12. February 2006 · Comments Off on Counterpoints On The Mohammed Cartoons · Categories: General, Media Matters Not

Before condemning the US MSM over the Mohammed cartoon issue, we should take these counterpoints into account:

  1. Currently, Fox News, ABC News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Sun, and two other dead-tree pubs I can’t recall currently, HAVE published the cartoons.
  2. As journalists, we have a responsibility to act both as filters and aggregators. I very much believe in all the news that’s fit to print – much more so than we report, you decide.

    It would be both impossible for me, and damn boring for our readers, for me to post every factoid that comes across my desk. So I try to limit it to what I think might be valuable, as well as provide some context and analysis, in the hopes of providing a richer and more balanced worldview to those with far less time to devote to information gathering and processing as I do. In the case of those cartoons, in my opinion, most of them aren’t worth the column-inches they use up.

  3. And there is a place here for courtesy and consideration. There are certain of those cartoons – most particularly the one of Mohammed with a bomb on his head, which may be offensive to ordinary Muslims – not so much for the mere fact that they are a depiction of The Prophet, but the blanket pejorative nature. I wouldn’t publish those either.

In summary, so long as each individual/organization has the freedom to set their own standards of both quality and decency, we still have a free press. Unfortunately, those same individuals/organizations are also free to be mediocre, as well as free to be boorish and insensitive. However, as Thomas Jefferson said: “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

Update: The cartoons also appear in The Weekly Standard (which, like Fox News, is owned by News Corp.).

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