Two Fox News personalities, as Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was engulfed in an inferno whose cause hasn’t been determined, shut down comments about the recent surge of attacks on Christian churches across France.
Shepherd Smith on Monday was interviewing French official Philippe Karsenty, who said the cathedral had been there for 850 years and “even the Nazis didn’t dare to destroy it.”
“You need to know for the last year we’ve had churches desecrated,” Karsenty said. “Of course you will hear the story of the politically correct which will tell you it is probably an accident.”
At which point Smith cut him off with, “Not on my watch.”
However, police reported that in just one week in March, a dozen Catholic churches in France were vandalized, including by fire.
Catholic League President Bill Donahue was on with Neil Cavuto.
“Forgive me for being suspicious. Just last month a 17th century church was set on fire in Paris,” Donohue said, reciting the recent attacks on churches. “We’ve seen tabernacles knocked down, crosses have been torn down. Statues have been smashed.”
Cavuto interrupted, saying, “We don’t know that.”
After a brief interlude, Donahue again brought up the recent attacks against Christian symbols.
“When I find out that the eucharist is being destroyed, and excrement is being smeared on crosses. This is going on now.”
Cavuto interrupted again.
“We cannot make conjectures,” he said.
And he essentially hung up on Donahue.
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh noticed the censorship, calling it a “fascinating case study.”
“It is simply unacceptable. It is not tolerable. You must not even breathe the possibility of arson because if it’s arson then fingers will point in one direction, and we’re not gonna point in that direction. We’re not gonna permit fingers to point. We’re not gonna even allow thoughts in that direction,” he said Tuesday.
“But let’s play the game just to start for just a second here. Even if the Notre Dame fire was not arson, there is no denying that attacks on churches, churches throughout France, throughout Europe, are on the upswing. I’m gonna tell you something, folks. This is just me. But watching those pictures yesterday as that cathedral was burning throughout the afternoon into the evening, watching all that I thought I was looking at what may well be a symbolism for all of Europe going up in flames.
“This is simply head-in-the-sand denial, to refuse to openly accept what is happening throughout France and throughout Europe. And the very idea that there is this concerted effort coupled with a demand to ignore all of this in my nature is all I need to believe that maybe there’s some things going on that everybody knows and some just will not admit and will not permit discussion of. Because there is no denying that attacks on churches in France and all over Europe are on the upswing. It’s undeniable. It’s not all arson. Not random arson. And everybody knows this
“So it makes all this sanctimonious concern about Notre Dame from the people on Drive-By Media cable news channels, kind of rings a little hollow to me since these same news outlets can’t be bothered to even report on the attacks on churches, the attacks on Christianity that have been taking place throughout Europe and Africa, not to mention the War on Christianity in the United States, which they are helping to wage. These are undeniable things that are happening,” he said.
Limbaugh pointed to Cavuto’s shutdown of Donohue.
“The moment he got even halfway out with that sentence, the anchors at Fox, ‘No, no, no, no, no, we’re not going there. We’re not going there Bill. We’re not gonna speculate, we’re not. Until we have the facts, we’re not even gonna go there,” he said.
Limbaugh observed that’s even though “a report from France’s own central criminal intelligence service noted that from 2016 to 2018 there have been thousands of cases of church vandalism, thousands of cases of church – not synagogue, not mosque – church vandalism. Thousands of cases from 2016 to 2018, two years. It peaked in 2017, 1,045 cases of church vandalism in France.”
Twitter users reacted.
Steve Hosed wrote, “Donahue did not say this was terrorism but was correctly pointing out there has been a definite trend to church burning.”
Another said, “He was stating facts about what already happened to the churches in France. Let him talk.”
In 2018, the Ministry of the Interior recorded 541 anti-Semitic acts, 100 anti-Muslim acts and 1063 anti-Christian acts.
Fox News recently has been accused of censoring criticism of Muslims.
“Justice with Judge Jeanine” host Jeanine Pirro was suspended after she suggested the hijab worn by Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., was “indicative of her adherence to Shariah law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution.”
Fox News said her views on the subject “do not reflect those of the network.”