There has long been a debate about the merits of free speech, as long as it doesn’t include criticism of Israel or its government’s policies.
Jim Clancy’s resignation, perhaps, is a confirmation of this notion.
After 34 years of hard work and dedication, Clancy, one of CNN’s most-distinguished anchors, abruptly resigned on Friday.
Although the reason behind his decision has not been disclosed, it is believed that Clancy probably had to quit because he went into an anti-Israel tirade on Twitter last week while defending free speech exercised by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
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“The cartoons NEVER mocked the Prophet. They mocked how the COWARDS tried to distort his word. Pay attention,” Clancy commented from his now-deleted Twitter account.
While the tweet was tweeted more than 600 times there were a number of people who disagreed with Clancy. One of them was Oren Kessler, a research director at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan institution that focuses on national security and foreign policy.
Kessler contradicted the veteran journalist, saying Hebdo had produced explicitly anti-religious cartoons before, to which Clancy replied by accusing the man of spreading pro-Israel propaganda.
"This is great, a pro-Israel voice try [sic] to convince us that cartoonists were really anti-Muslim, and that’s why they were attacked. FALSE. These accounts are part of a campaign to do PR for Israel (including “Jews Making News”) but not HR (Human Rights.),” Clancy’s responded.
When Kessler pointed out that the conversation was going off-topic, Clancy unleashed an anti-Israel tirade.
A day after the heated exchange, Clancy announced his resignation from CNN – a move many are speculating is a result of his anti-Israel comments.
A lot of people are accusing the Western media of being hypocritical for its policies on free speech, which are seemingly lenient when it comes to Israel.
According to these critics, Clancy was probably forced to resign only because he criticized Israel, despite the fact that he supported Charlie Hebdo. Their argument basically implies that Israel, it seems, is an exception when it comes to freedom of speech.
Although CNN didn’t cite any particular reason, a network spokesman confirmed Clancy’s departure to The Wrap:
“Jim Clancy is no longer with CNN. We thank him for more than three decades of distinguished service, and wish him nothing but the best.”