While much attention has been paid stateside to Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s public threat to sue Fox News this week, less focus has been given to the network’s ridiculous behavior that prompted the call to begin with.
But here in Paris, Fox’s claims of the existence of Islamist-run “no-go zones,” here and in other areas in Europe, have been lampooned with relish.
Reeling in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Paris-based newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a kosher market, the French equivalent of the David Letterman show, “Le Petit Journal,” managed to convey some much-needed comic relief to a national prime-time TV audience in France where much of the country grieved.
The Petit Journal’s broadcast of the Parisian neighborhoods could not have more patently depicted the absurdity of Fox’s portrayal of Paris, where, in reality, people of different ages, religions and ethnic origins freely go about their business, running errands, pushing strollers, etc.
Le Petit Journal correspondents were shown visiting the “no-go zones,” prompting guffaws from both the live studio audience and the incredulous passersby who were asked if their safe streets were comparable to those in Iraq or Afghanistan, if they ever saw someone wear bin Laden T-shirts, or other absurd questions. The U.S. equivalent would be asking people on the streets in Manhattan if Shariah law was the law of the streets there.
In another broadcast, Le Petit Journal cast members dressed up like U.S. journalists ventured into the “Most Dangerous City in the Universe.” They confronted such dangerous situations as a man with a “terrorist beard” driving a taxi or the site of a couscous restaurant. The sounds of a jackhammer are taken for gunfire as the fake TV reporter rolls on the ground in terror.