Who’s the “Fat, Jewish New Yorker”?

We have to wonder what passes for acceptable discourse in the French media after being alerted to this in the mainstream L’Express publication. In an article on the Oscars, the following (translated from the French) appears:

Despite having the looks of a Jewish New Yorker sumo, the U.S. distributor Harvey Weinstein is the Usain Bolt of cinema.

This description caused some outrage on L’Express’ Facebook page where the media outlet was forced to defend its choice of words:

  • this “introduction” is a trait of humor that is not meant to be discriminatory in any way. Take the time to read the rest of the article to get an idea.
  • we defend the idea of being able to laugh in these terms, using clichés.
  • Dear all, you obviously have the right not find this phrase amusing. Be confident however that this is not our part of a value judgment on the character of Harvey Weinstein.

All very well that L’Express may not have meant to cause offense. However, the following response raises questions:

  • you will notice that the adjectives that you point to contain a certain amount of information. However, the role of media is to inform, right? Feel free to take this as a bad joke. I beg you once more, however we believe: there is no discriminatory intent, see.

Does L’Express really believe that the role of the media is to inform by using stereotyping and offensive language?