Microphone from CNews, June 22, 2020 ©BelgaImage
“It is a reality more insidious than all viruses, more dangerous than all epidemics, more contagious, too, than all infections. But it is rarely mentioned, let alone taken seriously. This reality is the forces of evil“. Welcome, you are on CNews! Because yes, it is indeed a generalist news channel that delivered this disturbing presentation, as an introduction to the religious program “In search of the spirit”. Sustained assertions with the utmost seriousness. The presenter even explains that these “forces of evil“straight from the Bible”extend their power in all spheres of society – the news amply shows it – to drive us to despair“. Rivaling words worthy of the Middle Ages, CNews even invites speakers to debate the question on how to fight against the demonic powers threatening our world. Vibe, vibe! But above all, it raises big questions as to the impact of this message in a setting such as this.
A frightening discussion
Relayed via social networks, excerpts from this program clearly shocked public opinion. The proof: the millions of online views for a program that should remain niche. So there are as many French people who were able to see CNews proudly headline: “Angels and demons: the real fight?“. It is an understatement to say that it is not a question here of advocating the love of others or other benevolent values. Instead, the time is rather to designate enemies. All with a little taste of crusade, by placing himself under the protection of the Archangel Saint-Michel, presented as a “ally” inspiring for our society in danger. Because yes, we might as well invoke the patron saint of soldiers, the one who “slayed the dragon” symbolizing Satan, to address such a subject!
First speaker on the stand: a priest who wrote a book on “the devil“. For him, there is no question that the latter is recognized as a simple symbol of evil. No, no! He insists right away: it is “a fact of bible revelation” against who “we must sharpen our weapons“, he says, denouncing in passing the members of the clergy who would not agree with him (and so much the worse for the spirit of ecumenism)!
All is well on CNEWS pic.twitter.com/ft4xbknd55
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It is not the second guest who will calm the game since it is Anne Bernet, an author recognized as close to traditional Christianity. opponent”official catholicization and popular practices“, she assures that “it is precisely against the maintenance of these demonic cults that the archangel will act” through Europe “given to Christ“. Because yes, can Saint-Michel help us to fight this “weed“what represent”certain forms of paganism, even witchcraft“Asks host Aymeric Pourbaix, alluding to the story of the marabout at PSG? It’s not Anne Bernet who is going to say the opposite, she who denigrates those who have a “absolute trust in constituted authority instead of turning to God“!
Then hop, here is that CNews presents the title which kills: “Fight against evil: qwho is the antichrist?“. Anne Bernet bounces back by denouncing these doctors, notaries and more broadly these people who are “not enlightened” and who prefer to spend their time on social networks rather than reading the gospels. And let’s not talk about the “fact that fewer and fewer people are baptized“, presented as symptomatic of “this world where sin no longer exists“! You are not satisfied with ultra-Catholic sermons? So here is a last speaker: the head of the Exorcism service of the Dioceses of Île-de-France. Question to explain anyway how he wants to treat the “people possessed“but also these”psychologically disturbed people“. We pity them!
Dangerous, even reprehensible remarks?
After this debate capable of appalling any agnostic or atheist on the spot, a question arises: can CNews really relay such remarks? This sensitization of exorcism, for example, takes on accents close to these “conversion therapies” undergone by the LGBT+ community (which are, as a reminder, prohibited in France, not yet in Belgium).
So yes, CNews can justify holding its show under its editorial freedom enshrined in law. However, it must respect the journalistic ethics governed by the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), of which “respect for human dignity” and “the fight against discrimination“. Here, the denunciation of the “unbaptized” and of all that can represent “weed“Isn’t she playing with fire? The question seems legitimate.
The tone of the speakers seems all the more in contraction compared to the very battered convention of CNews. In it, the chain engages (in theory) “to respect the different political, cultural and religious sensitivities of the public” and “not to encourage discriminatory behavior“. Seen how are treated those who do not believe in the “devil“, those who adopt “certain forms of paganism, even witchcraft“, and those who deviate from the gospels, CNews may have some effort to make in this matter… Its convention also writes that the channel watches “not to encourage dangerous practices or behaviors“. Is promoting exorcism institutes a good idea given their questionable methods (and that’s an understatement)? Again, the question is open.
Finally, what about article 2-3-8 linking CNews to the CSA? This enacts that “the publisher verifies the validity and the sources of the information”. Can the channel advocate “the fight against evil in all its forms“only by referring to biblical texts? Hopefully not!
We would love to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this outstanding content
When CNews invites (seriously) to fight the biblical “forces of evil”
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