August 31st, 2017 – Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French weekly magazine, stayed true to form with the release of their August 30th issue. The controversial cover went in hard commenting on the devastation that Texas residents have faced after Hurricane Harvey made landfall. Their take made the victims, not the hurricane, the focus by declaring that they were targeted by a mighty force because they’re neo-nazis.
“God Exists! He Drowned All the Neo-Nazis of Texas” the cover boldly states.
The illustration brought just as much inflammatory content as the headline. Amidst the rising water and the torrential downpour are swastika flags and drowning arms and legs giving Nazi salutes.
Charlie Hebdo has spent years pushing the boundaries of political satire; it’s taken on French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the Pope, Michael Jackson, and Mohammed. In 2015, two gunmen attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices targeting the editorial staff and killing 12 people in total. Witnesses reported hearing the men yell “We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad” and “God is Great” in Arabic as they shouted out the journalists’ names.
In the days following the attack, #JeSuisCharlie was a popular trending hashtag showing solidarity with the magazine. Today, however, one Twitter user may be asking Google Translate how to say “Hey Charlie Hebdo F— You Scumbag! Those were all God Loving Americans that Grandfathers saved FRANCE from NAZI’s” in French.
Reactions on Twitter ranged from condemnation and hurt to recognition of free speech and reminding the publication that Houston is a very diverse city. And, uh, one former congressman seemed to forget about the 2015 attack on the magazine.
The Charlie Hebdo cover is offensive & dumb, and I fully support their right to be as offensive & dumb as they like. https://t.co/jDFaR4darf
The Washington Post dove into a conversation our readers engage in daily: How soon is too soon? This morning they released an article discussing many of the political cartoons shared during Hurricane Harvey.
Rob Rogers, a political cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, told the Post that each disaster is different but normally he gives a day or two before making political commentary. After that, however, he feels he’s simply doing his job.
“There are plenty of newspapers and cable TV stations doing … emotional coverage — the kind that pulls on the heart strings and makes you feel good about your fellow man,” Rogers said. “That is not the job of a political cartoonist.”
Instead, he says an editorial cartoonist’s role is to ask the “tough questions and point out the hypocrisy, even if it risks offending people.”
Do you think Charlie Hebdo did their job or took it too far? Funny or Offensive? Vote and comment now…