Paris plans to sue Fox News


CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour tweeted Tuesday that the city would sue Fox News:

Fox News previously issued multiple apologies for segments on shows that described so-called Muslim "no-go" zones. One Fox News guest described these zones as places where "Sharia courts are set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where police don’t go in," characterizations that Fox News apologized for, according to Erik Wemple.

When pressed by Amanpour, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo made clear that the city singled out Fox News for litigation, Mediaite's Josh Feldman reports.

Here's the video of Hidalgo talking to Amanpour:

It's unlikely that Paris will be successful in its suit for a couple of reasons, said Anthony L. Fargo, an international press freedom expert and director of the Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies. First, it's unclear whether French courts have any jurisdiction over Fox News, an American news network. Second, it's unlikely the case would be successful in the United States because governmental bodies — like cities — can't sue for defamation.

"So it sounds like a symbolic gesture to me, if I had to guess,” Fargo said.

The idea of a lawsuit like the one France is proposing being successful in the U.S. is "absurd," said Gregg Leslie, legal defense director for Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press.

"I have no idea how it would fare in the French court, but this is exactly the kind of thing the First Amendment is designed to protect against,” Leslie said.

Michael Clemente, executive vice president of news at Fox News, issued the following statement:

We empathize with the citizens of France as they go through a healing process and return to everyday life. However, we find the Mayor’s comments regarding a lawsuit misplaced.

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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