Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Failure of the Press – Not!

William J. Bennett and Alan M. Dershowitz have written an opinion in the Washington Post titled A Failure of the Press.

They say the American press has failed in its duty to free speech in not publishing the 12 now famous cartoons of Mohammed. Twenty years ago, I might have agreed with them. Today there argument is irrelevant. You can find and I have found the cartoons at numerous locations all over the internet. The MSM no longer plays the role of sole provider of news and information. Perhaps if they want to fight to maintain that position, they should publish the cartoons.

The MSM and those who think in the old way about the MSM should wake up and realize what is going on. They’re so last century. The blogs are doing what Bennett and Dershowitz want the MSM to do. The defense of freedom of the press they claim is the duty of the MSM is being done by the blogs.

Last time I check, I got over 21,000 hits when I searched Google Blogs and Technorati. I think they got it covered. Many have links to sites that have the cartoons and many have the cartoons prominently displayed, and yet, some defend the right of the Danish newspaper to publish them but choose not to show them.

I lampooned the reaction to the cartoon in my two previous posts. I did not link to the cartoons because they are so readily available elsewhere. I thought about doing my own cartoons – and may yet do that – but technical difficulties kept me from it. One, I cannot draw good satirical cartoons, and two, the problem of getting them loaded onto my site kept me from doing it.

Besides, this is not the only thing the MSM has chosen not to publish. Television news often cautions viewers when they are about to show some gory death scene or they mention but don’t show them at all. Maybe we should be forced to see all the dead in Iraq. It’s our government that invaded; we are a democracy; we are responsible.

Americans newspapers also refrain from using the “n” word for those Americans of African decent. Does their argument mean that just because someone uses that word in some hate speech, the MSM is dutifully bound to reprint it?

The MSM has chosen not to print the names of victims of certain crimes such as rape. Does it further the cause of free speech and their audience right to know to victimize someone even more?

As to why they chose not to publish the cartoons but did publish government secret (or embarrassing information): well, that’s the MSM for you. If the MSM is not providing the information you think you deserve, don’t watch or read it. I don’t watch Fox because of the right wing drivel they spew out all the time. As bad as the WaPo may be, it’s not as bad as Fox. I find the liberal bias supposely overflowing the pages of the WaPo difficult to detect, however, the right wing b ias of Fox is easy and quickly noticeable whenever I veiw it.

While I believe the riots and killings in response to the publishing of the cartoons validate their message rather than proving them insulting, the sensitivity to Muslim belief should still be considered by any decent human being. Just because they cannot live up to their own principles doesn’t mean we should not live up to ours.

I do believe their belief in the evils of icons is divinely inspired; however, its regulation is implemented by mere mortals.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

I got your cartoon right here

A newspaper in Iran is asking for cartoons that make fun of the Holocaust the same way the Danish cartoons made fun of Mohammed. I don’t see the connection but I think we are missing a golden opportunity to help out. Iran is controlled by a theocratic regime that brooks no meaningful opposition. In such an oppressive culture, satirists are creatively disadvantaged. They need the help of decadent Americans to come up with really satirical caricatures. We’ve sent our troops, our money, our reputation, let’s send our cartoons.

I wish, one, I had the technical ability to put a drawing on this blog, and two, I could draw a cartoon in the first place. I would help. But Hey! It’s the idea that counts.

10 Ideas for cartoons showing the Holocaust in a bad light:

1. Those stupidly docile Jews watch as their children are taken to gas chambers while Muslims send their children to blow up themselves.

2. When the Americans and English liberate concentration camps, the prisoners kidnap them and cut their heads off or kill them with roadside bombs.

3. A cartoon showing how a people, say the Germans, a decent God-fearing people, are swayed by the rhetoric of extremist. They allow hate to be taught in their schools and institutionalized within the government and culture. They allow the extremist government to implement policies based on this hate. These people’s grand traditions are tainted forever because of it.

4. If there was no Holocaust, there was no Palestine.

5. A Jew draws a cartoon of Jesus dropping the poison canisters on 10 million people, six million Jews, and irate Germans rise up and destroy mosques.

6. A cartoon of the Great Satin. Not the hated of one person for another or the taking of another's property or pulling of a trigger on someone – that has been with us for all time and will be with us forever – the Great Satin is in the policy of our collective souls.

7. Jewish women standing up to any man while Muslim women are lumped in with donkeys, camels, and other beast of burden.

8. Jews rise up in violent demonstrations when some German says the name of their god but do nothing as millions die for selfish and hollow causes.

9. Jews take Nazis hostage demanding that their people be sent to a part of the world where they are hated even more than in Europe.

10. The atomic bomb was developed during World War II. Iran could show a cartoon in which they finally develop the ability to construct atomic bombs and they build enough that everyone in Iran could strap on a bomb and blow themselves up all at one time. A nuclear winter would ensue and all higher life forms on this planet would die. How many virgins do you get for that?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Mohammed Cartoon

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

Let’s see if I got this right. An organization published a cartoon portraying the vilest aspect of a major religion and in doing so becomes the object of that self, same behavior.

A religion that stands by and allows sending its children to kill themselves and others with the promise of forty virgins to fuck in heaven is protesting the depiction of this arrogance and Godless behavior.

The cartoons are not an insult to either Allah or Mohammed. The terrorist and Muslim extremists who hide behind Allah and Mohammed to justify their behavior are the butt of this joke. They are insulting Allah and Mohammed much more than any cartoon, and my faith tells me they will find in the next life something quite different from that for which they are sending others to kill and die.

But it is more than just the depiction of some religious supreme being or founding human being, this is a clash of cultures. Both the caricature of major religions beliefs in cultures emphasizing the individual and freedom and the prohibition against their depiction by a culture that emphasizes central control and the group are basic to this little news cycle.

Is the depiction of Allah or Mohammed by a mere periodical more or less insulting than a national leader saying the Holocaust never occurred? Or, to elect a government that is sworn to destroy another nation? Show me the sensitivity.

This confrontation is proof that George Bush’s Neocon inspired Middle East doctrine will never work – at least not for another 100 years.