Just Say It

By Cicero | Related entries in Cartoons, War

To the mainstream media:

The reason why you won’t publish the Danish cartoons is because you’re scared. It’s because you don’t want your buildings to be the next targets of jet planes. It’s because you want to keep your heads on — literally. It’s because you really do believe there is a war of civilizations, though you won’t say it, and any false move could ignite the seas.

If you would just say that fear motivates your censuring some cartoons, I might respect you more. Because fear is real. Sometimes it can’t easily be overcome. Sometimes the price of freedom is very high, and we stumble, dither and grope before we stand.

So please just tell the truth. Don’t lie and say that you won’t publish the cartoons out of ‘respect’ for Muhammad. Western presses have long, long since let that noun go as a relic of antiquity. And that’s fine — we pay the price for free speech by enduring disrespect — or else we become a culture mutes.

Have the presses of the free world become mutes?

I remember reading accounts of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Young Iranian zealots ran across mine fields in order to clear them. Well, certainly some of those kids were unwilling martyrs; but many weren’t. They had the same fire as Japanese kamikazes — the same viscous fervor, inspired by divine afterlife. I remember thinking: Boy, I wonder if we can hold it together enough to fight these guys someday if they have nukes.

Are you fearful? I am. And I admit it. Very soon we will need to find the courage of our forefathers whose burdens we have inherited, not surpassed. We’ve had it too easy for too long, and now we’re soft on fear. We call fear respect.

Fear is not respect. Fear is fear. So just say it.


This entry was posted on Friday, February 24th, 2006 and is filed under Cartoons, War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

18 Responses to “Just Say It”

  1. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Are you fearful? I am. And I admit it.

    You are “Islamaphobic” LoL !! I’m gonna call CAIR on you!

  2. reader_iam Says:

    Are they more afraid of actual physical attacks or of the reaction of their peers? I’m not so sure it’s the physical thing, here in this country. But I could be wrong.

    I do think the “out of respect thing” is largely crud, though.

  3. reader_iam Says:

    And, well, fear does imply a type of respect, just not a particularly laudable or, well, respectable, one.

  4. Callimachus Says:

    Fear less of airplanes flying into buildings than of picketers. There’s nothing a sensitive newspaper editor hates more than being picketed by minorities. It’s a badge of shame within the profession that he or she will never remove. And possibly a career-killer.

  5. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Its about fear of being intolerant towards poor, brown people who supposedly are oppressed because of our civilization. Any “underprivaledged class” is off-limits to criticism until true social-justice is achieved and material wealth and power is re-distributed equally amongst all classes of people; the classic Marxist folklore. The purpose of any public institution like the free-press is to promote such socially conscious ideas.

    First they need to identify which individuals belong in to which groups are haves and which are have-nots. That can mean race, gender, sexual orientation, religious identity…or any caste defined by absolute, tangible, material metrics of human society (this does not include etherial concepts that are relative to different cultures, for example: “Good� or “Evil�).

    Next, the public needs to “affirmatively act� to prop-up those clasees deemed as being “oppressed� (i.e. poor), which means refraining from criticisms of immaterial, morally relative, cultural rituals (such as their religious beliefs).

    Society should not hesitate to bring down the powerful, hegemonic classes (rich, white evangelical christians for example) by criticising and restricting the irrelevant, nonsensical “values� that they draw strength from (such as their religious beliefs).

    Once material wealth is redistributed amongst the masses of poor brown people, and social equality-of-outcome is achieved, everyone will naturally abandon their “opiate of the masses� and become proper secular liberals, like Mayor Livingston and Tim Robbins.

    What a bunch of Bullshit.

  6. Justin Gardner Says:

    Have the presses of the free world become mutes?

    Let me offer a different perspective on this one. It’s the perspective that while I’ll fight for a newspaper’s right to publish anything they damn well please, there comes a time where you have to make a judgement call. And sometimes that judgement call involves deciding whether or not you should say something just because you can.

    And yes, this is about fear. But I think it has more to do with the fear that publishing these cartoons actually hurts what freedom of speech stands for, and much less about the fear of bombings or picketers. At least in this country.

    Frankly, I think the Danish paper simply published them just because they could, and I think it was in extremely bad taste. But I’m obviously glad they have the right to do what they please.

    Once material wealth is redistributed amongst the masses of poor brown people, and social equality-of-outcome is achieved, everyone will naturally abandon their “opiate of the masses� and become proper secular liberals, like Mayor Livingston and Tim Robbins.

    Jimmy, the rhetoric is getting tired. If you want to really discuss these issues, then you’re welcome to do so at this site. But if you’re simply looking to vent, please do it somewhere else.

  7. reader_iam Says:

    C. has a point, too.

    As for the reference to Mayor of London Livingstone (that’s to whom Jimmy’s referring, yes?), he’s not exactly considered correct at the moment. He just got suspended from his elected office today for a month (by an unelected, 3-person panel, by the way) for his (admittedly awful) words to a reporter a while back.

    He could have been banned from public office for five years, by the way.

    (Or just censured and sent to training, on the other hand.)

  8. Joshua Says:

    As I’ve said here before, if only the Western MSM had acknowledged and kept the public informed as to our enemy’s ideology and ambitions from 9/12/2001 on – you know, done its job – then these cartoons would not be the free-speech icons they are now (and given Jyllands-Posten’s stated purpose for commissioning the cartoons, may not have ever been drawn in the first place).

    Come to think of it, maybe that’s the real reason why the MSM is sitting on these cartoons. It would be the equivalent of a swindler boasting of his crime to his own victims. How would you expect them to respond once they realize they’ve been had?

    iam, I saw that news item about “Red Ken” today too. Interesting that it comes right on the heels of David Irving’s sentencing for denying the Holocaust. On principle I can’t bring myself to applaud either of these developments, but still it’s hard not to feel a little schadenfreude toward these two clowns.

  9. reader_iam Says:

    Joshua: I second the “clowns” judgment (though in the privacy of mind I use far stronger words, for both of these men, as I’ll bet you do, too).

    Still, however much I may have to grit my teeth, I have to oppose these events, and most particularly in case of the duly elected mayor, decry the implications.

    Strange bedfellows, and all that … though they’d better stay the hell on their side of the bed!

    ; )

  10. reader_iam Says:

    “Have the presses of the free world become mutes?”

    No, just eunuchs.

  11. michael reynolds Says:

    I agree with you Cal, but let’s not talk about the press of the Western world, many European papers have been bold on this. It’s not the press of the West, it’s the Americans who’ve been cowards.

  12. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Justin,

    I am not venting, I feel that I am presenting a completely valid point about this issue. All over the alternative media landscape, you hear the Danish cartoons being compared to the Piss Christ, and the observation is always this: Why do editors of the MSM publish or even endorse artwork that offends Christians or Jews, but refuse to show innocuous political cartoons out of “respect” and “sentivity.”

    I rather bluntly articulate the political worldview that is subscribed to, almost subconsciously, by so many in our acedemic and journalistic institutions. This worldview of egalitarian identity politics, multiculturalism, and political correctness prevents many journalists from attacking the issues of the day with the clarity you would expect of a so called “objective” media in a free society.

    I know you take pride in your website presenting a centerist’s view on things. I like it because your contributors seek the truth and trancend the divisive tribal-politics of the lunatic left and the wing-nut right. I interpret the cowardice of the MSM on this issue as another example of looney leftism we should all trancend.

  13. Callimachus Says:

    Ironically, Michael, the American press is more protected by its native constitutional rights than is the European press, which has been more assertive. That is, the Jyllands-Posten may in fact be in violation of the law in many continental European nations for doing what it did. But an American paper would not be in violation of American laws if it did the same. But they did and we didn’t. Our common law tradition is not the legal heritage on the continent.

    As a side note, I don’t believe the Associated Press has made the Danish cartoons available on its wire services, either, which is where many of the smaller newspapers in America get their artwork. But I’m not positive of this. I just know I haven’t seen them.

  14. michael reynolds Says:

    Cal:
    Add to that the fact that most of these European countries have far larger, far more radicalized Muslim populations than we do, and it makes the cowardice of the American media even more shocking. I’ve run the cartoons either two or three times myself, but I’m not exactly the New York Times.

    I saw this as a pretty clear issue: someone tries to intimidate the free press, the free press has to push back. American media should be ashamed for caving.

    How sad is it when the French and the Spanish have more nerve than we do?

  15. michael reynolds Says:

    Shit, sorry, I’ve addressed you twice as Cal. Cicero, sorry, it’s been a long day.

  16. michael reynolds Says:

    Okay, once it should have been Cal, and the other time Cicero. Seriously: getting some sleep now.

  17. Bob Aman Says:

    Wikipedia has a scan of the cartoons for those that haven’t seen them.

  18. GN Says:

    Philadelphia Inquirer published the cartoon, and so did a few other papers. If we are referring to Fox, MSNBC as MSM then we have been assimilated

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