Thursday, March 20, 2008

Local media silent as Islamists threaten free speech

We can't rely on the local dailies---the Examiner and the Chronicle---to inform us with news stories of the latest outrage from the Moslem crackpots. We had to read the NY Times today to learn that these fanatics are still trying to kill one of the artists of the 12 cartoons that triggered widespread rioting and violence two years ago:

Last month the Danish police arrested two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan descent on charges of plotting to kill Mr. Westergaard, one of the 12 cartoonists whose pictures of Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten sparked protests, some of them violent, by Muslims around the world in 2006 and put bounties on the heads of Mr. Westergaard and his editor, Flemming Rose. Mr. Westergaard (he drew Muhammad with a bomb in his turban) has been in hiding ever since. Americans, for whom the presidential election seems to have become a delirious, unending sport, preoccupying their attention, turn out not to be the only ones who preferred to forget about the cartoons. So had many Danes and fellow Europeans. They were shocked by the arrests.

But at least the Europeans are waking up, since the 17 Danish newspapers that refused to print the cartoons two years ago have now published them in solidarity with Westergaard. The question here in Progressive Land is whether our local media will take any notice at all of the ongoing jihad against the western media. They seem to be operating on the assumption that this is strictly a European problem. Even the NY Times posted the story under an "abroad" head. Two years ago the Chronicle published an editorial against the attempted intimidation by the crackpots, while the rest of the local media---including the so-called alternative media, the Guardian, SF Weekly, BeyondChron, Left in SF---were silent. Only H. Brown, the Chronicle, and District 5 Diary spoke up for freedom of the press against the religious fanatics.

My assumption is that the Islamist war on western culture and freedom is not going away, and the local media might as well take their heads out of their asses now and deal with it. You can view the rather mild---by American standards---cartoons here.

The oh-so-progressive SF Bay Guardian was particularly lame on the issue two years ago, with Bruce Brugmann defending its failure to even mention it:

There are lots of issues we are "silent" on, because we are a small SF paper with limited resources and lots to say about lots of things, mainly local. More: people who know us would know our position. Which was and is that we thought the cartoon assignment was a pretty dumb and insensitive one, but we would support the paper's right to publish the cartoons. However, we would not publish them in the Guardian to make the point, because others were publishing them and they were available on the web. No point in adding gratuitous logs to the fire.

How are readers supposed to know the Guardian's position if it doesn't tell them? Maybe Brugmann could forego one of those sex display ads in the back of the "small" Guardian---the current issue has 80 pages---to make room for an editorial against this ongoing attempt to bully the media? Don't hold your breath.

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