four times in fact — for the reporting. (For also reported that the city of Birmingham in England is a “totally Muslim city where non-Muslims don’t go in.” That was news to the 78% of Birmingham residents who aren’t Muslim.)

French comedians had a field day visiting the “dangerous” zones of Paris, pretending to be Fox News reporters. My favorite part was the sledgehammer machine guns:

The reporter overly-concerned about his breath was pretty funny too.

And we close with Jon Stewart’s response to all of this, that is of course priceless:

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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57 Responses to “City of Paris to sue Fox News for defamation”

  1. BillFromDover says:

    The are registered with the FCC as an entertainment network and with all the eye-candy hosts, I’ll give ’em that.

    If one is looking for comedy in the news, simply tune into the Daily Show where, at least, ya get the truth.

  2. BillFromDover says:

    Why does it take another country to call bullshit on bullshit?

    Good thing Fox has a paid (expert?) to take the hit, otherwise it would be just par for the course.

  3. Hatfield says:

    I don’t watch Fox news. It’s really unwatchable. That being said, it’s really rather way to find articles about these no-go zones. The mayor of Paris acts like she has the vapors over it, but:

    ” Yet Arab gangs regularly vandalize synagogues here, the North African suburbs have become no-go zones at night, and the French continue to shrug their shoulders.

    France increasingly has the edgy, polarized feeling of American cities in the ’60s and ’70s. Look into the eyes of Arab immigrants and you will often see a smoldering rage. Riding the Paris Métro, you feel the tension as prosperous French people edge away from noisy gangs of teenagers. Talking to French friends, you hear tales of ethnic attacks in public schools. And yet the country officially pretends that it doesn’t have a race problem.”

    According to research conducted by the government’s domestic intelligence network, the Renseignements Generaux, French police would not venture without major reinforcements into some 150 “no-go zones” around the country–and that was before the recent wave of riots began on Oct. 27. In France’s “immigrant” neighborhoods, to borrow a phrase from the American military, “situation normal, all f—ed up.”

    And many more articles about the same thing. And parts of the rest of Europe are the same or worse, like Malmo, parts of Denmark, Belgium and Holland.

  4. Hue-Man says:

    I just watched France2 TV news at 20:00 on TV5. The contrast with Fox News is unbelievable. Here’s the news they reported in 30 minutes:
    Snow and freezing rain French highways
    French highway deaths 2014 (120-140 more deaths than 2013). First increase in 12 years.
    Police equipment in response to terrorists. Firearms, bulletproof vests
    Riyadh, S.A. Hollande and other leaders meet with new king. Flogging Raif Badawi
    Sunday’s Greek election
    Greek exit euro? Bankruptcy? 323 Billion Euros debt
    Printing business in Dammartin-en-Goele attacked by terrorists. Fund-raising to re-open
    Marioupol, Ukraine, attacked by separatists
    Hostage, Claudia Priest released from Bangui, Central African Republic
    Death of Jose Artur, 87.
    Imitation Game. A good Alan Turing history summary, Andrew Hodges, author of Turing bio (39 minutes – I didn’t check to see what TV5 edited out)

    No wonder the French mocked Fox News for the no-go nonsense!

  5. kurtsteinbach says:

    I really didn’t notice until the disappearing aircraft and the Boston Marathon Bomber because I’d stopped watching CNN a long time ago, myself! I only here about what CNN does from other news services or when they do something stupid enough to make RWW or MMA. . . .

  6. kurtsteinbach says:

    Weakest Link, lowest IQ, most immature troll-brat here, who cares? He got his a$$ handed to him. . . . Uncivilized Conservative POS that he was!

  7. Moderator3 says:

    He had to go elsewhere.

  8. ckg1 says:

    Unoriginal troll newbie. You’ve said the same thing somewhere else. AND you have nothing interesting to say.

    You ARE the Weakest Link! GOODBYE!

  9. GregRastin77 says:

    Mike Brown got smoked and killed, that is awesome.

  10. quax says:

    It preys on the elderly, uneducated and poor. Northeast upper crust elderly won’t be discouraged from their shopping trips to Paris.

  11. cambridgemac says:

    You’re being too kind, calling it lying and blather. I had to watch CNN for 3 hours while my brother was waiting to be admitted to the hospital. Their breathless reporting on terrrism and on Obama’s “failure” to send the right person to the Paris march was nauseating. But they really outdid themselves when they reported as “news” on the question “Could terror attacks like this happen in the US?” and the “experts” gave a resounding yes. I kept wondering it they all had hard-ons while speaking. It was disgusting. Oh, and Jake Tapper gave a condescending account of French solidarity (the 1.25 million in the streets) which apparently surprised him, and said it reminded him of the wonderful unity he felt in the streets of DC the night that Osama’s death was announced. When the Maury Povich show came on later I felt it was a step up.

  12. UncleBucky says:

    Word Association Quiz International.

    Q. ABC
    A. THE Australian Broadcasting Corporation

    Q. VOA
    A. Simple English

    Q. CBS
    A. Sony? Viacom?

    Q. NBC
    A. NaBisCo!!!

    Q. Fox
    A. That? Oh, America sucks.

    Thanks, FOX.

  13. 2karmanot says:

    Or bunny slippers and all will be lost, because Benghazi! :-O

  14. 2karmanot says:

    but I get that confused with tying my tie.

  15. Houndentenor says:

    None of them do. I’ve been saying this for several years now. No one in broadcast news is remotely concerned about accuracy. They let people come on and say whatever they want and it goes unchallenged. How hard is it to google something? Research has NEVER been easier. They have the tools on their laptops and they can’t be bothered. They’re lazy and self-important. At least Anderson Cooper will own it. The rest get pissy and defensive if you dare call them on it. Where was the skepticism in 2002-2003 about the WMD lies. There was TONS of it all over the world but not in the American media. I don’t have cable any more and I’m not missing anything. I read my news these days and miss all the nonsense and blather with people lying and distorting while the anchor just sits there. Can’t call them out. Oh, no. You might lose ACCESS. The sooner cable implodes the better off our entire country will be.

  16. Drew2u says:

    With the main media caught blatantly not checking their facts, it’s not likely any time soon:

  17. ckg1 says:

    In response to John King’s act during the Boston Marathon coverage, Charlie Brooker referred to King as a “fuck-brained shit-stirrer.”

  18. Bill_Perdue says:

    Don’t forget Ohio, Missouri, Kansas, California, New York, Nevada and the rest of the
    North, Midwest and the West.

    Racism is one of the foundation stones of liberal as well as conservative capitalism.

  19. Houndentenor says:


  20. Houndentenor says:

    Stronger? The US has no hate speech laws. Any reference to such is only made in right wing lies. (Note: I’m not advocating for such. They would be unconstitutional anyway.) It is nice to see people push back when being lied about. Or their city or country being lied about. That needs to happen more often.

  21. Houndentenor says:

    *sigh* That sounds like way too many of my relatives. They may or may not have seen the correction but it’s not just France where they claim that sharia law has taken over. It’s fear mongering and it’s highly effective.

  22. Houndentenor says:

    Am I the only one who notice that almost all the apologies were read on air by women? As usually men make the mess and women have to clean it up.

  23. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Think of it: there are still places where facts matter.

  24. nicho says:

    I watch baseball and hockey on the Internet on my Apple TV. It’s a subscription service and they don’t show the commercials, which is nice. Soccer doesn’t allow for many commercials, except at half time, and I’m usually in the bathroom or refilling my beer glass.

  25. Don Chandler says:

    LOL, I like that idea of parental controls on fox. Must frustrate the next occupant ;) Yeah, I hear you on the baseball nonsense. Commercials killed the tv for me– it was painful to watch so many commercials 20 years ago, but now it’s overwhelming. I prefer baseball on the radio (though not commercial free either.)

  26. heimaey says:

    Or they may be forced to start reporting real news – hopefully more law suits will follow and they can be held accountable.

  27. nicho says:

    Only TV I watch is baseball, hockey, soccer, and Big Bang theory. And if baseball gets much more fascist, I may stop that. I’m getting tired of the fighter jet flyovers, the “patriotic” crapola, fetishization of the military, flags the size of Montana, and the on-field religious antics of the players.

    As far as Fox, I never watch it. And one of my favorite pastimes when I’m traveling is to use the remote in the hotel room to put parental controls on Fox, requiring a password to watch it.

  28. Don Chandler says:

    Yeah, but you aren’t watching fox news much–it preys on the elderly. It preaches to the converted. It is 24/7/365 trash. Watching too much TV will pave the way to wearing slip-ons–kill your tv!

  29. nicho says:

    There are some places in the north that would be included. There’s not much difference between rural New Hampshire and Maine and places in the south.

  30. nicho says:

    Some of us “elderly” folks have pretty good memories. Why I even remember how to tie my shoes.

  31. nicho says:

    Yes. They do remember it. It is implanted in their brain as part of their world view. Fox doesn’t care about the apology, because the damage has already been done. The mission has been accomplished.

    I have a good friend who travels to Paris and other parts of Europe for several weeks a month. His mother is a Fox News addict — all day, every day. It’s her only source of information. Last week, before his latest trip, she was on the phone to him in tears, urging him to force his company to provide bodyguards for him in London and Paris because of the Muslim threat. Earlier, because he has a mountain of FF miles, he offered her a first-class ticket to Italy to see her granddaughter who is living there. She refused, because “ISIS is everywhere” and they’re just waiting for her to leave the country so they can kill her.

  32. Demosthenes says:

    Its elderly audience wouldn’t.

  33. Demosthenes says:

    Imagine if Fox “News” we’re held to this standard for all of its “reporting”. The screen would be blank 23 out of 24 hours a day.

  34. Ninong says:

    Make Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes both apologize publicly!

  35. Indigo says:

    Mais ouis, mais . . . what court receives this law suit?

  36. Indigo says:

    It was earlier than that but yes, they’ve long since replaced serious issues with disappearing aircraft.

  37. goulo says:

    John, that loud power tool was a JACKhammer, not a SLEDGEhammer… :)

  38. rmthunter says:

    A stray thought: by the time Fox got around to apologizing for the story, do you suppose any of its viewers actually remembered it?

  39. Bill_Perdue says:

    What Fox News, the homophobes at MSNBC and most of the press in the US and the EU are ignoring in their reporting on the Paris terrorist murders is the number of journalists killed in Gaza by zionists during their terrorist attack on Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank last August.

    They are:
    1. Hamid Abdullah Shehab – “Media 24″company.2. Najla Mahmoud Haj – media activist.
    3 Khalid Hamad – the “Kontnao” Media Production company.
    4. Ziad Abdul Rahman Abu Hin – al-Ketab satellite channel.
    5. Ezzat Duheir – Prisoners Radio.
    6. Bahauddin Gharib – Palestine TV.
    7 Ahed Zaqqout – veteran sports journalist.
    8 Ryan Rami – Palestinian Media Network.
    9 Sameh Al-Arian – Al-Aqsa TV.
    10 Mohammed Daher – Editor in al-Resala paper.
    11. Abdullah Vhjan – sports journalist.
    12 journalist Khaled Hamada Mqat- Director of Saja news website.
    13. freelance journalist Shadi Hamdi Ayyad.
    14 photojournalist Mohammed Nur al-Din al-Dairi – works in the Palestinian Network.
    15. journalist Ali Abu Afesh – Doha Center for Media.
    16 Italian journalist Simone Camille – photographer in the Associated Press.
    17. Abdullah fadel Murtaja

    Paris is a relatively safe city, certainly compared to Henderson and New York, infested with killer cops, but all of Gaza and the West Bank are no-go zones for journalists, children and
    Palestinians. “Between 2,127and 2,310 Gazans were killed (including 513 children and
    between 10,895 and 11,100 were wounded. … 520,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip (approximately 30% of its population) might have been displaced, of whom 485,000 needed emergency food assistance and 273,000 were taking shelter in 90 UN-run schools.17,200 Gazan homes were totally destroyed or severely damaged, and 37,650 homes suffered damage but
    were still inhabitable.

  40. Drew2u says:

    “independence of the press,”

    It would depend on whether there’d be enough evidence of FOX not being a member of the press by their definition. (bias and propaganda being different than neutral journalism).

    And if that would forbid other news channels as well, then I’d actually say good on that country if it is holding to a higher standard of journalism than what the U.S. produces.

  41. kurtsteinbach says:

    You mean like most of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. Oh, and don’t forget Florida and Texas. . . .

  42. kurtsteinbach says:

    It’s that darned wabbit again, he’s so wascally. . . . .

  43. kurtsteinbach says:

    CNN stopped being a serious news organization around the time of the Boston Marathon Bombing. . . .

  44. kurtsteinbach says:

    Fox Noise Channel claims to be an entertainment channel. Well, I’m still waiting to be entertained. Smearing minorities and people who think differently than you do is not entertaining, just nauseating. . . .

  45. The_Fixer says:

    I think if Great Britain can forbid certain right-wing commentators from entering the country (wasn’t it Michael Savage?), then there may be a case to be had here.

    Of course, Europe seems to have a different relationship with the press than we in the U.S. have. They seem to respect the independence of the press, but seriously come down on them if they are involved in illicit activity or are outright lying. However, this is a generalization and there are likely other examples where this is not the case.

    I wonder if Rupert would prevail should the French government decide to push this issue to the point of trying to ban Fox news. On the other hand, the French people may miss the comedic value of having Fox news in their cable line-up. They seem to be having a field day with this. And I love it.

  46. Drew2u says:

    We all joke/know that FOX isn’t a reporting the news channel as much as it is propaganda and lies via scare tactics.
    I can imagine in European countries with stronger hate-speech laws than the U.S. as taking the initiative to block a foreign political propaganda tv channel (i.e. The Blaze).

  47. FLL says:

    Come to think of it, Fox News might just run afoul of some of Europe’s hate speech laws, depending on their guest contributors, for example, Tony Perkins, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bryan Fischer has been interviewed on Fox News. Good idea, Drew.

  48. FatRat says:

    I expected Fox employees to start screaming “Je plaide la cinquième!”, while fleeing. (smile)

  49. Drew2u says:

    What are the chances that Paris/France could try to pass a law banning the Fox News Channel within the city/country based on hate-speech?

  50. microdot says:

    Here’s the segment from last night with John and Mikey, THE FOX ACTION BOYS! And you do get to hear FOX reps try to pathetically speak French!

  51. Houndentenor says:

    It’s not CNN is much better.

  52. nicho says:

    Faux News has trouble translating English into English.

  53. microdot says:

    Only, if you speak French and listened to Amanpours conversation with Hildalgo, you would have realised that CNN does not have a competent translator. A serious fault with a so called serious news organization. They totally misrepresented Hildalgo’s comments based on their in ability to competently translate French. What Amanpour reported as Hildalgo’s comments is not what she said.

  54. FatRat says:

    Where does Murdoch find the time to hack a dead girls phone and also report on the French menace?

  55. FLL says:

    Paris municipal government, call it like you see it even if it makes some folks vewy, vewy upset.

  56. nicho says:

    It would be better if Faux News talked about the places in the US that are “no-go zones” for people of color, Muslims, and gays — places with a lot of right-winger “Christians” with guns and a negative tooth-to-tattoo ratio.

  57. BeccaM says:

    Hmm. Lots of gay people. A substantial number of not-white people. And it’s in France.

    Strikes me as precisely the kind of place the average mouth-breathing Fux News viewer, host, or frequent GOP guest would never go. Just like all the other places they fear and loathe.

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