Charlie HebdoThere are countless angles one can cover when they’re writing on the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack that left 12 people dead, including the paper’s editor. The instinct is to focus in on the attackers, but in this case the real story is that the so-called defenders of free speech are in many cases hanging up their capes. They’re like Superman, if Superman saw a house on fire and said, “There might be Kryptonite in there. I can’t take that chance. Hopefully the fire will go out on its own.”

Buzzfeed reported Wednesday:

[T]he New York Times explained their decision not to show the images in an email from a spokesperson: “Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities. After careful consideration, Times editors decided that describing the cartoons in question would give readers sufficient information to understand today’s story.”

Other outlets made more subtle choices to censor the images, with some using cropped photos that do not include the actual image of Muhammad. Three images of Charb were released on the Associated Press wire after the shooting, and none of them included a photo of the cover itself.

AP spokesman Paul Colford told BuzzFeed News, “You’re correct: None of the images distributed by AP showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. It’s been our policy for years that we refrain from moving deliberately provocative images.”

Was that a policy that was in place for “years” or “minutes”? Gawker reported that AP was willing to sell images of the infamous “Piss Christ” up until …. yesterday afternoon.

AP PCAsk yourself this question: Why was a piece of “art” that portrayed Jesus submerged in a jar of urine okay for The Associated Press to sell, but an uncensored picture from Charlie Hebdo is not?

Charlie Hebdo die on my feetPerhaps it has something to do with the fact that newspaper editors are not afraid Catholics will behead them when angered.

Free speech has taken a beating in the last few months. First there was Sony Pictures Entertainment, which had to be dragged kicking and screaming to do the right thing after it was hacked by the “Guardians of Peace,” and now major news outlets are giving credence to idea that content should be censored if it is deemed blasphemous.

Any western newspaper that goes out of its way not to offend the kind of people who would burst into an office shouting “Allahu Akbar!” while armed to the teeth is a newspaper that is not living up to its responsibility to defend free speech. If an individual works at a major newspaper and his mentality is, “Hey, I’m just the guy who manages the Twitter account — I didn’t sign up for defending free speech,” then that is not an individual who should be employed at said major newspaper.

If western media outlets are still clueless as to what they are up against, then they should spend more time listening to the words of Britain’s radical Islamic cleric Anjem Choudary: “If freedom of expression can be sacrificed for criminalising [sic] incitement & hatred, Why not for insulting the Prophet of Allah?”

Anjem ChoudaryLace up your boots and put on your capes, free speech superheroes. You have work to do. It’s embarrassing that such a thing even needs to be said.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

15 comments

  1. Once again it shows that it is open season on Christianity. The normal selective outrage and persecution as usual from the typical media outlets continue.
    Timothy 3:12- Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
    John 3:13- Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.

    1. I do find it interesting how people react to Christians who are upset and how they react to angry Muslims.

      When Christians follow the rule of law and win Supreme Court cases, guys like Dan Slott will tell Hobby Lobby supporters to go to “Christ-Land.” I checked out his Twitter feed yesterday in response to Muslims who decided to go the terrorism route over cartoons, and oddly enough he didn’t tell anyone to go to “Muslim-Land.”

  2. Oh, Amen to this post! I suppose we can’t entirely blame the media for being such hypocritical wimps, they have leadership unwilling to take a stand and actually back them up. Our own leaders wouldn’t even state that this attack had anything to do with Islam! Instead of confronting the truth, we’re just force fed platitudes about tolerance and the religion of peace.

    1. It is an incredibly strange experience to watch individuals attempt the slow-motion sacrifice of Western Civilization at the alter of political correctness.

      Thanks for the comment, insanitybytes22. As always, I am grateful that you took the time to stop by and add to the discussion.

    2. I saw that he retweeted G. Willow Wilson: “The usual suspects will say ‘where are the Muslims condemning this?’ All major Muslim inst. already have. Your media doesn’t cover it.”

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Ms. Wilson an American? What’s up with “your” media?

    1. Do you have a problem understanding the difference between a private business choosing which stories/images to run according to its editors’ discretion — in addition to who it employs — and that very same private business being threatened with physical violence and death by religious fanatics if it doesn’t agree to their demands?

      The only thing that you should be sure about is that you are, indeed, a troll of the highest order.

    2. they ran the cartoon, there was a backlash, and Charlie Hebdo capitulated. the cartoonist was tried for a hate crime. you are ok with that? here is a bit from the link for your readers who are so very concerned with freedom of speech:

      The cartoon didn’t create a commotion until several days later, when a journalist at the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur called it “anti-Semitic” on July 8. The families of Jean Sarkozy and his fiancée said they would sue the magazine; Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Philippe Val, who also republished the controversial Danish Muhammad cartoons in 2006, then asked Siné to apologize.

      Siné said he would rather castrate himself than apologize, and Val fired him.

    3. The cartoonist was tried for a hate crime.

      My reading of the article was that the Sarkozy family threatened to sue, but it doesn’t say the cartoonist was actually tried in court. It does say that he was fired when he wouldn’t apologize (i.e., say some sort of ridiculous platitude to make it all go away so the Jew-bashing/Muslim-bashing/Christian-bashing could continue a few weeks later), and sued Charlie Hebdo for defamation.

      Regardless, you’re asking me to express shock and outrage that “hate crimes” — a stupid invention by politically correct liberals — would be employed and abused by liberals, pseudo-socialists, and socialists in France. That’s weird. Yes, we should do away with hate crimes.

      I care about dealing with facts instead of trying to read minds. Murder is murder. Assault is assault. Robbery is robbery. Legally, it doesn’t really matter what’s swirling around in someone’s head when they commit a crime; it just matters that they be held accountable for the crime.

      You’re so weirdly desperate to find something to argue with that you’re using a post on a clear threat to free speech — Islamic terrorists slaughtering newspaper editors in the workplace — to try and get me to talk about a bunch of liberals in positions of power who went after a liberal publication over liberal laws that conflict with the right to the freedom of expression. Classic.

      Yes, Lizard19, I wish France were more conservative. That would be a good thing.

    4. A supposedly anti-Semitic cartoon is a … hate crime?? Only in Europe … and in the minds of idiotic liberals.

      Nevertheless, two things: 1) Doug is correct in that a private business can do as it wishes when it comes to business decisions.

      2) Weird how French Jews didn’t seek out the artist and either impose a death sentence on him/her or actually kill him/her while shouting “Praise Moses!”

  3. This could have happened to Salman Rushdie.
    This could have happened to Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
    This almost happened to the Jyllands-Posten.

    It’s a dangerous precedent.

  4. I was in Pakistan over the holidays. I had a great time, and it was definitely nice to go back after four years, but it struck me how much more Islamic the country has become. There are a lot more religious ads, religious television shows, and people wearing burqa and niqab.

    Perhaps the biggest shock came at the airport. You cannot bring in anything deemed “anti-Islamic”. You’re not allowed to browse websites like TRoP, Creeping Sharia, or WikiIslam either.

    And Pakistan has some of the worst blasphemy laws, too! It’s as if no matter the context, or the tone, you simply cannot criticize Islam. Why does this have to happen to my country?

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