The news hit London around morning teatime, a grainy image popping up in the Twitter feed. Pretty soon, the news made clear what it was part of -- a violent attack on the offices of Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo (Charlie Weekly, or, Your Average Weekly), with at least 11 dead, and more injured. Barring bizarre events, there wasn’t going to be any doubt who had done it. Charlie Hebdo is more free-wheeling in its satire than Private Eye, its UK counterpart, and has been especially willing to go the tonk on religion, in old-fashioned, gauchiste anti-clerical style. From the '60s until Charlie Hebdo closed in 1981, that target was usually the church. When it came back in 1992, and in the wake of the Rushdie affair, and the rise of Islamism as a political movement, Islam began to get the same treatment. But it wasn’t a huge focus for them, with their attention turned more towards embedded French political power, showbiz and literary gossip (never really separated in French life) and cartoons more or less incomprehensible to anyone not up with Parisian idiom.
Rundle: Charlie Hebdo, terrorism and the distortion of popular memory
The violence against French journalists and cartoonists has shaken the world -- but the reaction is something Charlie Hebdo itself would've mocked.