Good News: You Can Now Call France's President A Jerk

from the what-year-is-this? dept

When it comes to the kind of speech that some people don't like, our wine-drinking friends in Europe haven't always done so well. You may recall the battle between the French and Twitter over some dumb, bigoted tweets and the identities behind them. Or perhaps you'll recall the French government working with Twitter to suspend several accounts that were parodies of then-President and Anthony Wiener look-a-like Nicolas Sarkozy. While free speech in Europe isn't always so fleshed out as it is here in the colonies, France in particular appears to have some severely antiquated laws on the books. One of the more egregious is that it was apparently illegal to "offend the head of state", i.e. the President, a law dating back to 1881.

Well, heads up all you French Presidents out there, because that law has officially been amended after just barely over a century, according to the news sent in by reader RyanNerd.

Whereas before any rude remark risked an automatic fine for “offending the head of state”, the president is now reduced to the same category as ministers and parliamentarians and would need to have a judge prove there had been slander or defamation.

The change came after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in March that France violated a demonstrator’s right to freedom of expression when it fined him for holding a banner up to former President Nicolas Sarkozy reading: “Get lost, jerk.”
On the off chance any of you don't keep up with your Google alerts for news relating to French Presidents and their ironic double-standards, "Get lost, jerk" was a statement Sarkozy made to someone who once refused to shake his hand in 2008. Whereas before you couldn't call Sarkozy a thin-skinned walking phalus for his actions, hey, now you can. No more $50k fine!

Of course, Sarkozy is no longer President and Francois Hollande is, so let's see what you've got, French citizens!
President Francois Hollande has so far shown a thick skin, however, as critics have given him a string of unkind nicknames like “Flanby”, a brand of wobbly caramel pudding or “Mr. Little Jokes”.
Oh, okay. Well, look, you can't really blame the French for crappy insults. They've been out of practice for over a hundred years. I would suggest, however, that congratulating a man for being thick-skinned when he comes from the stock that brought us skin-growing breakfasts like eggs benedict might be unnecessary.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 2:39pm

    Old Cold war joke...

    From the 1960's (Harold Wilson was then British Prime Minister)

    Britsh Politician: "So you see, in Britain we have a thing called freedom of speech. Anyone can stand in Trafalgar Square and shout "Harols Wilson is a fool" and nothing will happen to him.

    Russian Politician: And so in Russia. Anyone can stand in Red Square and shout "Harold Wilson is a fool - and nothing will happen to him.

     

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  2.  
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    McCrea (profile), Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 3:05pm

    hashtag

    What, no hashtag (ou le tag de hashe) to satisfy our desire tweet our best? Should be almost as fun as ##ggscandals

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    arcan, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 3:21pm

    you sir, are a ruffian and a scallywag.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    No funny comments yet?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 3:47pm

    For the French in all of us

    Wouldn't that be Le Jerk? :-)

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 4:03pm

    Re: For the French in all of us

    Sounds like a disco song.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 4:55pm

    "You don't frighten us english pigdogs. Go and burl your buttom you silly person."

    "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt like elderberries."

    Based on watching Monty Python And The Holy Grail, I would say that french people can be creative with their insults.

    Based on watching a debate from last french election, I would say that Mr. Bling Bling was very well versed in the less creative ones.

     

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  8.  
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    ipgrunt (profile), Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 4:56pm

    Think globally, criticize locally...

    Why look so far to for a chief exec to criticize when there are so many more opportunities at home?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 4:58pm

    I could always calls France's president a Jerk as I live in a sane country.

     

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  10.  
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    Pixelation, Aug 2nd, 2013 @ 6:40pm

    Sarkozy is a jerk!

    Woohoo, I feel soo much better!

     

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  11.  
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    Guardian, Aug 4th, 2013 @ 10:24am

    um lol

    ive been calling him far worse for a lot longer then this law was aorudn and done so publically, being in canada he can go fuck his tight assed lil young chick....ya know what an old pervert does like his italian buddy...is going to prison for...seems to me the worlds been bribed with a bun ch a hot lil hookers for wives...even the royal family got one....and i did time years back with a middleton the whole family is just utterly corupt, figures they boned there way to the prince of england

     

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  12.  
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    Sheogorath (profile), Aug 4th, 2013 @ 5:34pm

    LOLwut?

    Or perhaps you'll recall the French government working with Twitter to suspend several accounts that were parodies of then-President and Anthony Wiener look-a-like Nicolas Sarkozy.
    You're saying that Nicolas Sarkozy's junk looks like Anthony Weiner's junk?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Ninja (profile), Aug 5th, 2013 @ 4:19am

    Well, calling Sarkozy a jerk is akin to call Mtn Dew "canned diabetes". Both are less than flattering but both are true. A man should never be under the threat of a lawsuit for speaking the truth!

     

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  14.  
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    richard, Oct 25th, 2013 @ 4:30pm

    can do better!!

    It is really not necessary to talk about french presidents. When you see the US president and Uk prime minister,beside this french president is nothing to worry about . Indeed, Cameron is getting British people life impossible (it is like the novel "1984") everybody have to pay for nothing, and people have to denounce each other. For the US, the government want to do war against Syria but guess what? They do not have any money and who is gonna pay? The poor american of course. So before saying something you do not even know, turn your tongue seven times in your mouth and maybe something intelligent gonna be out of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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