It sounds crazy, but apparently it’s true: There really is such a thing as a “German comedian.”
A German comedian has been placed under police protection after reading a crude poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on television.
A police car was parked in front of Jan Böhmermann’s house, although it was not immediately clear if a concrete threat had been made against him…
Mr Erdogan has filed a criminal complaint as a private individual to the highest court in the land against the satirist…
Chancellor Angela Merkel has herself been criticised after she called the poem “deliberately offensive”, with political opponents accusing her of jeopardising freedom of speech in order to firm up the EU-Turkey deal on returning migrants from the Greek islands.
A world leader whining about people making fun of him. Who does this Erdogan guy think he is, Barack Obama?
I can’t find a clip of the no-doubt-hilarious comedy bit online, probably because the German network that broadcast it keeps having it taken down. Not that it would mean anything to me anyway, because we won WWII and therefore I don’t speak German. But apparently Böhmermann’s poem made all sorts of outrageous claims about Erdogan, such as his supposed penchant for bestiality and child pornography. The idea, said the comedian, was to test the limits of German laws prohibiting insults against foreign leaders. Laws that seem… pretty damn German, actually.
So now Germany is having the same debate we’ve been having over here: When does free speech become hate speech?
You already know my take, folks: Hate speech is just speech that somebody else hates. It’s easy to stand up for free speech that doesn’t offend you. If that’s all it took, we wouldn’t even have the phrase “free speech.” It would just be plain old speech.
There’s no such thing as “hate speech.” Anybody who tells you different is trying to silence you. In this case, that’s the President of Turkey. But what do you expect from a guy who loves kiddie porn and sex with animals?
Which world leader will it be verboten to mock next? Please say President Trump. You know he will.