Interviewed by the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles, Frédéric Taddeï explains that, if he has invited French anti-Semitic activist Dieudonné to participate in his program, « Ce soir ou jamais » [Tonight or Never] several times, it is to demonstrate that there is no « lobby » forbidding the latter access to the media. And, carried away by the impetus of his virtuous and heroic confession, he adds, « I am the proof, and the only one, that there is no conspiracy. » We read him correctly. We rub our eyes, but we read him correctly. If words have a meaning, if they were proofread and the presenter was not, as one might suppose, tricked or misrepresented, he is telling us, in a few sentences, several things.
1. The only way of combatting antisemitism (in other words, in the case in point, of combatting a theory of the «Jewish conspiracy» whose success and constancy in nourishing «the most lasting hatred» we have been aware of, at least, since Poliakov) is to give the floor to the antisemites themselves (meaning those who, not content to simply promote the said conspiracy theory, have made a regular business out of negationist provocation, the inherent casuistry of the theme of competition in victimization, and a rabid and increasingly nauseating anti-Zionism). One must admit, this is a thesis that is, to say the least, strange and risqué.
2. Those who do not agree with this analysis, Taddeï says in substance, can say whatever they like. They can explain that if they do not invite Dieudonné or Alain Soral or another of their kind, it is because they do not care to and believe that, after all, no one is compelled to subject himself or others to a « face-to-face » with people whose outrageous, wild hare allegations are, in the best of cases, comic, and in the worst, vile. Or it is because they obey a simple, pragmatic rule that has somehow worked for decades: it’s fine when these people are leaders of a party involved in the political game of the Republic and, in this respect, like it or not, representative of a significant fraction of opinion, but when they represent only themselves, when they are merely hams, or leaders of sects, or figures who exist only due to the repetition of their slimy provocations, where is the obligation to hear them out? Or they can explain that if they do not overburden themselves with such hoodlums, it is because, finally, they simply respect the law (which, in France, places only one limit on freedom of speech–racism and antisemitism). Nonsense, suggests Taddeï. The real truth, the only one (or, to be exact, the one Taddeï tells himself, certain it is the only one the television audience will retain) is that, in the process, they are the more or less secret agents of the famous «conspiracy»–a certainty that, this time, is, to say the least, scarcely flattering to this community in general; to that, in particular, of the regular viewers of «Ce soir ou jamais»; and, naturally, to Taddeï’s numerous colleagues whose obstination in refusing to serve as megaphones to such scum can only be explained by their being part of a conspiracy.
3. This business of a conspiracy, the idea that there exists a lobby that uses all its influence to define, shape, and impose a unique way of thinking concerning these subjects as well as others, is from now on no longer a chimera or a fantasy but a quasi-reality, since M. Taddeï is the « only » proof that this conspiracy « does not exist » he is the only one–yes, indeed, only he–to respond to this reality, which one would also qualify as a last stand reality, with a lively but, as a result, very tenuous refutation. What would happen if M. Taddeï weren’t there? Where would we all be if he did not devote himself, by discussing with Dieudonné, to managing to prove that, contrary to appearances, there is no Jewish conspiracy? Whatever would we do if French public television, in its immense wisdom, had not just extended the contract of this resister until 2014, granting him the right to inundate us with the insanities of a man who, in «Mahmoud», his latest show, refers to the Iranian president as his « master », the leader of Hamas as a reincarnation of De Gaulle « only more charismatic », the Jews as « slavedrivers », Judaism as a « religion of profit », and the existence of the author of these lines as proof that the Shoah « perhaps did not [sic] happen »? Such outrageousness may make us smile. But we can only shiver, as well, when confronted by the inevitable perversity this reasoning implies.
For this affair may seem minuscule.
But in reality, it is far less minor than it would appear.
First, because of the authority of the medium of support–trendiness and company–that published the interview, and, as the cover story, as though it were nothing unusual.
And then because of the personality of the interviewee, his place in the current French media firmament, and his talent, remarked by the weekly and which I myself, on several occasions of one-to-one encounters, have gaged–obviously an aggravating circumstance.
And, finally, because, to my knowledge, no one, to date, has been perturbed by these remarks that, even when drowned in the flow of a long conversation, can only confirm the most devastating of clichés–as though, in the current climate of prevailing decomposition, this kind of verbal blunder suddenly no longer surprises anyone.
But perhaps M. Taddeï himself will be the source of an explanation, or a denial, or, better still, the further analysis that all those who have not resigned themselves to seeing dilettantism take the place of ethics, of politics, and even of style hope for. Let’s wait and see.
Translation Janet Lizop