Monday, 03 February 2020 15:59

FRANCE – Commentator Zemmour says he does not care if children die crossing the sea and calls for immigration rights to be abolished

Talking on his own TV show Face à l'info, Eric Zemmour has, once more, expressed violent racist remarks against migrants and Muslims. The news channel that hosts the show, CNews, decided to include this racist content in the broadcast, and is therefore responsible, in addition to Zemmour, for spreading incitement to violence. This is France’s media monitoring highlight for January.

This article is part of the Media Monitoring Highlights of January, a monthly overview of the most significant results of our monitoring of traditional and new media in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and the United Kingdom.

zemmour cnewsDate of publication: 22 January 2020

Media outlet: Face à l'info, TV programme on French free-to-air news channel CNews


Description of the anti-Muslim content: Talking on his own TV show Face à l'info, known polemist Eric Zemmour has, once more, expressed violent racist remarks against migrants. He explicitly stated his lack of interest towards children who die while trying to cross the Mediterranean sea: “I don’t care […] To defend my children, I prefer that the other dies". Zemmour then called for any immigration to France to be forcefully halted by removing existing rights: "There is illegal immigration: we have to stop it by sending them back. There is legal immigration: we have to stop it by removing their rights". He then continued: "We need to abolish the family reunification rights; we need to abolish the right of the soil; we need to abolish almost all the right of asylum; we need to tell them not to bring their wives here and in any case tell them she will not be French; we need to abolish dual nationality. This is to say that we need to abolish rights”. Zemmour also referred specifically to Muslims: “I think immigration, the mass-migratory invasion we’ve been living for years, will cause a civil war in France and the Islamization of the country. For me, these words are more important than the death of people who want to come. As I didn’t ask anything from them, to me, they are invaders".

Myth Debunked: Eric Zemmour is well known for his racist anti-Muslim rants. When he says that he does not care if children drown and die while crossing the Mediterranean, he is being deeply disrespectful of people’s lives, who have been dying because of European policies. When he adds that letting people die is a way of defending his children, he is associating children with Islamic terrorists. His prophecies about civil war and “Islamization” actively encourage violent attitudes towards people who are perceived to be migrants. Since October, CNews has been hosting Zemmour’s evening programme, from Monday to Thursday. A few weeks after public outrage in response to racist remarks on Islam and the Algerian war, CNews decided to no longer broadcast the programme live, but to check it before release. Sleeping Giants, a campaign against the funding of hate in the media, argues that as CNews actively decided to include this racist content in the broadcast, the news outlet itself is responsible, in addition to Zemmour. In December, CSA (the Superior Council of the Audiovisual) called on CNews to respect its broadcasting obligations in terms of incitement to hatred or violence. With this new case, they have received more than 4,000 complaints. 

More to read:

How right-wing thinker Eric Zemmour is fuelling France’s identity wars

What good is Zemmour doing?

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