Paris Rally Dominates Global News Coverage
"France is back, the West is back, democracy is back," French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy tells CNN as channels around the world broadcast the million-person march following the terror attacks in Paris
The Paris rally to honor the 17 victims killed during a three-day terrorist attacks against the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher grocery that gripped the country dominated news coverage in Europe and the U.S. Sunday.
German chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were among the 56 international political leaders that attended the rally, as it became an international demonstration for freedom and against terrorism.
Director Jalil Lespert, Wild Bunch head Vincent Maraval and singer Lou Doillon also attended.
Security in the French capital was at high alert as more than 1 million people hit the streets around the Republique square area for the march, with more than 2000 police being deployed near the area.
24-news channels and Sunday morning news programs carried live rolling footage from Paris and analysis of the attacks and their aftermath had a prominent place on shows such as NBC's Meet the Press, Fox News' Media Buzz and Face The Nation on CBS.
Though the rally began at 3 p.m. local time, French newtorks TF1, France 2, M6 and political channel LCP canceled regular programming for special newscasts starting early in the day as world leaders arrived in the French capital. French news channels BFMTV, iTele and Euronews continued their wall-to-wall coverage that began with the attacks Wednesday, as did CNN and the BBC in the U.S. and U.K., as well as local networks such as Germany's N24.
In Italy, La7 interrupted normally scheduled broadcasts to air special live coverage of the rally. Rai's Tg1 aired round the clock coverage. Newspapers Corriere and La Repubblica aired front page coverage. Il Messaggero focused on prime minister Matteo Renzi marching alongside dozens of heads of states.
Many outlets highlighted the fact that the Paris rally was a show of solidarity across political and religious lines, with political foes Netanyahu and Abbas marching side by side and France's Jews, Christians, Muslims and the non-religious united on the streets.
"France is back, the West is back, democracy is back," French philosopher and best-selling author Bernard-Henri Levy told CNN. "Today is a historical day, it is a huge moment."
Several news sites, including The New York Times, Germany's Spiegel and The Guardian in the U.K., live blogged the rally. Thousands also gathered in demonstrations across Europe including in Berlin, London, Madrid and Brussels.
International media has been gripped by the attacks in Paris since they began Wednesday morning Paris time, when two gunmen stormed the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and killed 12. The nationwide manhunt for the brothers that perpetrated the attack dominated the news, before a second attack at a kosher deli outside of Paris began. The ensuing police action, which left the gunmen in both attacks dead, were carried live on French and international television.