American Press: AWOL
The Danish Cartoons of Mohammad
Have you seen the above cartoons in your town’s newspaper or your local news broadcast? How can a news report about a picture not show the picture? These are not images that have to be shielded from the eyes of children. They are typical political cartoons the skewer their subject matter. And Islam is a political ideology even if it is in religious form (standard for a 7th century philosophy.)
Remember Abu Ghraib? Prior to the pictures this story languished on the hidden back-pages of most newspapers. The military, concerned with policing its own, had already started an investigation and reported it to the press. When pictures became available, the same story was repeated for 45 days on the front pages of major newspapers. Even though one could convey the content in words, the same few pictures were constantly shown for weeks on end. Thus, the press doesn’t shy away from insensitive images when it suits their agenda. They slam it in your face over and over.
Reporting a story or conveying the words of others isn’t an endorsement of the content. We’ve seen every Al Qaeda propaganda video even though a simple statement would suffice: “terrorists make standard threats and damn America, again.” At one time it was feared that these tapes had specific words to trigger Al Qaeda cells. Still the actual footage was used. In fact, these tapes are often part and parcel of the terrorist attack intended to add humiliation after the physical attack. When broadcasting the actual footage does one not become a moral accomplice helping to complete the attack? Radio networks would never have broadcasted Tokyo Rose during WWII. Giving an excerpt is expected but disseminating the enemy’s propaganda word for word, again and again, serves little purpose except to give them a platform.
However, when it comes to propaganda or editorials against the enemy, a paraphrase or mention in passing is considered enough … for those few newspapers, networks, or internet venues that have even reported this story. Most failed to give it any attention! The cowardly press, in its Dhimmi stance, has failed at a time when its Danish colleagues are under attack. Here are the pictures from non-Dhimmi venues.
Update: The New York Post has an editorial, "Bushies Betray Free Speech," and an article, "Going Atomic Over a Comic." Compared to the Washington Post's article or articles, the NYP's report shows little sympathy. The NYP notes that "Islamic law holds that even a positive depiction of the prophet is wrong." All newspapers, except the New York Sun, refuse to print the pictures. The NYP editorial rightfully places free speech at the center of the debate.
Update2: Good editorial, in Human Events, on the hypocrisy of the press.