Glenn Beck joined others in shock over the Notre Dame fire but speculated that if it had been “started by Islamists” it would probably be kept “quiet.”
The conservative commentator and radio host weighed in during “The News and Why It Matters” on the catastrophic fire which destroyed much of the historic cathedral in Paris on Monday.
“If this was arson this is going to be bad,” he said.
The structure and iconic towers of the 850-year-old church were saved by firefighters after hours of battling the blaze which destroyed the building’s roof and collapsed its spire. Officials were ruling out arson and initially believed the fire was related to renovations being undertaken at the cathedral.
“If this was arson of any foreign kind of — any foreign entity, anybody with a grudge, I think if — and this is a huge ‘if,’ it might have just been started by a cigarette, we don’t know,” Beck said on the Blaze TV show Monday.
“But if this was started by Islamists, I don’t think you’ll find out about it, because I think it would set the entire country on fire. They’ve had killings, they’ve had mass shootings, they’ve had people running people down in the streets—the tension is very high,” he added.
Similar speculation was downplayed on Fox News when Neil Cavuto shut down Catholic League president Bill Donohue who brought up recent attacks on Catholic churches in Paris. Fox News anchor Shepard Smith also ended a phone call from Philippe Karsenty, a French media analyst who suggested the blaze may not have been an accident.
Cavuto, Shep Smith hang up on experts suggesting Notre Dame fire could relate to spree of church attacks in France: ‘No, sir, we’re not doing that here …’ https://t.co/KRBXeCRKSm
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 16, 2019
The fire and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. were also accidentally linked by YouTube on Monday.
Beck noted that Notre Dame is “wildly important” to the French people as an image.
“This is their World Trade Center moment,” he continued.
“And if this is done by terrorists, I think that they will keep it quiet because I just don’t think [President] Macron in France wants that internal fight” Beck said.
“If this was done by somebody who was disgruntled by the government, etc., like the Yellow Vests, you know,” he added. “Maybe it’s that, I don’t know. But this is a really big deal. The world has lost a major, major piece of history today.”
According to Reuters Paris bureau chief, Luke Baker, the fire, “started by accident and is related to ongoing work, according to France 2, citing police.”
Fire at Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral was started by accident and is related to ongoing work, according to France 2, citing police. Either way it is terrible and a hideous blow to the symbolic heart of the city
— Luke Baker (@BakerLuke) April 15, 2019
Other updates from the Paris public prosecutor, Rémy Heitz, also were reported by The Guardian’s Kim Willsher.
Heitz added that first alarm raised at 18h20 but no fire found. Second alert at 18h43 fire discovered. In meantime, those inside #NotreDame where mass taking place evacuated. Says investigation will be “long and complex” and 50 police officers on the case. 2/2
— Kim Willsher (@kimwillsher1) April 16, 2019
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