Thanks to Michael Miner for his item on the near-total U.S. press blackout of the anti-Islamic cartoons [Hot Type, February 17] and his distinction between profanity–one of the lame rationales of the Tribune for not publishing them–and blasphemy, striking at the core of religious faith and the actual reason for the worldwide furor over the cartoons.
But I’d like to see the Tribune, Sun-Times, CNN, or any U.S. mainstream media megalith offer some anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli cartoons and see how far they would get before editors and news directors were trying to pick up the pieces of their careers somewhere else, amid accusations of “hate” expression and religious bigotry and aggressive political pressure. Recall what happened to Andy Rooney after his rather innocuous remark about gays? And to Ted Turner after his Israeli “terrorism” remark?
If the mainstream press wants to show that its judgments are based essentially on political forces and their influence on revenues as well as careers with this contentious story, it is showing us yet another reason to instead choose the First Amendment and the Internet.