The French MSM Anonymizes the Jihad

Several French media outlets announced today that they will no longer broadcast the names or photos of terrorists. The rationale behind the decision is that to do so “glorifies” the despicable acts of the mujahideen, helps spread their violent propaganda, and encourages further radicalization.

As it happens, it also prevents the French public from learning that (a) the terrorists have a “Middle-Eastern appearance”, and (b) Muslim names, not infrequently including variants of the name “Mohammed”.

But I’m sure these last two are just side-effects of the editors’ high-minded decision. No one would want to deprive the public of such important knowledge, would they?

Here’s a discussion of the issue from BFMTV. Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation:

Terrorism: BFMTV and Le Monde won’t broadcast any more images of terrorists

While the [terrorist] attacks are increasing in France, the debate on a possible “glorification” of terrorism has been revived in the French media. BFMTV and Le Monde have decided not to broadcast pictures of the authors of the attacks. Elements of reflection.

Can the media image of the attackers influence candidates for jihad, and push them to take action? After the attacks of Nice and Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, the debate was revived in the French media, including by Jérôme Fenoglio, editorial director of Le Monde, which published an editorial this morning to this effect.

“Following the Nice attack, we will not publish any more photographs of authors of the killings, to avoid the possible effects of posthumous glorification,” says the reporter, who calls for a “lot of introspection” in the French media.

A position shared and adopted by BFMTV on all media. Following the attack in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, the channel has decided not to publish the photograph of Adel Kermiche, the suspect of the murder of the father Hamel. [Is he still a suspect if he was killed at the scene? — translator]

“Faced with the accumulation of attacks in France, we do not want to create a rogues’ gallery of terrorists. So we stop publishing their photos, which does not prevent a work of investigation on their profile and their background. The only exception to this principle is the wanted posters, the search notices from law enforcement, that can help investigators,” commented Alexis Delahousse, deputy managing editor of BFMTV.

Shortly after the attack on 14 July in Nice, a petition was even officially launched to ask the CSA [Superior Council of Audiovisual (Content), a French institution whose role is to regulate the various electronic media in France, such as radio and television. Its predecessor, the Haute Autorité de la Communication Audiovisuelle, was created by the Socialist Party] to control the dissemination of such images. If this petition already has 70,000 signatories, the debate is however not new.

Photos that cause a scandal

Back in 2012, many readers and viewers were moved by the publication of photographs of Mohamed Merah, the perpetrator of the killings of Toulouse and Montauban, where we saw the terrorist laughing at the wheel of his car.

Similar reactions were observed in the aftermath of the attack on 14 July in Nice, during which 84 people were killed by a truck careening at full speed along la Promenade des Anglais. The press then diffused a more “advantageous” photo of Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the author of the killing. We see him lying on the beach and showing off his muscles in a triumphant pose.

A vision all the more shocking, since at the same time several videos showing the victims of the attack — injured or dead — circulating on social networks. However, the decision not to broadcast the photographs of bombers poses several deeper questions. Several jihad specialists question and doubt the effectiveness of such a measure in the fight against radicalization. And David Thomson, RFI journalist and the author of a book on the lives of several French jihadists (The French jihadists, ed. les Arènes), doesn’t expect a decrease in terrorism.

A view reinforced by the fact that for several years ISIS has disseminated its propaganda with its own media channels. On social networks or via its QAMA agency, the terrorist organization propagates, after every attack or almost all, pictures of those responsible, rendering obsolete any attempt of the traditional media to “obscure” them.

This editorial choice designed to avoid an effect “star Terrorist Acts” will however not affect the terrorist intensity in France

— David Thomson (@_DavidThomson) 27 July 2016

Besides the problem of any possible “glorification” of terrorism, there’s the problem of the conspiracy theory. After every attack, every major event, the conspiracy-mongers from all sides attack the official version and try, usually by misinterpreting images, to discredit the facts. How to fight against these theories and their authors, while casting a veil over the pictures of the terrorists?

Should their names be removed?

On 27 July, following statements of Le Monde and BFMTV, it was the turn of Europe 1 to decide not to broadcast pictures of terrorists, and adding banishment of their names, a first in the media.

@ Europe1 decides not to mention on the air the names of the authors of the killings. Their photos will no longer appear on

— Henry de Laguérie (@henrydelaguerie) 27 July 2016

Problem: the media and the judiciary are not on the same wavelength. While during the day on Tuesday the media were broadcasting the initials of one of the alleged perpetrators of the attack of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Prosecutor François Molins gave the full name of the man killed on the steps of the church.

Once the investigation is officially launched, and these elements published by the justice, what impact the non-dissemination by the media of these can have on the public, at a time when social networks often transmit information faster than traditional channels? This is the position taken by BFMTV, and assistant editor Alexis Delahousse explains that “if François Molins gives the name, then we will too.”

Again, the conspiracy theory is not far away. On Twitter the extreme right regularly calls authors of articles about the various facts or acts of terrorism, and in which full names are not given. Each time, the press is suspected and accused of deliberately withholding these names in order to cover up the extent of the particular case.

@franceinfo [French news agency] You may reveal the name of the Islamist # of #Magnanville …

— Franck GUIOT (@FrkGuiot) 14 June 2016

18 thoughts on “The French MSM Anonymizes the Jihad

  1. Not only should they be publishing the names and photos of the jihadist, they should be publishing the names and photos of the jihadist’s whole family and all their friends.

    They need to stop protecting the communities that support and encourage these sorts of people.

    • When government and power elitists prevent citizens from gathering intelligence, they will control the masses, and they have essentially destroyed a Republic, and hence, have taken over the state of a nation.

      Governments are so corrupt that they are doing anything to control and contain useful information from the people. The wealth they have taken from the people, to enrich their accounts and egos, needs to be contained as much as the terrorists and criminal elements need to be contained.

      Liberals and their lack of morals are destroying the world, as well as the corrupt far right who wants to take more from citizens, by having NO LAWS upheld.

      Shame on both extremes, on the far left AND the far right. These are BOTH traitors to decent society and lives!

      The corruption and greed in government and “contractors” who make billions off of the good and decent people who SUPPORT nations, needs to be contained, now more than ever.

      The mega-wealthy are abusive, perverted, evil mongers, and most are absolutely ignorant of the monster they have created, even in themselves; frankly, they don’t even care, as long as they have their private jets and yachts, and can still steal your reserved table when they walk into any establishment … the money whores are truly evil, hiding behind the “Almighty Dollar,” the ticket to Satan’s circus!

      Let those who STARTED the war, PAY FOR the war!!!!

  2. Blocking out the photos and names of the perpetrators! I suspect the media and others want to withhold this information from the public because people are seeing a pattern among the perpetrators and the media are afraid of that growing, not because the perception may be incorrect, but regardless if the public’s perception is correct or not. Truth be damned if it conflicts with held beliefs or wishes.

    Blocking out the photos and names of the perpetrators! The media can claim that they are doing this to avoid the glorification of the perpetrators. The chain of their reasoning is that printing the perpetrators’ names and photos glorify them, that glorification leads to encouragement, and encouragement only exacerbates the number of terrorists acts. So in order to reduce the incidence, prevent the glorification; block the photos and names!

    Blocking out the photos and names of the perpetrators! The problem is that the media haven’t produced evidence of the glorification. It may or may not be true that the killers are being glorified. If they are being glorified, where is the evidence? How is the glorification achieved? Who are glorifying the terrorists? Who do the terrorists appeal to? What are the justifications for glorifying the them?

    Blocking out the photos and names of the perpetrators! Why stop there? If it is true that the terrorists are motivated by other terrorists acts, then don’t report any terrorist activity at all. That should put their activity in total darkness, and other potential terrorists would be deprived of the activities presumed to encourage them. It would replicate wartime precautions where the enemy is denied intelligence concerning their activity in their enemy’s camp to judge their success or failure. However, are we prepared to live under those conditions? Are we willing to give up our right to know what is going on? And do the media have the authority to deny us that right?

  3. From now on, the French public must presume that any anonymized terrorist attack was committed by Muslims in furtheranceof Islam.

    • Reminds me of what they did with black crime around the University of Minnesota. They halted all racial descriptions of suspects because it was too discriminatory toward blacks. A majority of the crimes being committed in the area were being done by black people, and it made them look bad. Forget about the victims or potential victims being warned of a problem, lets focus instead on nonsensical social justice issues. Same thing with gun control, and a host of other liberal talking points. Anyone that believes gun control will keep you safer is delusional, as recent events in Europe have so clearly pointed out. Criminals do not care what laws you pass, only honest people do.

  4. A fairly clear case of censorship of the news so as to shield muslims and Islam from criticism. Not doubt the left leaning media and politicians believe this will insure community cohesion. But dangerous move for lovers of truth and freedom.
    So expect future vague reports of “dozens killed in bombing” with no indication of who or why. This should alarm the French public if the really love their freedom.

  5. BFMTV and Le Monde have crossed the line from propaganda on behalf of the Govt. to collaboration with the enemy.

  6. The Left wants to hide the facts and their perpetrators, in order to maintain citizens ignorant and in slumber.

  7. This may well be the first time that the national media of a major so-called Western country openly admit to:

    (1) Acting as a government organ that is dedicated to the promotion of state-mandated narratives (such as “radicalization”).

    (2) Replacing the media’s raison d’etre – publishing anything that the public has the right to know – with an “affirmative action reality” that pursues political goals and “protects” the public from information that is deemed harmful to those goals.

    Of course, they have been doing this forever. But now they no longer feel the need to hide it. On the contrary, they say it proudly, as if it were true patriotism.

  8. The Rationale behind such a decision is perfectly obvious to this Australian reader.
    And must be to many, many others. It’s called cowardice laced with fear. And those responsible will reap the whirlwind, whether sooner or later. Unless the French people have been so shut down that they will accept anything at the hands of this atrocious government they voted into power! Apropos, Jean Claude Juncker has been pictured
    – in a crazy and frenetic pose reminiscent of the Democratic Convention main participants – saying no matter how much terrorism arises in Europe, the EU will
    NEVER abandon its Open Borders policy, ever! He must be getting well paid by his masters!

  9. There might be a beneficial unintended consequence if the average European looks at the blurry pictures and says, “any average Mohammed could be a terrorist, ergo, let’s get rid of all of the Mohammeds.”

  10. Next step will be to obscure the terrorists’ identify further by publishing photos of clean-shaven blond-haired blue-eyed people with names like “Smith” or “Jones” with little text-balloons in the margins asking questions like “Could this person be Christian or Jewish?”

    Potential Muslim terrorists – the theory goes – would be horrified that some people might mistake them for Christians or Jews, and thus deprived on their 72 virgins in Heaven. Thus, they will be deterred from murdering infidels.

    Thank goodness we have people in the media who understand that telling the truth should take a back seat to vilifying Jihadists, who after all are just practicing their beautiful culture passed down from Mohammed.

  11. Let us all be good little ostriches, and bury our heads DEEP into the nice, soft sand. When we do, surely the bad men will all go away, and the unicorns will fly high and play, and all those skittles will rain down on us in wunnerful groovinescence, and all will be peaceful and white doves too will fly up………………..and……………………….

    Lock and load, boys and girls.

  12. LeMonde is the NY Times of France. Big surprise.

    BFMTV on the other hand favors a victory be Marine LePen.

    So, the conclusion is that both left and right are in the tank for Islam. Well, how is that different from Obama/Clinton/Sanders and the RINO Wing of the GOP -Paul Ryan/Boehner/Bush/Romney being pro Muslim immigration?

  13. Theory:
    Refuse to show terrorists’ pictures = reduction in Islamophobia.

  14. As already pointed out, terrorists are perfectly capable of disseminating their propaganda via social media. It’s their preferred choice of communication because they want to reach their supporters and encourage them to similar acts of violence. The jihadists don’t bother with mainstream media. They get all their info from the internet.
    Further, if names and pictures are not to be published, how can there be a credible appeal for witnesses to an act of terror, or to the movements of the perpetrators – and their possible back-ups – preceding it?

  15. I believe there is a law in France about slander or something that makes it impossible to say anything derogatory about a group, or religion, or whatever, they classify it as hate speech. Bardot has been convicted of this several times. I believe the last time she complained about the France she grew up in no longer existing.
    Perhaps the French “free” press is just trying to keep things legal.
    I know in the US, “news” outlets, both printed and on line, have code words they use to describe perpetrators of criminal activity. Teens? Youths? There isn’t even a law against it in the US.

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