Not So Fast, 5. The New Garbage Pail Kids.
This week, another issue of El Jueves came out, and the camp over at extreme right Vox went berserk.
To begin, I will explain that El Jueves is much like the American Mad magazine. It is a satirical comic, which lampoons everything that walks on two legs. It doesn't matter who it is, if someone says or does something that catches the public eye, they will be satirized by this magazine. This week, it was Vox's turn. The magazine published a series of fake baseball cards, with different, disgusting characters lampooning actual members of the extremist organization. The artists made them look like the Garbage Pail Kids cards, from the 1980's. The images are a little too disgusting, perhaps, but the lampooning messages are the usual.
On the official Twitter account of Vox, someone, probably the leader, Santiago Abascal, posted: "Se llama Ricardo Rodrigo Amar y es presidente de RBA, grupo que edita El Jueves. Su revista difunde odio contra millones de españoles a diario. Es posible que muchos de ellos le empiecen a exigir responsibilidades cuando le vean salir de su despacho de la Diagonal de Barcelona." (His name is Ricardo Rodrigo Amar and he's president of RBA, the house that publishes El Jueves. His magazine spreads hate against millions of Spaniards daily. It's possible that many of them will start to demand responsibilities when they see him leave his office on the Diagonal in Barcelona.) This was posted with the RBA president's picture.
They were, via tweet, asking some of their followers to accost the president of a publishing house because one of the magazines they run published a satire of their leaders. That someone might take it into their head to wait for the RBA president to come out and verbally accost him because of this tweet, is bad enough. But there are enough stupids out there, that someone might get into their head to do something a lot worse. Memories of Charlie Hebdo come to mind, and have been mentioned in passing. Journalists' associations have come out against Vox, citing that the tweet is a declaration of war on freedom of press.
It's not the first time that a satirical magazine has been targeted in this country. Back in the early 1970's, one similar to El Jueves was founded, called El Papus. It was censored many times, and even received fines from Franco's declining government. Then, in 1977, when freedom of speech and press were newly approved, a small group didn't like the satire the magazine was making of those who still yearned for their dear, departed Franco. On the twentieth of September, 1977, a briefcase was left at the office. When it went off, it killed the doorman, injured eighteen people, and destroyed the offices. It didn't kill the main objective, though, which was the director of the magazine. A small terrorist group, Triple A (Alianza Apostólica Anticomunista), claimed the bombing.
No one was ever charged with it, or with the murder of the doorman, nor with the grave lesions of the secretary, who was declared invalid for life. The act was not recognized as a terrorist act, and the death and the lesions were declared a "labor accident." Not even the Tribunal for Human Rights dared to call it terrorism for "fear of destablizing the young democracy." They got away with murder, literally.
We are not that young democracy any more, but, with the judges looking favorably on Vox, if anything happens to the president of RBA Publications, I fear that whoever is brought to trial will not receive a long prison sentence. Because, of course, Vox wouldn't mind that something happen. They will then blame the victim, saying he provoked a "true" Spaniard into action. Because they are experts at victim blaming.
We haven't really come that far.