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.
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