On Thursday night, Catholic League president Bill Donahue doubled down on controversial remarks he made about Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier.

Earlier in the week, following the brutal murders of 12 people in Paris over the publication of cartoons mocking the founder of the Islamic faith, Donahue analyzed the events with what some people are calling a classic case of blaming the victim. He said that it was “too bad” that Charbonnier “didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death.” He also said that if the editor was not so “narcissistic,” then he might still be alive.

Those remarks drew outrage from a number of quarters, including social conservatives who are usually aligned with Donahue on controversial issues.

It is worth noting that, even though the massacre at the office of Charlie Hebdo was in response to cartoons depicting Mohammed, the newspaper also published images poking fun at other faiths, including the Christian faith.

The Catholic League president appeared with Megyn Kelly last night and didn’t back away from his previous statement at all.

“They’re pornographers disguised as satirists,” Donahue said, referring to the staff at Charlie Hebdo. “We’re not talking about Mel Brooks. We’re talking about the functional equivalent of Larry Flynt going to print.”

From there, the discussion quickly became an exchange about the First Amendment, with a case referencing the aforementioned Flynt being cited. Flynt, the publisher of Hustler magazine had a legal fight with megachurch Pastor Jerry Falwell back in the 1980’s. Flynt won when the Supreme Court preserved his right to publish, without punishment, a parody ad in which Falwell is portrayed as having sex with his mother in an outhouse.

However, Donahue said that the matter goes beyond freedom of speech.

“People are looking at this in a unidimensional way,” he said. “They’re saying, ‘Well, the only issue on the table is the right of these people to do whatever they want.’ No it isn’t.”

He went on to say that freedom of speech is not an end. It’s a means to an end.

Kelly challenged that, again referencing the Flynt case.

Donahue countered that he prefers what he called the “Madisonian understanding” of freedom of speech. He described that as follows: “Liberty can be lost by the abuse of power, but also by the abuses of liberty. Self-censorship is the friend of freedom.”

Donahue also challenged Kelly, as a defender of Charlie Hebdo, to air the controversial photos. That did not happen.

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