While coming to terms with the recent attack on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, it may be easy to believe this attack was motivated, in part, to the magazine’s history of satirising Islam. However, one man knows better.
Chris Kenny, a columnist for The Weekend Australian and the host of Sky News’ Viewpoint program fails to see the link between the mass murder of a group of satirists and their long past of satirising religion, in particular, Islam.
Mr Kenny tweeted: “Tempting, sure to focus on free speech and satire but this could just as likely have been a school or café – and might well be next time.”
Mr Kenny is perhaps most well-known for suing the ABC when satirical comedy group The Chaser photoshopped a picture of Chris Kenny having sex with a dog on their television show The Hamster Decides.
Chris Kenny defended the action by claiming: “I’ll be remembered as the journalist called a dog fucker who stood up for his rights”. The lawsuit ensured that the statement would be, at least, half-true.
The assumption that this attack can be chalked up to “pure coincidence” rather than to recognise the grievances people may have with something that has been satirised that could drive them to shoot up a building or sue a national broadcaster is the kind of keen insight that has allowed Mr Kenny to generically attack Islam over this specific attack, while not allowing his history of silencing speech and satire to be brought up.
In fact, many journalists, most who have never tried to silence a satirical group, have not been able to spot the link between this attack and random chance. It’s this kind of commitment to the facts that makes “Chris Kenny one of the best journalists in the game,” says former Friday Night LIVE host Chris Kenny.
For those unfamiliar, satire is one of our most beloved, second-tier forms of expression, alongside mime and posting pictures of food on instagram.
Matthew Farthing is the Media Editor for The (un)Australian. He regularly calls Annabel Crabb at 3 in the morning when he’s had too much to drink. Follow him on Twitter.