The recent fire in Notre Dame Cathedral has highlighted the attempts of the powerful to control the news.
The Paris prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, has decided the fire was “likely accident, not arson.” When reporting his decision, it is easy to eliminate the word “likely” for the sake of brevity. (Please excuse the sarcasm.) Luke Baker, Reuters’s Paris bureau chief, tweeted, “Fire at Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral was started by accident and is related to ongoing work, according to France 2, citing police.” There it is: the orthodox truth. If you don’t accept the “orthodox” story, you are a “conspiracy theorist,” an Islamophobe, and a racist.
Deviance from the orthodox view must be silenced. Fox News’s Shepard Smith invited the French media analyst Philippe Karsenty for an eyewitness interview while the fire was still raging. Karsenty said, “Of course you will hear the political correctness, that it’s probably an accident, but…” Before he could finish, Smith interrupted: “Sir, sir, sir, we’re not going to speculate here of the cause of something that we don’t know.” Karsenty continued: “I’m just telling you, you need to be ready…” Smith cut him off: “No, sir. We’re not doing that here. Not now. Not on my watch! Philippe Karsenty, it’s very good of you to be here.”
Fox’s Neil Cavuto had a similar experience in his interview with William Donohue, president of the Catholic League. Donohue was skeptical about the accident claim. He commented, “Forgive me for being suspicious. Just last month, a 17th-century church was set on fire in Paris. We’ve seen tabernacles knocked down, crosses have been torn down, statues.” Cavuto responded, “We don’t know that. So if we can avoid what your suspicions might be.” Dohohue then stated, “When I find out that the Eucharist is being destroyed and excrement is being smeared on crosses…” At that point, Cavuto decided to terminate the interview: “Wait a minute. I love you, Bill, but we cannot make conjectures about this. So, thank you. Bill, I’m sorry. Thanks very much. I do want to let people know, and again we’re not trying to be rude to our guests here.”
Muslim desecration of Christian churches has a long history. In her book, The Rage and the Pride, Oriana Fallaci relates how Somali Muslims desecrate Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in Florence. “The yellow streaks of urine that profaned the millenary marbles of the Baptistery as well as the golden doors. With the yellow streaks of urine, the stench of the excrements that blocked the main entrance of San Salvatore al Vescovo.” French churches have experienced nearly 2,000 attacks in the past two years. There was an arson attack on Saint-Sulpice church in Paris, feces smeared on a wall in Notre-Dame-des-Enfants in Nimes, and vandalism of the organ at Saint-Denis Basilica.
In light of the large number of attacks on Christian churches, it should not be unreasonable to suspect that the fire was an act of arson. There are also credible people who believe that the accident theory makes no sense. Among them is Benjamin Mouton, former Notre Dame Cathedral architect (2000 to 2013). MORE