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10 Feb, 2016 15:44

Epic fail: French comic apologizes after mocking conspiracy theories

Epic fail: French comic apologizes after mocking conspiracy theories

French comedian Kevin Razy landed in hot water after he appeared in a government-sponsored video against conspiracy theories that have mushroomed on the web since the Paris attacks. Another video quickly resurfaced, showing Razy chatting with those who believed in an official cover-up.

In the Education Ministry’s campaign video, titled “You're being manipulated” and posted online on the French government website, Razy makes fun of a wide-eyed youngster, who is reading an article “explaining that the secret service organized the Paris attacks.” After it turns out that the article is published on a conspiracy website, Razy tells the teen: “You should always verify your sources.”

But it turns out Razy may have actually failed to properly verify his own sources just recently. A video emerged showing him at a dinner discussion last month with the Cercle des Volontaires, a website for anti-government conspiracy buffs. Among other guests present there was a YouTube vlogger known as Le Débrancheur who had once invited college students to ask questions to their teachers on the relationship between the rise of Hitler and the Rothschilds, according to Street Press.

Razy rushed to apologize. “I didn't know that this website was relaying conspiracy theories,” he wrote on Facebook. “I had previously seen one or two links from this site, and I thought it was a small independent media that featured investigative information. I should have checked better, that'll teach me.”

One in five French citizens believes in conspiracy theories, according to an Ipsos research company poll, conducted in 2014.

One conspiracy theory that emerged after the November 13, 2015 attacks accuses the French government of orchestrating the attacks that claimed 130 lives. The government allegedly wants to justify the declaration of the state of emergency and carry out a series of anti-Islamic measures. The second theory is based on the idea, as old as the hills, that the world is controlled by a group of elitist Jewish patricians, running the entire world. This mighty "Judeo-Masonic" group allegedly organized the Paris attacks.

The comedian, popular with young French people, added: "I'm not a conspirer, even less so racist or antisemitic... and I obviously condemn conspiracy, racism and antisemitism.”

Some of Razy's fans said they felt “disappointed,” however.

“I find it disappointing that you have lowered yourself to that point,” Jérémy Boulle wrote on Facebook. “I watched the famous discussion of the Cercle des Volontaires. I only saw guys talking quietly and reasonably, so I do not understand this obligation that you feel to denigrate the latter. We are in France, one is supposed to advocate dialogue among all... I could be wrong but I have an impression that you gave in a little to the pressure to deny your basic ideas. It would be a shame.”

“You condemn conspiracy?” another commenter, Thomas Grandremy, wrote. “In short you condemn people who are interested in non-official information. High class. You've done it, respect, I reckon you have a big future ahead on TV.”