Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Courageous media heaps praise on Charlie Hebdo, still won't publish cartoons

Hot Air points out that U.S. lamestream media leaders like the New York Times and The Associated Press still won't publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that got so many staffers of the magazine killed by Islamist terrorists. That's a strange position to take given how big of a news story this is:
Normally CH’s circulation is 60,000 copies. They printed three million of the new one to try to meet expected demand after the massacre, but sales are so hot in France this morning that they’ve already had to bump the print run up to five million. The issue’s been condemned by Sunni authorities, in the form of Egypt’s grand mufti, and Shiite ones, via Iranian state media. All of which is to say, this feels newsy. Go look at how the AP is handling photos of Parisians on line, though. Everyone who ventures out publicly to buy the issue is taking a risk that some Kouachi sympathizer will copycat the Charlie Hebdo attack by shooting up a newsstand. Given the denunciations from Islamic clerics and the fact that French security suspects the Kouachis had accomplices, that risk is real. Basic solidarity with France in defense of free speech today should mean, at the very least, showing at least as much balls as the average Frenchman strolling around Paris with a copy of the offending issue on full display in his own hands.
Yeah, I wouldn't think the New York Times would be big on courage. Even The New York Times is embarrassed by the Times, or at least the paper's ombudsman is:
Readers responded passionately, and in large numbers, to my post last week about The Times’s decision not to publish the now-famous Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. (In fact, I’ve never had more comments on a post or column.)
A vast majority of readers were critical of The Times’s decision, feeling strongly that both because of news value and in order to reinforce free speech and show solidarity with a publication under attack, The Times should have published them.
Just Monday, a new decision came along and The Times stayed with its earlier determination, showing no image of the new cover of Charlie Hebdo, which features a tearful Muhammad, holding a “Je Suis Charlie” sign, with a tagline that says “All is forgiven.” Instead, a Times article described the cover image and linked to an article that showed the cover illustration.
But that’s of little help to the print readers, who — if their only news source was The Times — could have gone through this whole tumultuous week without much sense of what the offending cartoons look like. That does them a disservice.
 I believe, by the way, that The New York Times is one of the outlets getting the finger from Charlie with this cover. The Times' ombudsman made the same mistake I did, at first, with respect to the meaning of the cartoon. I don't think that Charlie's staff is forgiving the Islamist terrorists, and I don't think they believe the prophet the Islamist terrorists serve is forgiving Charlie for its past mockery of Islam. It might be hip to hold up your "Je suis Charlie" sign for a few minutes, but Charlie isn't buying it, given the widespread oppobrium Charlie has endured over the years from all corners. Mohammed here is just a symbol of the hypocrisy of Charlies' critics:

Support Charlie and freedom of speech and oppose Islamist terrorists? Publish the damn cartoon. To do otherwise is to give the Islamist terrorists everything they hoped to achieve by killing the Charlie staff: the silencing of critics.

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