French Host: ‘We Chose Humor to Campaign Against Fox’

By Mark Joyella 

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The satirical French TV show “Le Petit Journal” has been described as France’s version of “The Daily Show,” only with bigger ratings. At roughly three million viewers, the mock news program has an audience twice that of the Comedy Central program, and on par with FNC’s “The O’Reilly Factor.”

In recent days, the show has focused its humor–and venom–on Fox News for suggesting parts of Paris were “no-go zones” for non-Muslims–too dangerous even for police. “They did this on a weekend when all France and Paris was in a state of shock,” host Yann Barthès told The New York Times. He called it “irritating… so we chose humor to campaign against Fox News.”

That’s why Barthès’ show sent phony “Fox News reporters” into the streets to Paris, where they were immediately “terrified” by a bearded cab driver, the sound of a jackhammer, and a kebab shop. They dubbed Paris “the most dangerous city in the universe.”

The real Fox News Channel, meanwhile, spent a significant portion of the weekend apologizing for discussion of those “no-go” zones, though it’s unclear whether pressure from French media, including “Le Petit Journal,” which shared the email addresses of Fox executives and encouraged viewers to demand an apology, played a role.

“The important thing is that we really had fun,” Mr. Barthès told The Times. “It’s important for the French audience to know about this. They don’t really know Fox News, and they think it’s an enormous channel, very American, with announcers with big voices and blonde women who look like Barbies.”