Archive for February, 2006

The rage over the depiction of the Prophet Muhammed in various cartoons published in European newspapers has brought even more support, as additional European papers print the cartoons, fueling the dispute with Muslims.

From France (surprising considering their most recent riots) to Germany, the conservative Die Welt printed one image on its front page; in Italy, the Turin daily La Stampa and Milan’s Corriere della Sera published the 12 cartoons; in Spain El PeriĆ³dico published the 12 cartoons; in Switzerland, the Swiss newspaper Blick published two of the cartoons.

All of which puzzles me. The US, the most prominate example of free speech on the planet, has one of its media outlets, CNN, practice a rather odd form of freedon of expression and speech.

Recall the recent controversial cartoon published in the Washington Post depicting a maimed US service member in bed with both arms and legs amputated. The cartoon drew rebuke and protest signed by all 6 members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

CNN, having a zero tolerance policy with regard to possession of a sense of decency, gleefully splashed the cartoon’s image over both its US outlets, and over CNN International for its world-wide audience.

No problem, no harm, no foul. It’s their editorial decision to run it and I don’t have to agree with it.

But… CNN and CNNI both aired the 12 cartoons of Muhammed but blurred the images making them indiscernable. CNN said the Muhammed images were blurred, “so as not to offend some members of the audience.”

Frankly I’m far from surprised, they kept silent about atrocities in Iraq to preserve their access to Saddam’s country, selling out is what they do best. But it raises a question, is the CNN acronym as accurate as it once was? Maybe the Craven News Network would work. Or possibly the Capitulation News Network?

The fact that film maker Theo van Gogh was murdered in the street for attempting to address truths about the treatment of Islamic women, and that Salman Rushdie had a Fatwah placed on him for the crime of writing a novel with references to Muhammad … should surely embolden European editors to take a stand on freedom of the press issues. The message from any surrender is clear – “threaten and intimidate us enough and we will apologize and comply”.

I also recall President Bush very early on emphatically stating the War on Terror was not a “clash of civilizations.”

It would be very hard to prove otherwise in light of the current situation isn’t it?

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