Satire, Religion, and Terror: A Conversation with the Editor-in-Chief of Charlie Hebdo


Ryan spent a week in France earlier this year and was fortunate to meet with Gérard Biard, the editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, the ever-irreverent French satirical magazine that made international headlines almost three years ago when jihadist terrorists attacked their office in Paris. Gérard spoke with Ryan about everything from the impact of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, how the ideal of French secularism contrasts with its American counterpart, the nature of the satire they do better than anyone, and why some people still don’t get it. They discussed why satirizing Islam and other religions when they the political arena is not just fair game, but even important. And they close with Charlie Hebdo’s origins (Did you know the name in part comes from the fact that its predecessor magazine was the first to publish Charlie Brown in France?) and the challenges of satirizing Trump (“What could we write that would be funnier than a tweet from Donald Trump?”).

Special thanks to Iskander Rehman, for doing the translation and voiceover, and Jamie McGuire, the sound engineer who worked with him on it.

If you’re a French speaker and want to listen to a version without a voiceover, click here for an mp3 file.