The Way Freedom of Speech Dies
Time magazine, anyone still reading it?, has a truly despicable piece by Bruce Crumley in which he basically says that “they had it coming” after a French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, was firebombed:
Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?
The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam. The Wednesday morning arson attack destroyed the Paris editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo after the paper published an issue certain to enrage hard-core Islamists (and offend average Muslims) with articles and “funny” cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed—depictions forbidden in Islam to boot. Predictably, the strike unleashed a torrent of unqualified condemnation from French politicians, many of whom called the burning of the notoriously impertinent paper as “an attack on democracy by its enemies.”
We, by contrast, have another reaction to the firebombing: Sorry for your loss, Charlie, and there’s no justification of such an illegitimate response to your current edition. But do you still think the price you paid for printing an offensive, shameful, and singularly humor-deficient parody on the logic of “because we can” was so worthwhile? If so, good luck with those charcoal drawings your pages will now be featuring.
Go here to read the execrable rest. Mr. Crumley is a perfect example of what usually passes for journalism in the mainstream media: politicized pleading for certain favored groups and craven toadying to those who pose any threat to his personal safety. The committment of too many modern journalists for freedom of expression for anyone who has the audacity to disagree with them, unless they wield bombs and knives, is paper-thin. I am pleased that the comments to this piece of ripe tripe have been scorching. I especially liked this one:
That is the whole point of free speech–even vile, ignorant, cowardly speech like Bruce’s is protected. And Time long ago slid into the progressive tarpit where the only worthwhile speech needing protection is their speech. Anyone else not so anointed–meh.