Fox News has had some threats sent their way in the past, but this shot might be too big to duck. The government of Paris is suing Fox News over a huge mistake the station made after the Charlie Hedbo tragedy.
The government of Paris plans to sue Fox News for airing several segments claiming the French capital contained “no-go zones” that prohibit entry to non-Muslims and are frequently avoided by city police. Fox has since retracted and apologized for airing the segments, which were widely mocked by French media.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced the city’s intentions during a Tuesday interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour:
Mayor Anne Hidalgo: I’m insulted, and when we’ve had an image, then I think they’ll have to sue, I think they’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed. The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris [has] been prejudiced. And I think in the great discussion of truth, everyone has to play its role and we’re going to have to be realistic and put things as they are.
Christiane Amanpour: Can you clarify which exact network you’re going to take to court and sue?
Hidalgo: Fox News. That’s the name.
It’s not exactly clear which legal strategy Parisian officials intend to pursue against Fox News. The network is domiciled in the United States, where courts have traditionally required plaintiffs to establish “actual malice” in libel and defamation cases pertaining to public figures. Very few plaintiffs have ever succeeded in proving actual malice, however; even in this particular context it would be difficult to substantiate.