Where the Streets Have No Jokes

Where the Streets Have No Jokes, by Mark Steyn. The German government has approved a criminal inquiry into a comic who mocked the Turkish president. Says Steyn:

You can take the girl out of East Germany, but you can’t take the East Germany out of the girl. In the Eighties, Angela Merkel, was a board member of the FDJ – the “Free German Youth”, the kiddie wing of the one-party state – and the local secretary in charge of “agitprop”. So she has a deep understanding of how art and even humble jokes must serve the needs of the regime – in this case, kissing up to the new sultan…

There’s no end of grim soundbites in her press conference today. How about this one? “In a country under the rule of law, it is not up to the government to decide,” Merkel said. “Prosecutors and courts should weight personal rights against the freedom of press and art.”

Bog off, tosser. A free society does not threaten a guy with years in gaol for writing a poem. If you don’t know that that’s wrong, you should just cut to the chase and appoint yourself mutasarrıfa of Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman sanjak of Berlin.

The end of certain jokes in Germany:

To reprise my old line: The process is the punishment.

Don’t believe that? First of all, the broadcaster has already deep-sixed the offending joke: “ZDF removed the video clip of Boehmermann from its website two days after it aired.”

So the anti-Erdogan gag is history. Even if in Merkel’s weaselly evasion “the courts will have the final word”, the joke will not be coming back. Will Herr Boehmermann?

The public TV channel has decided not to broadcast his weekly satire programme this week because of the furore surrounding Boehmermann.

Ah. So the poem has vanished, and so has its creator. And, given the backbone ZDF are showing, what are the chances of them or any other German media outlet broadcasting any further provocations to Erdogan in the future?