Thursday, February 16, 2006

Still More Cartoons

This whole cartoon thing is really getting my goat. The cowardice that abounds is really scary. I find it really hard to believe that so many of our so called "leaders" and people of influence have become linguini spined,sycophantic,obsequious cretins. I am on a quest. What is your quest? Funny you should ask! Well I am going to hold a few feet to the fire, stir up some shit, use that old 3000 psi index finger and just maybe I can get a few of the above mentioned ninnies to recant their inexcusable positions. To that end I have started by writing to a few people and there will be more to come. First off you have seen the letter to the president of UPEI and I told you about The editor of The telegram. Here are the next few.

Dear Russell,
Just substitute Canadian wherever you see American, the same applies. The points are difficult to refute. What say you?

American news media: little courage and little honesty
Feb 14, 2006
by Dennis Prager ( bio | archive | contact )

American news media have suffered in recent years. Thanks to the Internet and talk radio, millions of Americans have ceased relying on The New York Times and CNN for their written and televised news.
But it is difficult to recall a greater blow to the credibility of American news media than their near-universal refusal to publish the Mohammed cartoons originally published in a Danish newspaper that have brought about worldwide Muslim protests.

This loss of credibility owes to two factors: dishonesty and cowardice.

Everyone and his mother knows why the networks and the print journals haven't shown the cartoons -- they fear Muslims blowing up their buildings and stabbing their editors to death. The only people who deny this are the news media. They all claim that they won't show the cartoons because of sensitivity to Muslim feelings.

Which brings us to the other reason for the latest blow to the news media's credibility: They are lying to us. If some politicians were telling lies as blatantly as the news media are now, the media would be having a field day exposing those politicians and calling for their removal from office. But, alas, what TV news station will criticize another TV news station? And what newspaper or magazine will criticize another newspaper or magazine?
So, without anyone in the media holding them accountable, the news media continue to believe they can fool nearly all the people all the time when they say they are not publishing the cartoons out of respect for Muslim sensibilities.

Why is this false?

First, major papers in virtually every European country have published the cartoons. It is inconceivable that European papers are less concerned with Muslim sensibilities than American media are. If anything, in Europe they are more pro-Muslim given their anti-Israel and anti-American views and given that they live in countries with far greater numbers of Muslims than live in America.

Second, the reason to publish the cartoons is not to offend Muslims; it is to explain the most significant current news event in the world. How can anyone understand the Islamic riots without having seen the cartoons that triggered them? If millions of Christians rioted after cartoons were published in the Muslim world, does anyone doubt that the Western press would publish them, or that it had the obligation to do so?

The argument that people can see the cartoons on the Internet is specious. Anyone could see the photos of the abuse of Arab prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison on the Internet, yet the news media presented these photos day after day for weeks.

Third, the American press has routinely published cartoons and pictures that insult Christians and Jews. The Los Angeles Times published a cartoon depicting the stones of the Western Wall of the Jewish Temple, the holiest site to Jews, as spelling out the word "HATE" and showing a religious Jew bowing down before it. And what newspaper did not publish a photo of "Piss Christ," the Andres Serrano work of "art" depicting a crucifix in the artist's urine?

American newspapers "insult" every group whenever they feel like it, but no one riots, burns and kills because of it.

Fourth, the ban on depicting Mohammed applies to Muslims, not to non-Muslims. It is remarkable that American newspapers, so frightened of any breakdown between church and state, are suddenly guided by Muslim religious prohibitions.

Fifth, the argument that publishing the images would inflame Muslims' passions is another coverup for cowardice. No American newspaper or TV news show exhibited the slightest concern with inflaming Muslim passions when they endlessly published and depicted Abu Ghraib abuse photos.

If the liberal news media in America -- conservative Fox News and The Weekly Standard have shown the cartoons -- admitted they feared being hurt if they showed the cartoons, one would have respect for their honesty, if not their courage. But the liberal news media's lack of courage coupled with their dishonest justifications make for a devastating commentary on American news media.

One should not be surprised. A few years ago, New York Times foreign affairs reporter John Burns reported -- to his great credit -- that some of the most prestigious American news organizations had made a deal with Saddam Hussein not to report negatively about his regime in exchange for being allowed to have a Baghdad news bureau.

When it comes to taking on conservatives, Catholics, Evangelicals and the like, liberal news media are Supermen. When it comes to confronting real evil, however, the news media are Mickey Mouse.

I got no reply. Surprise!

Next one to Russell with The David Warren piece:

Dear Russell,

The following is perhaps the best piece on the "cartoon" debacle I have read. Something for you to mull: do you suppose that the late William James Herder would have behaved as did Michael Davies when confronted by pressure and what would he do now? If you had any guts you would write a new column and post the cartoons this Saturday. If you don't then I hope you shave each morning without benefit of a mirror.

P.S. If you happen to see Charlie Stacey would you ask him why he doesn't return correspondence.

The test

Ezra Levant, a decent, honest, and courageous man -- and for those reasons much mocked by Canada’s smug political and media elites -- has explained clearly and unanswerably why the Western Standard magazine which he publishes (and in which I write), printed a selection of those Danish cartoons. It was the same reason they were reprinted by such prestigious European dailies as Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, and Die Welt.

It was because those cartoons are at the centre of a huge news story. A tremendous fuss is being made over them right around the planet, and readers in a free country should be shown what the fuss is about. It is especially important in this case, where the original cartoons were, by any Western standard, bloodless, bland, boring. Readers should not be left to assume that the cartoons were instead vicious, nasty, and intentionally offensive.

The Danish editor who originally commissioned the cartoons did not solicit attacks on Islam. He asked cartoonists to depict Mohammad as they imagine him. He asked because he was appalled by the self-censorship he smelled in the Danish air. It was not an anti-Islamic gesture; it was an act of freedom, against the fear of Muslim intimidation.

Why, for instance, should we be repeatedly told in news stories that all the cartoons insulted Muslims when most of them did not? Why should we be repeatedly told that the satirical ones insulted Islam’s Prophet, when what they satirize is obviously the use of the Prophet to justify terrorism? And now that we know the international furore was inspired, not by the Jyllands-Posten cartoons, but by fakes insinuated among them by delegations of Danish Muslims, why should we hold the Danish editor and cartoonists, to say nothing of all Denmark, responsible for anything?

It is to defeat such publicly-repeated lies, and to oppose public intimidation, that a publisher has the duty to show the original cartoons.

On this latter point, I am reminded of Michael Davies, the last family publisher of the Kingston Whig-Standard, for which I once worked. I was a fill-in night editor one evening when I got a note from him. It said that a friend of his, a certain local worthy, had been charged with drunk driving. This man had asked Mr Davies to keep his name out of the paper. Mr Davies asked me, therefore, to make sure his friend’s drunk driving charge was prominently reported.

That is how an honest publisher responds to being pressured. Not with “sensitivity”, which is the ancient vehicle for hypocrisy and deceit. A publisher need ask himself only one question. If the cartoons had been protested by Christians, would he have hesitated to print them?

Did newspapers across the West hesitate to print photos of the “Piss Christ”, or the “Dung Madonna”? Why suddenly so sensitive to religious feelings?

I wrote Saturday exculpating Muslims from the charge of hypocrisy in this matter -- for their double standard is plausibly written into their faith. But I cannot excuse the hypocrisy and cowardice of the Western media, who pose as fearless and impartial defenders of truth, regardless of consequences.

All this self-congratulatory lip-service to the free press, until the moment it means something. Chapters and Indigo have banned the “offending” issue of the Western Standard, as have other distributors. There is clucking from the CBC and other mainstream media. Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress -- himself on record for saying that every adult Israeli citizen is a valid military target -- threatening action under Canada’s recklessly-written and selectively-enforced “hate” laws. And Canada’s new defence minister weighing in with the observation that Mr Levant’s publishing decision will endanger our troops in Afghanistan -- accentuating the danger by his very remark.

I was impressed with Mr Levant’s rejoinder to all this. “I’m a little afraid myself,” he said, “but fine, so deal with it. Get security or just be careful. ... I'm not so afraid that I'm going to sell out our heritage of freedom."

Let us call the biggest bluff, the biggest lie. It is being constantly argued, in defence of cowardice, that such cartoons must not be published because they might “incite hatred against Muslims”. I doubt even one disinterested person could believe this, after a moment’s thought. A cartoon cannot hold a candle on events like 9/11 in Manhattan, or 3/11 in Madrid, or the London tube bombings, or the many, many thousand acts of savagery that have been done in the name of Islam in the last few years.

It is fear that makes people speak the opposite of the truth -- in this case, the fear that mere cartoons may further “incite violence by Muslims”.

The whole point of Islamist terrorism has been to instil such fear in the “infidel dogs” of the West. The fear is forgivable. The cowardice is not. The hypocrisy and lying is contemptible. And then it is done smugly.

David Warren

© Ottawa Citizen

Next I sent one to the Minister of National Defence along with the David Warren piece.

Dear sir,

I was most disappointed with your view on the publishing of the "cartoons." As a retired Air Force officer I can attest that your view is not widely held by honest officers, my son is presently serving, and my fellow retirees. I have never seen such cowardice across this land in my life. I am amazed at the scope of of the national lack of spine.
You may have seen the following by David Warren but just in case, I include it. Have a read and then try to stack your reasoning against his. I thought we just got rid of The Libranos and were into an era of integrity, maybe I was wrong. If you need a little backbone straightening just talk to my friend Laurie Hawn. I would really like to see some straight shit out of you guys on the hill and not the usual politically correct sheep crap.

Per Ardua Ad Astra,

Ok, maybe I was a little harsh on a new minister, having been in office only a week, but my take on it is; "If you can't take the heat, don't give someone the blowtorch."

I nods to Relapsed Catholic for the Warren piece.


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