The Guardian:

The German chancellor has authorised the prosecution of comedian Jan Böhmermann for reading out an offensive poem about the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Angela Merkel insisted her government’s decision did not amount to a verdict on whether the comedian was guilty or not, but should be understood as a reaffirmation of the judiciary’s independence.... Merkel was left with the final decision on whether Germany’s state prosecutor should start proceedings against Böhmermann, after Erdoğan requested the comedian be prosecuted.... The poem was read in a short clip on a late-night programme screened on the German state broadcaster ZDF at the end of last month, where Böhmermann sat in front of a Turkish flag beneath a small, framed portrait of Erdoğan, reading out a poem that accused the Turkish president of, among other things, “repressing minorities, kicking Kurds and slapping Christians while watching child porn."

Erdoğan is a brutal authoritarian shitstain, a democratically elected despot who has undermined press freedoms, thrown political opponents and journalists in jail, prosecuted ordinary Turks for perceived slights, brutally oppressed Turkey's Kurdish minority, and overseen/ordered attacks on protestors in Turkey and in the United States. And Erdoğan currently has the European Union by the shorthairs:

The contrast was jarring: Just days after the police broke into the offices of an opposition newspaper using tear gas and water cannons, Turkey’s prime minister was greeted in Brussels with offers of billions in aid, visa-free travel for Turks in Europe and renewed prospects for joining the European Union. The juxtaposition highlighted the conundrum Europe faces as it seeks solutions to its worst refugee crisis since World War II. To win Turkey’s desperately needed assistance in stemming the flow of migrants to the Continent, European officials seem prepared to ignore what critics say is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s steady march toward authoritarianism... The Turkish offer was hailed as a “breakthrough” on Tuesday by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.

That's the context for Merkel approving the prosecution of a comedian for writing and reading a poem—a prosecution demanded by Erdoğan, who is clearly unfamiliar with the Streisand Effect. You can watch Jan Böhmermann read his poem about Erdoğan here (with English subtitles). And the Turkish president's demand for Böhmermann's prosecution—and Merkel's craven approval—will doubtless inspire comedians and poets all over the world to write poems making fun of Turkey's asshole president, a man so thin-skinned he bleeds in the rain.

Maybe Calvin Trillin can redeem himself with the Twitter mob—and our own Rich Smith—by writing a poem that pokes fun at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.