April 12, 2016

"If she decides the day after tomorrow that Mr. Böhmermann has exercised his right to satire... she risks offending a highly sensitive president who is trampling press freedom in his own country."

"But if she authorizes a court prosecution, there will be a powerful outcry inside Germany... It will be seen as a gesture of submission to the Turkish president.... We must be prepared for a new type of conflict which can arise in a radical digital media world... What is accepted in one cultural circle can be seen as a terrible insult in others."

Said the German media expert Bernhard Pörksen referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel who feels pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to authorize the prosecution of Jan Böhmermann, who published a poem criticizing Erdogan.

We were talking the other day about a video on a German TV show that mocked Erdogan and that Erdogan sought to suppress. Böhmermann went out of his way to be more offensive and openly stated that the video wasn't offensive enough.

29 comments:

gerry said...

This is the kind of liberty good socialists want everyone to have.

mccullough said...

The best Germans came to the US a long time ago.

traditionalguy said...

Somebody is not submitting to Islam. That means war to a Turk. And he is threatening another million man invasion Army of Muslims from Turkey if he is not submitted to by the female Infidel.

Everyday stuff from the Religion that wants peace on their terms or they will kill you.

Michael K said...

"Somebody is not submitting to Islam."

Mark Twain said it was not a good idea to " pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel. "

The same applies to people who will cut your head off.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I find myself wondering whether Donald Trump would turn out to be a highly sensitive president who would do some trampling in his own country.

boycat said...

Now we get to see which way Merkel's evolving self-preservation instincts take her next.

surfed said...

What was it Tom Wolfe once said? "Facism is forever descending on the United States but landing in Europe."

Sebastian said...

What "right to satire"? German law clearly restricts freedom of speech. The Constitution says: "(2) These rights shall find their limits in the provisions of general laws, in provisions for the protection of young persons, and in the right to personal honour." News reports say: "Prosecutors in Mainz said Erdogan had filed a complaint against Boehmermann for insulting him. Under the criminal code, he could, if found guilty, be imprisoned for up to a year . . . Prosecutors are also conducting a parallel investigation into the comedian on suspicion of the more serious crime of "offending foreign states' organs and representatives" after Turkey made a formal request. If found guilty of that, Boehmermann could face up to three years in prison." And the satirist himself announced that the poem he was going to read was illegal. If he wants to live in freedom, he should move.

The Drill SGT said...

Michael K said...
The same applies to people who will cut your head off.


Particularly if you are selling them knives...

JAORE said...

At the same time in the US our AGs, both high and low, are looking at prosecuting those that do not toe the line on climate change.

Yet we, supposedly, have protected speech.

Virgil Hilts said...

What McCullough said. There are no men left in Germany. The people left need to be protected from scary thoughts and speech; they need Germany to be a safe place. These losers cannot even stand up to savages molesting their own women.

Tom J said...

Journalist Oliver Georgi argues in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that, if Böhmermann had said these things about a German politician, public opinion would probably be pretty unanimous that he'd gone too far. Georgi argues that Böhmermann is playing games with Merkel by slyly reducing a complex issue to simply one of resisting an unlikable foreigner.
It appears that Germany has a different view of press freedom than we do, so prosecution of Böhmermann would not necessarily represent surrender to outside forces.

The Godfather said...

Having a First Amendment makes it so easy to deal with issues like this. America ought to try it.

themightypuck said...

If prosecuted, there will be an avalanche of Erdogan insults.

Bryan C said...

"...she risks offending a highly sensitive president who is trampling press freedom in his own country."

That's not a risk, Angie. That's an opportunity. Make the most of it.

Owen said...

McLuhan saw this many decades ago. What used to be local is now global. What was understood in locale A as a joke is seen as mortal insult in locale B. The only way to reconcile this is (a) ignore the complaint from B or (b) suppress the source in A.

If you want an information-rich environment, you choose (a). If you want ignorance and terror, you choose (b).

Your choice.

MaxedOutMama said...

In the US the offending poem might well allow Erdogan to win a slander lawsuit.

Unlike the previous satire song which was criticism based on truths, this poem was just pure slander. The statements were both false and malicious.

This will be interesting.



MaxedOutMama said...

PS: Sebastian's right about the state of law in Germany, and the day after the slander poem was broadcast, all the newspapers were agreeing that it violated German law.

If Merkel does NOT allow the law to be executed, she will not be in a good situation. If she does, she won't be in a good situation.

William said...

In response to Eric's question about whether Trump would try to trample the press, the answer is yes. But to the larger question of would he succeed the answer is no.....Imagine a Turksh press composed of militant, devout Muslims and how vigilant they would be in reporting on Erdogan's excesses. Now imagine an American press composed of militant, devout liberals and how vigilant they would be in reporting on the excesses of political correctness..........There are two photos extant of Roosevelt sitting in a wheelchair. That's two more than are extant of Trump with a friendly smile.

Sebastian said...

Erdogan is such a Muzzie pussy, he makes Trump sound reasonable.

Virgil Hilts said...

MaxedOutMama - why do you think this poem would be actionable here?
You need to read Hustler v. Falwell. Its pretty much the exact same case. Hustler stated, among other silly profane things, that the defendant's first sexual experience was with his mom in an outhouse. The case was unanimous at the time is was decided (it may have helped the progressives on the court that the guy on the other side was an evangelical and head of the moral majority).

Virgil Hilts said...

I meant plaintiff not defendant.

tds said...

Foreign heads of states are regularly mocked at German press and TV. By the way, such mocking is usually built on typical German subtlety and great sense of humor. A proper question would then be why has Erdogan in particular merited an intervention? For answer, just read world news.

Peter said...

IF we are to have free speech, then it is necessary to have a right to offend. For without such a right, anyone may restrict speech by claiming to be offended.

That's not to say that one has an obligation to say every offensive statement that comes to mind, but that one must reserve the right to do so. For once you give that up the discussion must end up in the swamps of "freer speech" vs. "more restrictive speech" (and, inevitably, about who gets to decide what is permitted and what is not).

And, yes, by that standard European countries, and even Canada, no longer have free speech. No doubt there are many, on campus and off, who would celebrate the death of free speech. Indeed, Stanley Fish threw down the gauntlet with his book, "There's No Such Thing As Free Speech: And It's a Good Thing, Too" wherein he declared "hate speech" does not deserve protection and, therefore, the offended do (or should) have the authority to shut up the offensive.

Free speech would seem to be a bedrock principle of the liberal state, but all too obviously it is not. We are, instead, living in a world in which calls to silence Salmon Rushdie by murdering him for writing offensive fiction was met with something less than full-throated outrage.

Fernandinande said...

Grief Calls Us to Blue Telephones.

Hey, Ma,
I wonder whom I should call?

A plumber answers.
I made him a cup of days.

Haul us, prey and praise, to the bathroom telephone.
They slap our souls with their cold wings of instant coffee.

I wonder who forgot forgetfulness
At this five-star hotel.

Germany sucks.

++

Computer generated "poem" - except for the last line.

Smilin' Jack said...

Said the German media expert Bernhard Pörksen referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel who feels pressure from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to authorize the prosecution of Jan Böhmermann, who published a poem criticizing Erdogan.

There once was a president named Erdogan,
who....

Jeez, that's not easy to finish. Gives me new respect for Böhmermann--maybe I should buy some of his stuff from Amazon.

Larry J said...

Should the shit hit the fan, the Turkish military doesn't have much to fear from Germany. All they have to do is make them run out of overtime.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/10/german-army-forced-to-lay-down-weapons-due-to-overtime-limits/

This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.

JAORE said...

My father came from Belgian stock. We used to tease him by saying that when Germany starts a war they choose Belgium for the same reason college football teams schedule cupcakes for the first round. An easy win while you work off the rust.

How times have changed. Now, absent American backing I doubt if Germany could stop a number of nations in the middle east if push came to shove.

France may now be the toughest nut in Europe. (French soldier bravery being the butt of jokes, not withstanding, they know how to fight.)

damikesc said...

Progressive disdain for Western Civilization leads to disastrous results. Those freedoms that they abuse for their benefit are there solely due to Western Civ.

I actually asked fellow students in college years back who were protesting "Who ELSE outlawed slavery? Because the West basically forced that on most of the world."

Yet we, supposedly, have protected speech.

We do NOW.

But looking at what universities are churning out, I have little hope in that continuing.