Thursday, February 16, 2006

Double Standard

When the staff of the New York Press walked out in protest of not running the Danish Mohammed cartoons, the general manager responded thusly

Company response to walk out of editorial staff:

New York Press takes our responsibility to our community as a “Free Press” very seriously. We came to the same conclusion as many other responsible newspapers and media outlets that have chosen to not run the Danish cartoons. We felt the images were not critical for the editorial content to have merit, would not hinder our readers from making an informed opinion and only served to further fan the flame of a volatile situation.

Peter Polimino General Manager

New York Press
Michelle Malkin asked this before, but I'm gonna ask it again. Somebody please explain to me why not printing the images would not hinder readers from making an informed opinion (Polimino needs an editor) while at the same time explicit Abu Ghraib images absolutely must be shown in their full glory so that readers can make an informed opinion?

I think I understand. Print the Abu Ghraib images, and, no doubt, it will "fan the flame." It is intended to "fan the flame." You think you will look brave and informative for daring to print such bold images. You are aware that these images will incense Muslims, but you know you're safe -- they will take it out on someone else, like American troops.

Print the Mohammed cartoons, and, yes, absolutely, it will "fan the flame." You think you will look sensitive and responsible for choosing not to print them. You are aware that these images will incense Muslims, but this time you know that their ire will be directed at you.

I am reminded of something Einstein said about the bravery of humanist bastions during the holocaust
Being a lover of freedom...I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom, but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks.
Nothing has changed. When the target is soft, the media (and universities and Hollywood) "bravely" challenge, criticize, and denounce. Even if it costs American lives. When the target is perceived as a real threat... silence. Because they know it could cost them their lives.

Update: As Rusticus at Solarvoid points out, the Mohammed cartoon flap is manufactured. It's an excuse to poke the West in the eye. Outraged Muslims are being either completely disingenuous or completely stupid by ignoring these facts:
  1. Non-Muslims are not bound by Islamic law, so tough bananas. (Although that is certainly one of their beefs -- the whole world should be bound by Islamic law.)
  2. There are literally centuries-worth of images of Mohammed, some of which were done by Muslims.
Related: Hollywood's Unreality and Moral Cowardice

[Editor's note: I realize that there are genuinely brave seekers of truth out there in the media, universities, and Hollywood. My hat's off to them. I just wish there were more.]


Blogger Rusticus said...

"We've upped our standards to double! So up yours!"

2/16/2006 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what I think? I think that what people are refusing to see in the midst of the cartoon uproar is exactly how much *SOME* of those cartoons really are racist in their representation of Muslims as a whole. Granted, the violence that is occurring is also succeeding in fanning the flames of those preconceived stereotypes of what a Muslim "must be" but all it is doing, really is just like Bush in Iraq, - drawing out the radical versions or should I say aversions and reactions to the racial stereotypes.

I think as well that we are forgetting that we are dealing with an entirely different culture in some of these countries. When information can travel so quickly what we are seeing is literally how something can be perceived soooooo differently in one country (free speech) than in another country (infamy). It is not that one is more or less right than another. What we are witnessing now is a global dialogue where heretofore these things have never been challenged since really we have this safe little thought that we are cosy in our own little country and the things that happen elsewhere do not affect us. Actually they do. If someone is reacting with violence don't you think that a) that is evidence that that country might be one that is slightly more oppressive so that more of its citizens have experienced that so when they do have something to say they get defensive right away rather than finding a way to use their words (and other more sneaky tactics) to express their outrage and disgust.

Yeah, sure we can call some Muslim countries hypocrits and then all you do is get into the name game.

Someone has got to have some higher standards as that. I don't have a problem with the fact that some newspapers are choosing not to run those cartoons at this time. It is possible with the power of the internet (praise G*d?!) to find copies of those any time you want and you don't have to go that far.

I think perhaps the newspapers know that we in the US already have a bunch of Sh*t on our faces with regards to the Iraq war and how it is going down. so why try to make more? And why would you want to prove the President right in his thinking that terror alerts are both necessary and real in this day and age.

2/23/2006 6:43 PM  
Blogger carnaby said...

*SOME* of those cartoons really areracist in their representation of Muslims as a whole.

Muslim isn't a race.

Besides that, the papers aren't worried about offending Christians by printing an image of Mary made of dung and vaginas. Of course, they ought not to worry about this. However, it does show their double standard.

2/23/2006 7:42 PM  

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