Friday, February 10, 2006

Offensive Cartoons

Okay - let me go on record as supporting free speech. The cartoonist who drew the cartoons that that muslim world finds so offensive should by all means be free to express his views. There I've said it. But what are the responsibilities of newspaper editors? I am not advocating a test of political correctness, or non-offensiveness for news outlets. But should not responsible editors themselves apply a test of salience, newsworthyness or relavance? When content is almost certain to incite hatred or violence an editor has an obligation to apply such as test. Certainly of all people, Europeans should understand the damage that racially motivated hate rhetoric can do. So I say shame on the Danish press. Shame on the Danish government - not for failing the censor, but for failing to condemn these actions in strong enough terms. I also say shame on moderate muslims for reacting with violence that only serves to illustrate the point that cartoonist so crudely made.

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