One thought on “France Hearts Terror TV

  1. The CRIF press release points out that, in contrast to its arrangement with Hizbullah’s Al-Manar (“Jews, return to Europe and the U.S.! Palestine will be your grave! [C. Ayad for Lib?ration]), the CSA refused to license a Kurdish channel called M?dia TV. (I imagine that this is the well-known Kurdish satellite broadcaster, Med-TV.)
    As Lib?ration coverage shows (1, 2, 3), though, the story is quite a bit more involved than JPost seems to acknowledge.
    Last July, the CSA had agreed with applicants that Manar was — not surprisingly, given its role as the PR brand of the Hizbullah organisation — promoting hatred and promoting terrorist acts, so shouldn’t be on the air. So they sought to have Eutelsat, its distributor in France, remove it from the channel bouquet it sells.
    The problem was that the CSA’s authority over Al Manar was limited, because the station wasn’t itself licensed in France. Even if removed from Eutelsat, another satellite provider — perhaps one not licensed in France, either — could easily carry it. So having it taken off the air might not result in it being off the air at all.
    The idea behind the CSA directly licensing Manar is therefore to bring the station under French jurisdiction. The license agreement itself includes provisions that Al Manar has contractually undertaken to respect involving human rights, honesty of information, and other ethical journalistic procedures.
    Whether or not they are actually respected is a whole other story, of course. notes that the CSA has only two employees who speak Arabic — each regulated by the 35-hours-and-no-more labour laws — to bother checking whether any of the 15-odd Arabic-language stations respect these contractual conditions.
    (In Canada, by contrast, they outsourced the responsibility of ensuring compliance with hate laws to the program distributors themselves. Which isn’t crazy, methinks.)

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