Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Monsieur Hyman A un Tete du Merde.

The poor French! Even when they make a decision that should please Hyman, they still get dissed!

Mark Hyman continues his Francophobic diatribes (remember “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”?) as he lashes into our Gallic friends for being intolerant. His evidence? The French have banned Al Manar, the television station that serves as the voice for Hezbollah, from their airwaves.

Banning a Muslim television station does seem a bit draconian, particularly given the fact that France has a large Islamic population. On the other hand, you have to take into account that the network supports Hezbollah, an avowed terrorist organization, airs soap operas in which rabbis are accused of performing human sacrifice, suicide bombers are celebrated in music videos, and America is called “The Great Satan” while images of a blood-soaked Statue of Liberty fill the screen (although Hyman glosses over this content by simply mentioning “claims of anti-Semitic broadcasts”). As some media watchdog groups have noted, banning this station outright might be counterproductive, but its overt anti-Semitism and support of terrorism must be challenged. has a large Muslim population.

Now, if we were to use the same logic Hyman so often uses on those with whom he disagrees, we’d conclude that Hyman must hate America. After all, why would he criticize the move to ban a television station associated with terrorists that spews hateful, anti-American rhetoric and advocates the murder of innocent civilians? By speaking out in favor of this network, Hyman is giving aid and comfort to the enemy in the “war on terror.” Let’s give him a one-way ticket to Gitmo!

But we don’t play by Hyman’s twisted rules. We don’t think Hyman hates America. He hates the French because they didn’t toe the Bush administration’s line when it came to invading Iraq. They questioned whether there was sufficient evidence of WMDs in Iraq to warrant immediate military action (darn those French . . . always being right about things!). Thus, in Hyman’s inimitable way, he throws any sense of consistency out the window in order to bash an entire nation. You can bet that if the French government allowed Al Manar to broadcast freely, Hyman would complain about that by railing against a country that had such a twisted notion of freedom that it would allow such ugly, anti-American filth on its airwaves.

Hyman lamely tries to tie France’s ban on Al Manar to the ongoing efforts to maintain purity in the French language and regulations reserving broadcast time for native French musicians on the radio (although Canada does the very same thing). But such efforts, whether one sees them as productive or naïve, don’t constitute intolerance. They’re attempts to maintain an idea of French identity in an increasingly homogenized (and Americanized) world. But given Hyman’s hostility toward that very identity, it’s not surprising that he grasps at anything he can in order to cobble together yet another belligerent screed against the French.

Of course, Hyman doesn’t mention the fact that our very own American FCC has levied gargantuan fines against domestic broadcasters for the horrific crimes of having a portion of a woman’s body shown on screen for a fraction of a second and for the occasional scatological humor of morning DJs. Somehow, Mark, we’re having a little trouble taking your horror at France’s “intolerant” ban on terrorist rhetoric seriously when the administration you so vocally support feels it needs to prevent the viewing public from Janet Jackson’s right boob.

And that’s The Counterpoint.


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