Derek Fox slammed for blaming Paris victims

Derek Fox. Photo by NZ Herald.
Derek Fox. Photo by NZ Herald.
Former broadcaster and Maori Party candidate Derek Fox has prompted a heated debate online after suggesting the editor of a satirical French magazine killed in a terror attack "paid the price" for his "bigotry" and "arrogance".

Responding to a newspaper article on the Paris attack, Mr Fox wrote on Facebook that the Charlie Hebdo chief editor Stephane Charbonnier was a "bully" who had abused free speech and was now responsible for the deaths of his colleagues.

Mr Charbonnier, known as Charb, was killed along with 11 others in the attack on the newsroom.

Mr Fox wrote: "The editor of the French magazine has paid the price for his assumption of cultural superiority and arrogance, he was the bully believing he could insult other peoples culture and with impunity and he believed he would be protected in his racism and bigotry by the French state.

"Well he was wrong, unfortunately in paying the price for his arrogance he took another 11 people with him."

He continued: "Power cultures all like to use the old chestnut of freedom of speech when they choose to ridicule people who aren't exactly like them, and mostly they get away with it."

Mr Fox said in this Facebook post that the privilege of free speech brought with it responsibility and ramifications.

"These guys liked the privilege but didn't think they'd be caught up in the ramifications - they were wrong.

"This should serve as a lesson to other people who believe they can use the power they wield by way of dominating the media to abuse and ridicule others they believe to inferior to them - just like [in] this country."

Mr Fox's Facebook post attracted quick and strong criticism.

National Party list MP Chris Bishop said it was a "horrific, ridiculous, shameful comment", adding that supporting freedom of speech was a human right, not "cultural supremacy".

Mr Fox later stood by his comments, and lated said that if the magazine had not published gratuitous insults "they would still be alive now".

"But they didn't, in fact they ramped it up to sell more mags. Well they got bitten severely on the bum."

Mr Fox was previously a prominent Maori journalist and the Maori Television chairman. He stood for the Maori Party in 2008 in Ikaroa-Rawhiti.

By Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald

Add a Comment

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter