Paris votes to sue Fox News for damage to its reputation

AP News
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Posted: Feb 11, 2015 4:51 PM

PARIS (AP) — Paris City Council authorized Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Wednesday to sue U.S. broadcaster Fox News for reporting there are "no-go zones" in the French capital where non-Muslims and police fear to venture.

City officials voted to file a lawsuit at a French court for defamation regarding comments on Fox News and a map it broadcast with eight such so-called off-limits areas circled in red. The report came when Paris was on high alert after attacks by Islamic radicals last month.

Fox was widely mocked for that report and for comments describing the English city of Birmingham as "totally Muslim." The broadcaster later apologized for "some regrettable errors."

Hidalgo vowed to "save Paris' honor," and stressed the importance of image for a top world tourist destination.

A law firm representing Fox News said the broadcaster would fight any lawsuit brought in Paris.

"The decision by the City of Paris to bring legal proceedings against a United States news organization is antithetical to free speech," according to a statement provided by Fox News from lawyer Dori Ann Hanswirth of the Hogan Lovells law firm. "Fox News will invoke every protection afforded it under all applicable laws."