Éric Zemmour - A Battle for Freedom of Speech
Éric Zemmour has been in the news on a daily basis for several weeks. First, he appears on French television in several types of talk shows - discussions, interviews, etc... and alone in a morning editorial on Radio Courtoisie. He also is the author of many books and writes regularly for Le Figaro. He is certainly a busy man, but his claim to fame is quite unique: he is one of the very few journalists in the public eye who tells the truth about what is happening in France. Here, from Wikipedia, and slightly edited, is a synopsis of his ideas:
Zemmour considers himself Gaullist and Bonapartist, and places himself in a profoundly anti-liberal (economically and socially) portion of the French right. He also considers himself to be a reactionary, in that he believes his views to be a reaction to a society that dismantles the social order, especially family and tradition, in the pursuit of a false goal: liberating the individual, who only finds himself isolated and reduced to the status of consumer. He reserves subversiveness for the right-wing, arguing that the progressives now dominant in French culture and the media can no longer claim to be critics of the established order since they have become the established order.
Zemmour's anti-liberalism also causes him to oppose European federalism. He considers Europe to be profoundly liberal and out of step with the French social order. He also believes that within a European community, the political right and left are forced to advocate "the same economic policy, social liberalism or liberal socialism", since, in the words of Philippe Séguin, "right and left are outlets of the same wholesaler, Europe."
Zemmour regularly takes positions that he describes as "anti-human rights-ism", placing him in opposition to many politicians (including Bernard Kouchner), intellectuals (including Bernard-Henri Lévy), and organizations advocating humanitarian intervention, which Zemmour considers to be a form of neo-colonialism. On the 12th of September 2009 during the TV show "On n'est pas couché", Zemmour had an argument with Samuel Benchetrit about re-considering the pros and the cons of the death penalty, when he stated that, with its abolition in France, it has created a disproportion in the hierarchy of major crimes. While presenting his arguments, Zemmour aroused the anger of Samuel Benchetrit who apparently was against capital punishment.
Zemmour is an advocate of traditional French assimilationism, and is staunchly opposed to "mass" immigration brought on by family reunification and to the current process of integrating immigrants, which he regards as too lenient. He has frequently declared that he is in favour of assimilation, even if this makes him "neurotic". He is also in favour of the Thierry Mariani amendment, which would require people wishing to immigrate to France on the basis of family reunification to prove their relationship via DNA testing. He is frequently criticized for his pronouncements on immigration and his attacks on certain organizations (including SOS Racisme). He recently claimed that the majority of French drug dealers are of African or Arab descent. With France's legal ban on ethnic statistics, this statement cannot be verified. The International League against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) announced a few days later that it would seek legal action against him.
In Le Premier sexe (The First Sex), Zemmour accuses modern feminists of wanting to "castrate" men, and charges their movement with bringing negative consequences upon society (including the loss of the notion of authority). Declaring that the role of fathers is very different from that of mothers, he has alienated, besides feminists, men disputing his vision (including actor Francis Huster). Zemmour accuses these opponents of being demagogues obsessed with political correctness and ignoring the history of French society and the works of Sigmund Freud. Others, including author Franz-Olivier Giesbert, have lauded his views. His views on feminism are largely inspired from those of Alain Soral who once claimed that Zemmour has "copied" his ideas and views.
The above synopsis barely begins to describe Zemmour's beliefs, but you can see that he is a traditionalist, and a realist about race, sex, and immigration. He should not be compared to Marxist Alain Soral, even if some of their views converge. Whether you agree with everything stated above or not, Zemmour is unquestionably a rara avis in the world of French media.
For several weeks, a witch hunt against Zemmour has mobilized the forces of various anti-racist, pro-immigration, Islamic and politically correct organizations such as MRAP, LICRA, CRAN, and SOS-Racism.
Here is just a bare bones outline of what has transpired:
- On March 13 he was criticized by television journalists Frédéric Bonnaud and Paul Moreira for the content of his most recent book Mélancolie Française that deals with the decline of France under the domination of "Mohammedan hordes". Moreira accused Zemmour of not subjecting the information in the book to strict verification of the sources, i.e., of writing carelessly without documentary proof. (François Desouche)
- On March 14 Le Figaro reported that the CSA (High Council on Audiovisual, similar to our FCC), at the formal request of MRAP and the Club Averroès, were examining closely the remarks made by Éric Zemmour on French television channel Canal+. "It is a question that we have examined closely and will continue to examine," said Rachid Arhab, of the CSA, adding that the CSA had already been looking at the matter before being engaged by MRAP and the Club Averroès.
Éric Zemmour had declared that "the French immigrants were more closely monitored than other Frenchmen because most of the drug traffickers were black or Arab... It's a fact."
The following week, MRAP and the Club Averroès, which defends diversity in the media, took their case to the CSA because of these remarks "that have racist tones."
On a "personal" level, Mr. Ahab replied to Mr. Zemmour that "you can be an Arab and not be a drug trafficker. You can be a member of the CSA."
On March 17, CRAN (Representative Council of Black Associations), headed by Patrick Lozès (left), announced that it had protested to the CSA and to France Télévisions concerning the remarks of Eric Zemmour, who had said he considers discrimination in hiring practices to be a "right".
In this open letter CRAN demands that "in all broadcasts, in both public and private media, no one should be invited to speak who affirms that one has the right to violate French law, no one should be invited who encourages or values crime. Not only does Mr. Zemmour legitimize crime, but he even encourages it, since, according to him, 'discrimination is life, it is choice, it is selection.'"
Note: The "crime" referred to is the crime of breaking French law when you say, as Zemmour did, that discrimination is a "right".
On the same date (March 17), SOS-Racism lodged a complaint for "racial defamation" against Zemmour:
SOS-Racism summons Eric Zemmour to appear before the criminal court to respond to the charges of racial defamation following his remarks of March 6 on Canal+.
When he was invited to speak on his latest book, he declared, with regard to discriminatory identity checks: "Why is someone checked 17 times a day? Because most drug dealers are black or Arab, that's the way it is. It's a fact."
Éric Zemmour has been spreading his disgusting ideology on popular television programs for too long. He will have to answer for his statements before the judge. (François Desouche)
From Jean-Marc Morandini, via François Desouche
On March 18, Patrice Duhamel (above), CEO of France Télévisions (the ensemble of national television channels) wrote a letter to the producers of the talk show "On n'est pas couché" in which Eric Zemmour has participated since 2006, asking what measures it intended to take to prevent the scandal from doing harm to the reputation of France Télévisions.
Note: The was one of the first real indications that Zemmour might be fired from at least one of his high-profile jobs.
On March 20, writing at his blog, Patrick Lozès, the head of CRAN, compared Éric Zemmour to Dieudonné:
Éric Zemmour should join up with the Front National, since he espouses some of its ideas. He should join the FN just as a certain other professional scandal monger and provocateur, whose repeated comments began as a similar monomania with regard to Jews, and ended with a falling off of the mask of the humorist and a rapprochement with Jean-Marie Le Pen and his party.
Lozès then quotes some of Zemmour's recent remarks:
"Most drug dealers are black or Arab, it's a fact." (March 6)
"This country has been white and Christian for two thousand years, whether you like it or not." (March 6)
"HALDE must be destroyed. It encourages denunciations and non-accountability. It is so much more comforting to blame one's failures on so-called discrimination than on one's own weaknesses." (March 8)
"We are allowing pockets of ethnic and religious uniformity to spread. It will end badly. It will end in blood." (March 9)
This is just the beginning. Much more will be posted within the next 24 hours. The poster below is from SOS-Racism. It reads: "It is shameful. Let us mobilize".