“Before Wednesday, most Americans had never encountered the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. But they know now that the magazine was fearless in the face of threats. Fearless to the death.
Masked gunmen stormed into the magazine’s Paris headquarters near the Bastille monument and shot a dozen staffers, including the magazine’s editor. The gunmen — allegedly shouting “Allahu akbar!” (God is great) — also killed two police officers before escaping by car. It was Europe’s worst terror attack since the London bombings of July 7, 2005 — the notorious “7/7” explosions aboard three Underground trains and a double-decker bus that left 52 civilians and four suicide bombers dead.
Wednesday’s assault had a more intimate feel: Those of us in journalism know newsrooms, so it’s easy to imagine the setting, with a staff meeting in progress. There would have been discussions of what to publish, some debate perhaps, a few jokes. And underpinning the work a dedication to the magazine’s mission: challenging authority, convention, taste.”* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.