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anunitu
15 Apr 2016, 05:50
This caught my eye,I did not think a comedian could be judged for humor or satire,but it seems I am wrong about that in Germany.

Story here. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-15/merkel-allows-probe-of-german-comedian-over-erdogan-satire)

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government granted Turkey’s request to prosecute a German satirist who derided President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, risking a German backlash over the balance between freedom of expression and dependence on Turkish help to tackle the refugee crisis.

While Merkel left the legal fate of the comedian, Jan Boehmermann, in the hands of the country’s courts, she said her government will seek to scrap the law in Germany’s criminal code that penalizes insults against a foreign head of state. The decision wasn’t a prejudgment on the satirist’s culpability, she said.

“In a state of law, it’s not the domain of the government, but rather the prosecutors and the courts, to weigh individual rights,” Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Friday, reading from a prepared statement. While lauding Germany’s cooperation with Turkey, the chancellor said Turkey’s crackdown of media organizations was of “great concern.”

Turkey has been cracking down on its media anyway,any one who criticizes Erdogan,can expect a backlash.

That it can effect people in other countries is strange,has to do with diplomacy.

Your from Germany Dani,how does this strike you?

B. de Corbin
15 Apr 2016, 06:01
How about Ms. Clinton right here in the good ol' US, land of the free, home of the brave, and open door political satire?

No laughing matter: Hillary Clinton campaign 'demands comedy club takes down video mocking her marriage, Monica Lewinsky and pantsuits (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3324857/Not-laughing-matter-Hillary-Clinton-campaign-demands-comedy-club-takes-video-mocking-owner-claims.html)

The literally demanded the names and addresses of the comedians involved.

anunitu
15 Apr 2016, 06:04
THIS is not going to help her in beating Burnie,and here that is asking for even more satire. Try to shut it down,and people will protest Gov interfering with free speech.

DanieMarie
15 Apr 2016, 06:19
I'm kind of torn on this issue. On one hand, I think the law is stupid and unfair. On the other hand, he's getting EXACTLY what he wanted. He knew well and full that the media would cherry pick the offensive poem out of his program and ignore everything that came before and after it (basically, the original program was along the lines of "this is something I can't say on German TV" followed by the poem). Boehmermann LOVES to satirize the German media itself, and he has been very good at it in recent years*. I think he also wanted to test the limits of our own freedom of speech, and a lot of interviews seem to indicate that he knew he'd be prosecuted. The poem was released after another comedy show released a much less offensive video about Erdogan, which went viral in both Germany and Turkey and which the Turkish leader tried to stifle. German media freedom is a LOT higher and free from government interference, but this law was still on the books simply because no one bothered to change it. As a result of all this, the law will likely be repealed.

As much as I think the whole thing is unfair, he's more or less doing what he set out to do. On top of that, letting the state of law take over without government interference keeps our legal system intact. It's highly unlikely he'll get jail time for this. The outcry would be huge, and most people in charge recognize that it was a stupid law that deserved to be erased from the books.

I just hope he doesn't lose his show. Both his TV show and radio show have been off air for the past couple of weeks, and he's a great host.

*A couple of examples of Boehmermann's past media lampooning efforts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx-1LQu6mAE (English subtitles available)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmGYbeywqC8 (not sure if this has English subtitles, but I hope it does, because it's amazing).

ThePaganMafia
15 Apr 2016, 06:24
Just imagine if Donald Trump becomes president.

DanieMarie
15 Apr 2016, 06:28
Just imagine if Donald Trump becomes president.

I'm sure they'd find a way to push up the expiration of the law sooner than 2018 :p

DanieMarie
15 Apr 2016, 07:55
*A couple of examples of Boehmermann's past media lampooning efforts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx-1LQu6mAE (English subtitles available)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmGYbeywqC8 (not sure if this has English subtitles, but I hope it does, because it's amazing).

I just turned on my VPN to see how you could get English subtitles in other countries. To get them in the first video, press "CC" and select English subtitles. In the second video, they're not available, but you can turn on the CC and select "auto translate" in the settings option beside it and choose "English". The translations are bad, but you should get the idea. It's really funny.

anunitu
15 Apr 2016, 12:40
Watched the Daily show,and they went for the party's way of doing things,and not really doing as the voters want. Though I dislike Trump,if the voters want him,they should get him. He does have a point about the party's actions concerning him.

DanieMarie
15 Apr 2016, 13:49
Watched the Daily show,and they went for the party's way of doing things,and not really doing as the voters want. Though I dislike Trump,if the voters want him,they should get him. He does have a point about the party's actions concerning him.

I think TPM meant that Germany wouldn't do well with a law forbidding insulting foreign leaders if Trump became president. Though, it's always been legal to make fun of leaders - we couldn't have made it through the Bush era without it! What's currently (and probably not for much longer) illegal is offensively insulting them. It's currently illegal to republish the poem he read, but it WAS really offensive (and deliberately so). It was full of racial slurs and if I remember correctly, it called him a child molester or something along those lines.

Personally, I'd like to see the law go. As much I don't think it should be socially acceptable to throw racial slurs at foreign leaders (although, again, the context got totally lost in the press, which was "I can't say this on TV"), it shouldn't be illegal to be horribly offensive. Offending people is a freedom we should have, as long as it's not something meant to incite violence or ruin someone's reputation.

B. de Corbin
15 Apr 2016, 15:15
You can't have freedom of speach unless you have the freedom to speak obnoxiously. As painful as world leaders (or wannabe world leaders) may find it, it goes with the job.

In the US, it is far harder for a "public figure" to win a slander case (despite Trump's threats) than it would be for you or I. The courts (US courts) have ruled that those who put themselves in the public eye as part of their profession have to put up with more than those of us who are private citizens do.

That's why the H. Clinton thing is so very, very bad. It isn't US legal, and for a presidential candidate to try to silence comics is, literally, unbelievable. It does not bode well for First Amendments rights under such a possible president (the same could be said for Trump, and his never ending theats of lawsuites).

DanieMarie
16 Apr 2016, 03:10
Yeah, I agree.

Though again, as this thread is about Jan Boehmermann and Merkel, it's a different situation. As it stands, he broke German law. I'm TOTALLY against that law and want to see it repealed, and I think he did it in part to protest that law (and in that, he's been effective at it, because it's probably going to be repealed now). But since the law was still in place when he did it, I do understand why it has to go through. The law of the land should be independent of government interference.

That being said, I think it should be more or less a farce prosecution done for the sake of doing it and I don't think he should actually be punished. And that's probably what will happen.

At any rate, I'm glad we're having this conversation in Germany. There are a lot of old hangover laws that limit our freedom of speech and expression that I think make us less free than we think we are, and those have to go. Due to social convention, there is rarely a reason to actually challenge them, but that doesn't mean they should be there in the first place. The only laws banning certain expressions I agree with are the anti-Nazi laws, and like a lot of people, my support of those has less to do with fearing hardcore Nazis (even if they were repealed, the really scary Nazis tend to be the more subtle ones) and more to do with how the rest of the world would see us. There wouldn't be many people brandishing Swastikas and openly quoting Mein Kampf for non-educational purposes if they were allowed to do so, but even the few that would do it would be a PR nightmare for this country.

DragonsFriend
16 Apr 2016, 09:38
I wonder, does the jury of a German court have the right to judge the law as unjust and acquit the defendant? I know that In the USA we, as jurors have the right to acquit for such reasons. I'm just wondering if the same is true in Germany.

DanieMarie
16 Apr 2016, 13:32
Probably, but it still has to go to court for that to happen.

DanieMarie
13 May 2016, 12:41
I know this is a little old now, but there's an update on this so I thought I'd share. Boehmermann's show is back on the air, and he's back trolling the German media in full form. This episode, he trolled a well-known reality show that airs on a network that does a lot of terrible but popular reality shows:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG_Fyc-nyOs&feature=youtu.be

I highly recommend turning on the close captioning and setting the language to English (that's how you can do makeshift subtitles on YouTube), because it's priceless!

That being said, most states in the Bundesrat (state governments, which give the second vote on important pieces of legislation, sort of like the senate) voted to keep the law in question, which is really irritating. So, the law that got him into trouble is still there, which technically means that there is still a case against him. I still doubt he'll go to prison, though. It's just too hot an international issue. As much as Germany wants Turkey's cooperation in the refugee issue, it also wants the cooperation of all of its other trading partners in other issues, and the developed world unanimously hates this.

Also Erdogan is still terrible. Now he's going after a German media personality who laughed at the poem. He needs to calm down.