More free speech fakers

From Editor and Publisher:

* National Public Radio decided not to even post a Web link to the cartoons. “The bottom line for me is that the cartoon is so highly offensive to millions of Muslims that it’s preferable to describe it in words rather than posting it on the web,” said NPR News executive Bill Marimow, the former editor of The Sun in Baltimore. “In this case, I believe that our audience can, through our reports — on radio and the web — get a very detailed sense of what’s depicted in the cartoon. By not posting it on the web, we demonstrate a respect for deeply held religious beliefs.”

* At USA Today, “we concluded that we could cover the issue comprehensively without republishing the cartoon, something clearly offensive to many Muslims. It’s not censorship, self or otherwise,” said Deputy World Editor Jim Michaels.

* According to an article in today’s USA Today, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller said that he and his staff concluded after a “long and vigorous debate” that publishing the cartoon would be “perceived as a particularly deliberate insult” by Muslims. “Like any decision to withhold elements of a story, this was neither easy nor entirely satisfying, but it feels like the right thing to do.”

Of course, Bill Keller and company don’t mind putting a picture of the Virgin Mary covered in shit in the paper again. Perhaps a few Catholic radicals need to behead Mr. Keller, then the NYT might realize that it is giving a “particularly deliberate insult” to Catholics.

It’s become inarguably obvious that these secular champions of the 1st Amendment are pansy paper tigers. They’re bold and brave enough when attacking a religion that instructs followers to turn the other cheek, but they suddenly find deep sensitivity and respect when a religion of the sword is involved.

The lesson? No atheist ever died for his religion.

Huhnscheisse media

From the editors at the New York Press:

The editorial staff of the alternative weekly New York Press walked out today, en masse, after the paper’s publishers backed down from printing the Danish cartoons that have become the center of a global free-speech fight.

Editor-in-Chief Harry Siegel emails, on behalf of the editorial staff:

New York Press, like so many other publications, has suborned its own professed principles. For all the talk of freedom of speech, only the New York Sun locally and two other papers nationally have mustered the minimal courage needed to print simple and not especially offensive editorial cartoons that have been used as a pretext for great and greatly menacing violence directed against journalists, cartoonists, humanitarian aid workers, diplomats and others who represent the basic values and obligations of Western civilization. Having been ordered at the 11th hour to pull the now-infamous Danish cartoons from an issue dedicated to them, the editorial group—consisting of myself, managing editor Tim Marchman, arts editorJonathan Leaf and one-man city hall bureau Azi Paybarah, chose instead to resign our positions.

We have no desire to be free speech martyrs, but it would have been nakedly hypocritical to avoid the same cartoons we’d criticized others for not running, cartoons that however absurdly have inspired arson, kidnapping and murder and forced cartoonists in at least two continents to go into hiding. Editors have already been forced to leave papers in Jordan and France for having run these cartoons. We have no illusions about the power of the Press (NY Press, we mean), but even on the far margins of the world-historical stage, we are not willing to side with the enemies of the values we hold dear, a free press not least among them.

Meanwhile, CNN is refusing to display them out of respect for Islam. Of course, as John Miller of NRO’s Corner has pointed out, it has no similar regard for Christianity or Judaism.

Perhaps Christians should take notes from this unsurprising, but signal lesson in secular pusillanimity and shoot a few artists, editors and movie producers. No doubt we’d be up to our necks in television shows about King David and movies about the Apostle Paul within months.

Only three newspapers are willing to cover a story accurately. I guess they weren’t all that willing to sacrifice their lives for their right to speak freely; what are the chances that they actually stand by that Voltairean flag they’re always waving?

Her fantasies

This Valentines Day, indulge her fantasies… SEX AND THE CITY: THE COMPLETE SERIES

I found this to be an educational advertisement, as apparently women’s fantasies primarily revolve around behaving in a totally conventional manner while presenting a falsely adventurous front to the world.

Sex in the City was rather like a hopelessly inept porn movie, where at the last moment, the clothes stay on and no one except the cautionary figure out of the traditional morality tale actually does anything but have missionary-style sex with the boyfriend. Thus, Charlotte and Miranda flirt with the idea of having threesomes but don’t, Carrie can’t have a fling without attempting to turn the mystified guy into a fixture and the eternal transgressor, Samantha, is punished with betrayal and cancer. Charlotte, we are given to understand, can’t even bear to give blow jobs, and Miranda, her inexplicable affairs notwithstanding, is about as sexually intriguing as a legal brief on import tax.

There are other fantasies, too, from the Beast’s inevitable taming in the end to the idea that a man will be so enraptured with a woman that he will leap from his younger, prettier new lover’s bed to rush to her side should she beckon. And then, there was the biggest fantasy of all… that four (presumably) attractive women whose primary connection was social would stay friends through thick and thin.

This was TV for the F/F – Friends Forever – crowd. What’s mystifying isn’t its popularity since escapist fantasy has always been popular, whether it is set in Manhattan or a Galaxy Far Far Away. What is mystifying is how anyone could take it seriously as a cultural icon, a guide to personal behavior or a realistic representation of modern American women.