Nigel Farage insists that it would “incomprehensible” for the Paris mayor to go through with her threat to sue Fox News for defamation.
Farage is the outspoken and often politically incorrect leader of the populist UK Independence Party (UKIP or Ukip) and member of the European Parliament.
It’s not clear what court, if any, would have jurisdiction over the dispute, however, and even if any grounds for a lawsuit exist beyond symbolism given freedom of speech protections in the U.S. The measure of damages is even more murky. Hidalgo is a socialist, which may partially explain her ideological antipathy for the right-leaning network.
In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks at the Charlie Hedbo offices and the Kosher supermarket, Nigel Farage asserted on Fox that certain self-contained Muslim enclaves in Europe, where police no longer regularly patrol, operate under Sharia Law rather than civil law. In a speech before the EU parliament in Strasbourg last week, Farage opined that merely adopting the “Je Suis Charlie” motto is insufficient to take Europe’s political leadership off the hook for policy debacles that have engendered acts of terrorism across the continent. In a prior appearance on FNC immediately following the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Farage declared that the effort by political elites in Europe to promote multiculturalism through uncontrolled immigration had failed.
Reacting to the possibility of a Paris lawsuit against Fox, Farage told the London Telegraph the following.
We are very much involved in terminology here. The French police call 571 areas sensitive zones, Fox calls them no-go zones. The French are always sensitive to criticism especially from America. It’s a matter of semantics. I’ve heard French politicians use the term no-go zones. The point is whether it is the correct phrase there’s a massive problem with lack of integration in French cities. I am not in the least bit surprised by it [the threat to sue]. Most people will look at this and find it incomprehensible.”
Last May, Ukip under Farage’s leadership won the most seats for Britain’s representation in the EU, the first time in about 100 years that a third party won a national election in England. Farage is himself also a candidate for the British parliament, the House of Commons, in the upcoming May 2015 general election, in which even a modest number of Ukip wins could play a decisive role in forming a governing coalition in Westminster.
The rise of Ukip has resulted in part because many British voters have become disenchanted with the Conservatives/Tories on the right and the Labor Party on the left, in part over the immigration issue. As such, neither is expected to achieve a majority in parliament.
Do you think it makes sense for the Paris mayor to actually sue the Fox News Channel or do you agree with Nigel Farage that any legal action is incomprehensible?
[image credit: Euro Realist Newsletter]