Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Fear. Capitulation.

This Bloom County cartoon was censored by the Washington Post.
(double click to see larger image, or click on this link)

Censored! As in "CENSORSHIP"!

What the?

This is America, DANG IT! This is THE WASHINGTON POST! THE WASHINGTON POST will not stand for censorship! The Washington Post will always stand up for the 1st Amendment...

- except in the Danish Cartoons case:

Whew, those were scary days - those Jihad guys might've followed us home and killed us!
Indeed. It's true. The Jihadis might've. WaPo was correct that publishing the innocuous Danish cartoons would have exposed WaPo's employees to some additional level of mortal risk.

However, its also true - for anyone with the sense to see through the smokescreen about the Danish cartoons being offensive - that WaPo made their fundamental belief clear:

Standing up for the principle of free speech is not worth exposing our employees' lives to additional risk. For the safety of our employees, WaPo is willing to capitulate on that principle.

In fairness, it was a tough and difficult moral decision. Yet, also in fairness, WaPo capitulated out of mortal fear for their employees. Let's be forthright about what happened: if the Jihadis were not murderous fanatics, WaPo would've made an editorial decision to print the cartoons. As it was, WaPo's readers did not get the full story, as the readers could not see the cartoons which were causing all the hullabaloo.

So, I oughtn't be surprised that WaPo censored Bloom County. Look at that cartoon: is it religiously offensive? No. Is it sexually offensive? No. It doesn't approach being offensive in any way which decent and typical Americans consider out of bounds.

Therefore: why did WaPo censor the cartoon?

a) Fear of offending the very Muslim fundamentalists WaPo has spent 5 years assuring us comprise a super small and not very powerful or influential minority of Islam.

b) Capitulation to the threat represented by that super small and not very powerful or influential minority.

WaPo is willing to be dominated and controlled by that "small minority". Remember that the next time media congratulate themselves for "bravely" doing this, that, or the other - such as "bravely speaking truth to power". Heh. Bravely speak truth to George W. and Dick Cheney... They threaten you, for sure. Journalism awards for everyone! Pats on the back all around! A toast! To courage!

If ever our nation's principles and beliefs are much-influenced by the elite opinion makers of WaPo, et al, our nation will then be near to collapsing from the inside.

Our only hope is for our citizenry to largely reject the opinions of our elites. William F. Buckley famously agreed, in his own unique style:

I would rather be governed by the first 2000 names in the Boston phone book than by the 2000 members of the faculty of Harvard University.

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