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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The editor of the Independent explains…

… that he is in the wrong line of work and so are his employees apparently.

The editor of the Independent has said “every instinct” told him to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons caricaturing the prophet Muhammad but described it as “too much of a risk”. The newspaper, along with the rest of the UK’s national press, did not reprint any of the satirical magazine’s caricatures of Muhammad or the cartoons from Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, with which Charlie Hebdo first provoked international outrage in 2006.

Rajan instead put a striking cartoon by Dave Brown on his paper’s front page on Thursday, showing a hand with the middle finger raised emerging from the cover of Charlie Hebdo. But he was “very uncomfortable” with his decision not to reprint Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons, which he described as “self-censorship”.

Rajan said he had a duty to his staff and had to “balance principle with pragmatism”.

Balance? I see ‘pragmatism’, which is to say, abject cowardice in the face of danger brought by republishing cartoons from Charlie Hebdo… but I see no ‘principle’ on display whatsoever, just some waffle designed to distract people from mentioning his ‘pragmatism’ smells a lot like chicken shit.

Je suis Charlie. But if you do not republish, then you are not, so it would be better if you just STFU Rajan.

 

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88 comments to The editor of the Independent explains…

  • Patrick

    Good for you Samizdata!

    JeSuisCharlie aussi.

  • Friday Night Smoke

    I was going to disagree here, but yes, it does seem entirely cowardly.
    Historically I can see the logic of not wanting to presumably deeply offend the sort of Muslims who aren’t violent dipshits, but that time is probably over now. There’s a necessary symbolism to publishing such things, it states “everyone’s fair game, including you, and that’s the way things are here”.

  • Watchman

    No-one is above satire, and no belief is sacred. Those who object to this are welcome to leave the country but wierdly never seem to want to do so – not sure what it is about the sort of regime where beliefs are sacred and the wrong speech can lead to death that puts those who object to insults to their religion or whatever off moving there…

  • Stuck-Record

    So they would presumably not print anything that the KKK would find offensive if the KKK were still in the business of dragging newspaper editors from their homes and murdering them?

  • Therefore, The Independent n’est-ce pas Charlie. It’s an insult to the dead to claim otherwise. “I am Charlie. But, er… I’m not actually going to do what they did, because, well, you saw what happened.”

    (Having said that, Brown’s cartoon is one of the best drawn in response to the murders. But it’s not enough.)

  • Cynwulf

    just some waffle designed to distract people from mentioning his ‘pragmatism’ smells a lot like chicken shit.

    It smells like what it is.

  • JohnM

    The link from the page with the cartoon take one to Jyllands Posten: the cartoon are not there

  • It disgusts me that any major media outlet has the nerve to spout ‘Je suis Charlie’ without also publishing the cartoons. What the fuck did they think those people died for? The right to share a hashtag? I am beyond disappointed. The cowardice is sickening.

  • The link from the page with the cartoon take one to Jyllands Posten: the cartoon are not there

    Er yeah. The second cartoons are from Jyllands Posten originally. Read the quote I am reacting to. The first is from Charlie Hebdo originally. It should not be that hard to figure out the reasons the links take you where they do.

  • It disgusts me that any major media outlet has the nerve to spout ‘Je suis Charlie’ without also publishing the cartoons.

    Yup.

  • Laird

    Notwithstanding the words of our Coward-in-Chief, the future does, and should, “belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” And to those who would mock or defame any other religious leader or icon or, for that matter, any political figure. Mockery is fundamental to effective criticism, and no one is above it. This world won’t be a safe place until we see cartoons in every publication which poke fun at religious figures.

  • Gordon Walker

    In France I have never seen anything like the amount of coverage since 911.
    I lost then three nights sleep.
    So far One and counting.
    The best comment I have seen so far is from Richard Fernandez of Belmont Club.
    It concerns the young woman who was forced at gunpoint to tap in the code that allowed entry into the Charly Hebdo building.
    “Do you think our elites won’t punch the door buttons to let the killers in to shoot us? They already have. They already have.”

  • Cowardice, and a stupidity that defies comprehension or excuse. Don’t these twerps understand that the only way to overcome this kind of terrorism and intimidation is a universal repudiation? (In this case, “universal repudiation” means that every media outlet should publish these cartoons — along with Chris Muir’s inspired cartoon.)

    What these Muslim punks don’t realize is that the more terrorism they inflict, the sooner the Great Repatriation draws near. Even in the United States, should this crap become endemic, I can foresee a time when Islam is redefined as a socio-political philosophy (e.g. Communism) and denied First Amendment protection. (There is a compelling reason to regard Islam in this manner, by the way, because of Sha’ria code — which au fond is clearly a political philosophy.)

    I thought Charlie Hebdo was a silly publication: basically, a bunch of Lefty progs being “daring” by poking fun at various institutions or races. But while it’s safe to poke fun at, say, Jews and the Christian Church, it’s clear that they ignored the liberal mantra: never poke fun at Muslims (or, the U.S., Blacks) — in other words, only satirise those who won’t bite back.

    Small wonder, then that the Independent would spell out said mantra. Stupid, cowardly tossers.

  • The Sanity Inspector

    Well done. I hope there are people in France who say Je suis Charles Martel, as well.

  • I feel I must be discordant here. After all, the editor of the Independent is not only putting his own life in his hands, but the lives of all his employees. Although he has to live with his own cowardice he presumably needed to weigh that against how he would live with himself if his offices were attacked next and his employees murdered.
    It cannot have been an easy decision to make.

  • Kim du Toit
    January 8, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    US Blacks might have a grievance or two that is legit:

    http://news.yahoo.com/nypd-officers-see-racial-bias-nypd-102028331.html

    And you might have hear this somewhere:

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    Bunch of guys took up arms over that and the search for contraband (among other things). In the US we have a special day of celebration. (Apologies to our cousins across the pond. But the debt both ways has been paid in blood. And for that I am eternally grateful.)

  • […] it comes to free speech, I don’t believe in yielding one iota to censorship.  I agree with Perry de Havilland that this approach […]

  • Patrick

    Kim,
    I really wish you would start blogging again. I miss the wit and wisdom and gun stuff.

  • Mr Ed

    So is the latest hashtag

    #I’llridewithCharlie (#Killmenexttime)

    or

    I’lldiewithCharlie (Andtakeyouwithme)?

  • Snorri Godhi

    I don’t know Rajan’s exact words in context but it seems to me that he could have made a good case for a “cowardly” stance as follows:

    We would like to publish the cartoons, but the UK government does not provide anything like the protection for free speech that is provided in France; and if people are murdered in France, then what chance do we have? Especially when we are not allowed to bear arms.
    Not only we don’t get protection, we would be demonized by the government and by our colleagues in the British media if we published the cartoons. Therefore we regretfully suggest that you read foreign newspapers, or Samizdata, if you are looking for anything resembling the truth on this and related issues.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Give it a week or two. And then….

    Oh, The grand old Duke of York,
    He had ten thousand men;
    He marched them up to the top of the hill,
    And he marched them down again.

  • Mr Ed

    The post asserts that the editor and his staff are in the wrong line of work. I agree, it is one thing to fail the test, another thing to snivel and weasel about it. Why didn’t he say something to the effect of: ‘I’d be scared of the consequences if we were to reprint those cartoons, I won’t stand up for press freedom against Islamist terror, and even if I were so inclined, which I’m not as the cartoons are so vulgarly chauvinist, it’s not PC to reprint those cartoons, so I won’t’.

    To publish here would take a man like Captain Kennedy RN who was killed on 23 November 1939 in command of HMS Rawalpindi off the Faroes, when caught by the Kriegsmarine’s Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, two battlecruisers against a converted ocean liner with no armour and WWI guns. He refused to surrender, but hoped to delay the emeny long enough to allow other Royal Navy ships to engage on more equal terms. His last words were reportedly:

    We shall stand and fight them both, and we shall be sunk, and that will be that. Goodbye.

  • M.Simon: I’m sick of hearing about profiling and how evil it is. Never mind that without “profiling” (a.k.a “generalization”), most mathematics and legislation become meaningless, as does policing. (When a child is raped in a neighbourhood, the police — rightly — begin their search for the rapist by looking first at registered sex offenders and not, say, at local college professors or ice cream manufacturers, because sex offenders will most likely yield a quicker result.)

    If Blacks want to end being profiled as criminals, then Blacks should address the fact that Blacks commit a disproportionate number of crimes — so of course they’re going to be profiled. Even Jesse Jackson, in a rare moment of candour, admitted that even he got nervous when approached by a young Black man on the street at night, because of course young Black men account for nearly all night-time muggings in any city.

    I myself profile people all the time, because a.) it’s worked for me in the past and b.) it saves an immense amount of time and wasted experimentation.

    Note that I’m not excusing the racial bias i the NYPD exhibited in the linked article — although with the NYPD currently having a White minority of serving officers, I’ll be curious to see how the pendulum swings, in future years.

    But hey: don’t accept the ranting of an elderly White man on all this; read what a liberal lawyer says on the topic.

    Patrick: Thankee for the kind words.

  • Poosh

    “abject cowardice” ??

    What about the safety of incidental employees, or families and children? It’s not as clear cut, and very difficult.

  • neal

    Profiling? That would be a place wherein somethings want to eat, or hunt, or enslave the weak, and confused. Almost like the world of human mentation. And actually, the real world, if one lives long enough to respond.

  • What about the safety of incidental employees, or families and children? It’s not as clear cut, and very difficult.

    No, never has the truth seemed more starkly clear to me. As I said they are in the wrong business. If you are fearful of pissing people off, do not be a journalist. DO. NOT. BE. A. JOURNALIST.

    Never has anything seemed more unambiguous to me in my entire life than this. I have never been more certain that there are no shades or nuances about this.

  • Regional

    It’s easy o brave when no one is shooting at you.
    I am Charlie Hebdo, what a load of self righteous wank, they’re noting but poseurs.

  • bloke in spain

    @Kim
    You are, of course, talking about the value of discrimination.
    When confronted by an unknown, discern whether the unknown can be assigned to a set of which there is experience & regard it as sharing the characteristics of the set, unless contradictory evidence becomes known.
    It’s an entirely rational & successful strategy.

    A minority of fungi are poisonous but all fungi should be regarded as potentially poisonous, unless clearly identified as non-poisonous.
    What any responsible publication on wild food gathering would advise.

  • Kim,

    Well the Germans profiled the Jews. And you know where that lead.

    How about going after actual crimes instead of this from the link:

    Before Officer Pedro Serrano joined the NYPD he says he was unfairly targeted by its officers. “As a Hispanic walking in the Bronx, I’ve been stopped many times, and it’s not a good feeling,” he told CNN last year. “As an officer, I said I would respect everyone to the best of my abilities. I just want to do the right thing.” After 9 years in uniform, he cited his youthful experience as a motivating factor in his decision to report a superior for ordering him to target “male blacks 14 to 21” for stop-and-frisks. “So what am I supposed to do: Stop every black and Hispanic?” Serrano said in a conversation that he simultaneously recorded on a hidden audio tape. “I have no problem telling you this,” his superior replied. “Male blacks. And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem to tell you this, male blacks 14 to 21.”

    =============

    More from the link:

    Around the same time, Adil Palonco, born in the Dominican Republic, was secretly recording his superior officers in the Bronx to document that “supervisors constantly harangued cops to hit quotas for arrests, summonses, and stop-and-frisks, even when it meant harassing innocent civilians who were doing nothing wrong.” A policy of harassing innocents in a disproportionately minority neighborhood inevitably led to a disproportionate impact on innocent blacks. (It should be said that harassing innocents would be wrong even if done equally to all races.) Stop-and-Frisk* also produced an ugly recording of an NYPD cop calling a mixed-race teen who committed no crime “a fucking mutt” and threatening to break his arm:

    =============

    What is with quotas for arrests? Aren’t there supposed to be actual crimes?

    =============

    You know. We used to have a 4th Amendment in this country. Until Reagan and Meese intentionally gutted it.

    =============

    Let us suppose that blacks are inherently more criminogenic. Say 10% of them are criminals. What effect is treating the 90% who are not criminals like criminals going to have on them?

    I predict a long hot summer. Because it has gone over the boiling point.

    ============

    We used to have a peace officer model for LEOs. Now they are just ENFORCERS and tax collectors for the State (look up asset forfeiture on suspicion – some depts have those assets as a line item in their budget – the police have become State sanctioned looters).

    ===============================================

    You might also want to look at another way the 4th Amendment is bypassed. Look up ” parallel construction “

  • The whole point is to stand up and wave it in the faces of the enemy, Regional (only some of whom are Islamists). Anyone who will not even do that is either useless or one of them.

  • Well to get back on topic. Eric wrote a good piece about the WOT.

    http://classicalvalues.com/2015/01/cant-have-both/

  • Vinegar Joe

    Where was the French outrage when a Jewish school in France was attacked?

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-17426313

  • Roue le Jour

    I’m not sure this is journalistic cowardice. There is a difference between calling Ronnie Kray a fat poof in print and endangering your own life, and antagonising people who will kill anyone in your building, including a whole lot of co-workers who are not journalists.

    What the paper should say, and make perfectly clear, is that they cannot print the cartoons because the government is unable to protect those co-workers from the consequences. Let the blame fall where it belongs. (As a minarchist I have no problem expecting the government to do the job I pay them for.)

    KimdT

    What these Muslim punks don’t realize is that the more terrorism they inflict, the sooner the Great Repatriation draws near.

    Entirely agree. The government’s “Nothing to see here” will eventually stop working. I’m not so sure about repatriation, though. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Europe ends up with it’s own West Bank or indeed Banks, of Muslims who can’t be trusted in civilised society.

  • Regional

    Roue le Jour,
    Surely your not suggesting banishment?

  • Roue le Jour

    I’m not suggesting, that is, proposing, anything. But I don’t believe Europe will fall to Islam, nor do I believe attacks will be tolerated indefinitely. I also think the western welfare states are unsustainable. When things start to get unpleasant I think those that can will leave, those that can’t will dig in.

  • @M. Le Jour (if that is your real name): France already has its West Bank. Here’s Dalrymple on the subject, written in 2002.

  • @M. Simon: Even if just to make a point, the Nazis’ treatment of Jews cannot be equated with police profiling of Black criminals in the U.S.A. This is Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson-style hyperbole, and I won’t debate you any further on the topic. I lived in apartheid South Africa, which is the kind of “profiling” you’re describing. Also, ich habe Dachau gesehen, so I’m extraordinarily touchy on the subject.

  • Where was the French outrage when a Jewish school in France was attacked?

    @Vinegar: But those are just Jews, and they won’t fight back against such atrocities. So: il n’y a aucune indignation, and the French would no doubt prefer that Jews go back to their “shitty little country” anyway.

  • Roue le Jour

    At your service, monsieur.

    And thanks for the link, I hadn’t seen that one.

  • PeterT

    The editor could perfectly well have sent an email to his staff giving them the heads up before going to print with the pictures, telling them to be more alert than usual, work from home if possible, or ultimately quit. Hiring extra security guards and putting another lock on the door are also classics. Sorry but the excuse is extremely thin.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    On a related note, the front page of Private Eye at the moment (which presumably went to press before the Paris horror) has a fairly tame item taking the piss out of Prince Andrew. A lot of its stuff is like this: the sort of material that might appeal to sniggering public schoolboys, etc. All jolly hilarious, but if you really get down to it, inconsequential. Okay, I am picking on the Eye, but that magazine is not really very fearless at all, and over the issue of Climate Change Alarmism, seems to side quite a lot (at least Ian Hislop, its editor does), with the alarmists, and has not really done much over the various scandals in that area (UEA emails, etc).

    It will be interesting to see if the Eye does anything more challenging next week. I am not holding my breath.

  • Color me among the disappointed – sorta kinda, as I did not have any great expectations to begin with. That said, sorry Perry, but I am not going to judge people who are scared for their very lives and maybe even the lives of their families for not manning the front lines of this war. With all due respect to SI, it is simply not big enough a media outlet, and so the personal risk of you putting these cartoons here does not begin to compare to that of the editors of something like the Independent. I don’t know you well enough, and maybe you would have risked your life and the lives of your employees were you in that position – I’m not sure I would have. I really would have to walk in his shoes before I pass judgement.

    Still, I am glad that we have blogs like this, Facebook walls and Twitter accounts, where we can make a stand with significantly reduced risk thanks to our relative obscurity, but where, OTOH, we have the strength of numbers (we are each of us small, but there are many of us – while the MSM outfits are still big, but few).

  • Mr Ed

    Given what appears to be a double hostage situation, the limits of freedom of expression in the context of a news blackout should be obvious.

  • Gene

    Alisa, I agree with you. If I were CEO of a large media organization with international reach, knowing that I could not protect the lives of at least some of my employees, it would be my duty to be wary of putting targets on their backs by publishing the Danish cartoons.

    What I object to isn’t the cowardice (or prudence if you want to use the language these news organizations would prefer), it’s the LYING about it that offends me. Why couldn’t CNN publicly announce that they won’t publish the cartoons because they are afraid of being killed? Why not make that announcement loudly and often? Such a course might actually be the most effective one of all.

  • Mary Contrary

    Alisa, I’m with Perry on this, 100%.

    It has become a bit trite, when bemoaning the latest infraction of our freedoms or other benighted government initiative, to complain “Previous generations fought and died to preserve these freedoms – why are we so diminished as to meekly suffer them today?”. But for once, nothing less will do. Previous generations volunteered to go to war to defy an essentially similar tyranny, and cheerfully answered a compulsory call to arms. Any man who would sought to shirk that responsibility was generally thought a weasel. None of them invited the rise of Hitler or the Kaiser, defying that menace was a duty thrust upon them. So it is today: we should all stand firm against the tyranny of Islamofascism. The men and women of our major media are simply in the wrong job if they are not willing to play their part.

    P.S. Anyone who has met Perry for five minutes knows him well enough to say, damn straight he’d put the cartoons on the cover even if he were running a much more popular, visible production more likely to come to the attention and provoke the ire of the Islamists.

  • Cal

    David Burge (Iowahawkblog) had a few apposite Twitter comments:

    ——————-
    I get why journalists are scared of offending Muslims. I just don’t get why they’re journalists.
    ——————-

    ——————-
    Stand up against the Charlie Hebdo massacre by drawing a sad cartoon of a bloody pen that won’t possibly offend anyone, or something
    ——————-

    ——————-
    Protip: drawing abstract weepy cartoons of broken pencils doesn’t make you Charlie Hebdo.
    ——————-

    ——————-
    Don’t bring a candlelight vigil to a gunfight.
    ——————-

    ——————-
    A retweet:
    Has it yet occurred to our intelligentsia that #CharlieHebdo became such a desired target BECAUSE ALL THE REST OF YOU TOOK A STEP BACK?
    ——————-

    ——————-
    I guess it’s time for American universities to bravely cancel some more Ayaan Hirsi Ali speeches.
    ——————-

    ——————-
    “I disagree with what you say, but I will totally go to the candlelight vigil when somebody kills you for it.” – Voltaire 2015
    ——————-

  • […] freedom of movement. Nor should we expect companies to support freedom. Those bloggers who have criticized newspapers for not reprinting Charlie Hebdo's cartoons miss the point – that people […]

  • I agree, Gene – but unlike maybe CNN or others, that is precisely what Independent did, as per Perry’s quote above. I say, fair enough to him. And again, I really have no idea what I personally would have done or not done in his shoes. I do know that I’m glad not to be in his position.

  • The men and women of our major media are simply in the wrong job if they are not willing to play their part.

    Sorry, but no, they are not – not all of them in any case. Their job is not to be heroes or soldiers or freedom-fighters or whatever (although when some of them do turn out to be that, it really is a great bonus to all of us), their job is to report the news, and most of them are still doing that. Yes, some of them are not, and some of them are going as far as lying and distorting the news – but not all, not even the majority. Most of them are just doing a job. They have responsibility to their employees and to their families. You and I and the rest of us are welcome to fight or not fight as we see fit, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling people who are not covering the machine gun with their own bodies cowards. YMMV.

  • I say, fair enough to him.

    I meant fair enough to the Independent editor.

  • I don’t know you well enough, and maybe you would have risked your life and the lives of your employees were you in that position – I’m not sure I would have. I really would have to walk in his shoes before I pass judgement.

    Then they should not be in that line of work.

  • Most of them are just doing a job. They have responsibility to their employees and to their families.

    No I do not see it that way. The Fourth Estate is not just another job like being a baker or a delivery driver. If they are not willing to make a stand, they are in the wrong business. They may not be soldiers but their job is indeed fighting on a different front line, and if they do not see it that way, I still say they are in the wrong business.

  • Here’s Dalrymple on the subject, written in 2002.

    Good grief! Eerily prescient…

  • If they are not willing to make a stand, they are in the wrong business.

    I think that era of journalism is long dead. Nowadays it’s throw soft-ball questions at politicians in return for “access” and unthinkingly publish press releases. Investigative or feather-ruffling journalism has gone the way of the dodo in the UK.

  • Mr Ed

    What I was tempted to read into the quote in capitals.

    The editor of the Independent has said “every instinct” told him to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons caricaturing the prophet Muhammad but (HE HAD NO INTENTION OF DOING ANYTHING NOT PC) described it as “too much of a risk” {HE HAD NO INSTINCT TO SAY ‘MURDEROUS THUGS MIGHT COME FOR ME AND I WOULD RATHER BE COWED INTO SILENCE THAN DO ANYTHING THAT MIGHT HELP, SAY, UKIP OR OTHER TRUE ENEMIES OF MY BELIEFS’. The newspaper, along with the rest of the UK’s national press, did not reprint any of the satirical magazine’s caricatures of Muhammad or the cartoons from Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, with which Charlie Hebdo first provoked international outrage in 2006. BECAUSE THEY FEEL THAT IT WOULD NOT BE PC TO DO SO AND IT IS ALL RATHER EMBARRASSING TO HAVE THIS SORT OF THING GOING ON, WE’D RATHER HIDE BEHIND A HASHTAG AND PRETEND IT IS NOT HAPPENING OR IS A FREAK EVENT.

    Rajan instead put a striking cartoon by Dave Brown on his paper’s front page on Thursday, showing a hand with the middle finger raised emerging from the cover of Charlie Hebdo. But he was “very uncomfortable” WITH DOING SOMETHING THAT MIGHT APPEAR ROBUST AND ‘RIGHT-WING’ with his decision not to reprint Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons, which he described as “self-censorship”. OH, LOOK AT ME CENSOR MYSELF, AFTER A JOE LIEBERMAN-ESQUE STRUGGLE WITH MY CONSCIENCE, RATHER THAN ‘TERRORISTS HAVE WON ANOTHER ROUND AND I WON’T COMPLAIN’.

    Rajan said he had a duty to his staff and had to “balance principle with pragmatism”. ABANDON ANY PRETENCE OF PRINCIPLES, BUT KEEP UP THE LIBERAL SANCTIMONY

    But I may be wrong.

  • If you don’t think Charlie Hebdo should have published the cartoons because free speech shouldn’t stretch that far, then say so, but then no ‘Je suis Charlie’. If you think they did have the right, but won’t publish them yourself now, then you were just hiding behind them all along, letting them take the bullets you were too scared to risk. Again, no ‘Je suis Charlie’.

    But if you post up ‘Je suis Charlie’, then you must publish them. If you wish, publish them with a comment that you do so not to insult Islam, but to assert your absolute right to free speech. But publish them.

    Don’t think for a minute that if nobody publishes the cartoons, the Islamofascists will leave us alone: “Abdullah, no infidels have published hateful images for several months.” “Excellent! Put your gun aside and start to build mosques and community centres!”

    Not. Going. To. Happen.

    For this is still just the thin edge of a very, very large wedge. Today they kill us for publishing incendiary cartoons. Soon it will be because we publish factual accounts of rape-gangs of Muslims in Rotherham. Then it will be because we do not publish articles condemning Jews. Finally it will be because we do not convert to Salafist Islam, or submit to living in Dhimmitude.

    https://jonathanabbott99.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/remembering-charlie/

  • Mary Contrary

    If they are not willing to make a stand, they are in the wrong business.

    I think that era of journalism is long dead.

    Well it shouldn’t be. If anyone is to find a backbone, first we need to call out those without one, rather than excusing them.

  • David Bolton

    Kudos to Perry for publishing the cartoons. I kind of wonder though that if any newspaper had published them if the Police would wade in heavy footed about ‘publishing material likely to cause offence’. It happened with a bad taste tweet about the Glasgow bin lorry deaths.

  • I was also shocked, shocked to see Steve Bell’s horrible cartoon in the Guardian. He was clearly suggesting the Charlie Hebdo attackers have some sort of connection to Islam. What a racist.

  • Well it shouldn’t be. If anyone is to find a backbone, first we need to call out those without one, rather than excusing them.

    I quite agree. But professional cowardice is everywhere, not only in journalism. I’m fighting my own little battles with it daily.

  • Gene

    Perry, even if I were to grant your assumption that journalists, if they choose to be in that line of work, have some kind of obligation to “make a stand” by putting themselves in harm’s way, many of the employees of large news organizations are not journalists! They could be receptionists, janitors, office managers, accountants, etc. Outside visitors to the newsroom (the FedEx delivery guy!) could be caught in the middle of an attack merely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. One suicide bomber getting into a position to take out some journalists could easily take out many others as collateral damage.

    I have no problem calling media who won’t publish the cartoons cowards. Being called that is unpleasant but seems a small price to pay if you really believe that your employees face real danger of attack.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Mary Contrary
    January 9, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Previous generations volunteered to go to war to defy an essentially similar tyranny, and cheerfully answered a compulsory call to arms.

    They didn’t, you know. At least in the case of Nazi Germany they did everything possible to ignore the warning signs, and the rationalizations they used were eerily like today’s with respect to Islam.

  • But if you post up ‘Je suis Charlie’, then you must publish them. If you wish, publish them with a comment that you do so not to insult Islam, but to assert your absolute right to free speech. But publish them.

    I agree with that – the ‘Je suis Charlie’ bit did tip it over the line and into the hypocrisy territory.

    Perry, I still disagree, but will leave it at that. Let’s just say that I have a rather less romantic view of journalism than you seem to have.

  • Mr Ed

    My Friday night tipples: A bottle of Lancaster Bomber ale on the 74th anniversary of the first flight of a Lancaster, and a glass of kosher Israeli wine, tributes to the fallen of the past and of today.

  • Cal

    >Perry, even if I were to grant your assumption that journalists, if they choose to be in that line of work, have some kind of obligation to “make a stand” by putting themselves in harm’s way, many of the employees of large news organizations are not journalists! They could be receptionists, janitors, office managers, accountants, etc. Outside visitors to the newsroom (the FedEx delivery guy!) could be caught in the middle of an attack merely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. One suicide bomber getting into a position to take out some journalists could easily take out many others as collateral damage.

    Make all the excuses you like. All you’re doing is declaring how soft the West has become. This has been noticed.

  • Indeed, Ed – cheers.

  • Paul Marks

    My friend Mr Ed told me about this.

    The editor of the “Independent” had cunningly got publicity for his rag by talking about publishing the cartoons – whilst NOT publishing them.

    Damn the “Independent”.

    Hypocrites – utter and complete scum.

  • Kim du Toit
    January 9, 2015 at 6:48 am

    Well I’m Jewish and from what I know it doesn’t start off all at once. There is a progression. Little by little. Maybe we will pull back from the brink. Maybe. But I have no tolerance for the progression. Even a little ways. It starts with dehumanization. The same thing the jihadis use. Not a Muslim? No a human. Fair game. In the US we like to do it by race. And just because you don’t like Al does not mean it isn’t happening.

  • Mr Ed

    Meanwhile, Private Eye rages about the sale of a statue by a museum in Northampton, dubbing the councillor responsible ‘Philistine of the Year’.

    The 4,000-year-old statue of Sekhemka, a court official and priest, was sold at Christie’s of London at an auction in July amid protests from the Save Sekhemka Action Group, which said it was the “darkest cultural day in [Northampton’s] history”.

    Satire is safe in the UK.

  • They could be receptionists, janitors, office managers, accountants, etc. Outside visitors to the newsroom (the FedEx delivery guy!) could be caught in the middle of an attack merely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. One suicide bomber getting into a position to take out some journalists could easily take out many others as collateral damage.

    By that logic, I assume the use of military force is also a no-no as what about the large number of civilian employees of the various armed services who might be targeted? This *is* what cowardice looks like.

  • I like this meme. Indeed, most media outlets are not Charlie, and my point is that they are not supposed to be – for better or worse.

  • and my point is that they are not supposed to be

    But my point is there are supposed to be or they are pointless. They are that or they are nothing.

  • I understand your point, Perry – it’s just that I happen to disagree 🙂 The way I see it, there are different branches of journalism – some do hard news, some do opinion, some do satire, some may combine all or some of the above, etc. Most media outlets are not doing satire, for all kinds of reasons. Let’s say in an ideal world there is a newspaper “X” that does strictly news, and nothing else. So on this Charlie Hebdo matter, as long as they actually report everything of substance, short of publishing the actual cartoons, they are doing their job properly. If they do publish them, then they are going the extra mile and more power to them, but I don’t think that they are failing their readers by not going the extra mile. If, OTOH, someone like the Onion or the Daily Mash fail to publish the cartoons, then maybe your point does apply to them. Or something like that.

  • Mr Ed

    Alisa, you may not be aware of the sanctimonious pomposity of the type of journalism that the Independent might be though of as representing, every reporter thinks s/he’s the next Bernstein etc.

    As I told Paul, almost no one in the UK knew who the editor of the Independent was until he popped up to wrestle with his conscience Joe Lieberman style before giving it a slam-dunk. I would find his attitude better if he had resigned in disgust at himself or promised to cut the crap next time.

    A bit like the writing on the wall in Belshazzar’s Feast.

    you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting

  • Ed, considering who the owner of the rag in question is, I will not at all be surprised if the editor of said rag turns out to be a perfect peace of scum. Still, my point is general (and so is Perry’s, it seems to me) – the quote from the Independent is just a useful hook on which to hang the general discussion.

  • Rob

    I can understand why they won’t publish them. There’s a very good chance their employees will be bombed, machine gunned or have their heads sawn off for doing so.

    What I absolutely detest is the Progressive self-love that they are transgressive and brave for attacking the Royals, or America, or Israel; sniggering at ‘Piss Christ’, safe in the knowledge that no-one will threaten them; and most of all, the deranged denial of the threat of Islamic fundamentalism while simultaneously explaining they cannot print the cartoons because of safety reasons.

    Next time the Independent, or another of their fellow travellers prints an article sneering at or attacking the usual Safe Targets and patting themselves on the back for their bravery, everyone should post the comment “Je suis Charlie” in response, and laugh derisively.

  • Rob

    BTW, by the time things get bad enough for our ‘vibrant and diverse’ boroughs to really kick off, there will be at least one Islamic nuclear armed power, probably Iran. They will make lots of vaguely threatening public statements in support of Muslim populations in the West.

    What do you think the response of Western governments will be?

  • nemesis

    From; http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2015/01/the-sinister-screeching-mob-who-want-to-kill-free-speech-and-no-i-dont-mean-the-islamist-terrorists-.html

    “As for freedom, here’s an interesting thing. The French Leftist newspaper Liberation reported on September 12, 1996, that three stalwarts of Charlie Hebdo (including Stephane ‘Charb’ Charbonnier) had campaigned in their magazine to collect more than 170,000 signatures for a petition calling for a ban on the French National Front party. They did this in the name of the ‘Rights of Man’.”

    Who knew!

  • Well, the march of national unity in France has gotten off to a flying start by excluding Marie Le Pen’s far right party, which garnered an awful lot of votes at the last election. National unity, indeed.

  • staghounds

    To be fair, publishing the cartoons in Britain would be a criminal offence.

    It is hilarious that Cameron goes to France to show his “solidarity” with people who did something for which his own minions would have arrested, prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned them.

  • Mr Ed

    We are told that this week’s editin of Charlie Hebdo will show Mohammed on the cover.

    Should that pass, then as Don Giovanni said ‘Archibravo!’.

  • Laird

    It seems that the editor of the New York Times also had the same faux-moral struggle and also came down on the side of hypocrisy and moral cowardice. Quelle surprise.