Freedom of the New York Press

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Not the most important casualty of the intoonfadeh, but an interesting one: a bunch of the editorial staff of Gotham freebie the New York Press resign in protest over their higher-ups refusing to print the offending cartoons. Editor-in-chief Harry Siegel wrote:

Having been ordered at the 11th hour to pull the now-infamous Danish cartoons from an issue dedicated to them, the editorial group–consisting of myself, managing editor Tim Marchman, arts editor Jonathan Leaf and one-man city hall bureau Azi Paybarah, chose instead to resign our positions.

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  1. I’m sure the New York Press will have no trouble replacing these free speech moralists with equally competent people who have no problem with a stance that chooses not to deliberately fan hatred.

    To be totally clear, I think any paper should be able to print these cartoons if they want to (assuming they don’t violate copyright). I also think the owner of any paper should have the right to not print offensive material if he/she wants to.

    I also stand by my statement from another H&R thread that: Maybe newpapers in all the world’s countries should republish the cartoons, then they can get back to killing innocent people regardless of country of origin.

  2. Maybe they just wanted an excuse to get better paying jobs flipping burgers.

  3. “To be totally clear, I think any paper should be able to print these cartoons if they want to (assuming they don’t violate copyright). I also think the owner of any paper should have the right to not print offensive material if he/she wants to.”

    since the editors didn’t burn down the building and chose to resign instead, i’ll assume that they agree with you.

  4. But will the “holocaust cartoon contest” be covered in full and reprinted? Enquiring minds.

  5. One amusing thing about libertarian forums is how we have to fall all over ourselves to explain that we fully support the right to do something, or to not do something, or to criticize it, or the right to criticize what you’re not doing, or the right to criticize those who criticize something, or the right to not criticize those who don’t criticize the ones who don’t do something that somebody else is criticizing, etc.

    I’d just like to point out that if you don’t agree with the paper’s decision on what to print you have the right to cancel your subscription. Just ask Mona if you need to know how that works.

  6. yet the NYT will not publish the cartoons but will publish TODAY (and again) a pic of Chris Ofili’s “Holy Virgin Mary” (dung one).

    Bravo for the New York Press walkout.

    This&That

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/08/arts/design/08imag.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  7. T,

    If it’s free there is no subscription. But point taken. Civilized people don’t kill each other over cartoons. But Muslim extremists are not civilized people. They’re barely human.

  8. Basically, I support your right to engage in any activity that involves any permutation of the following words and phrases: “do”, “not do”, “those who do”, “those who don’t”, “criticize”, “not criticize”, “something”, and “something else.”

  9. a stance that chooses not to deliberately fan hatred

    So knuckling under violent assholes who are motivated by hate is “choosing not to deliberately fan hatred.”

    I guess that’s one way to look at it. I might suggest that less knuckling under might lead to less hatred, in the long run. After all, we get more of what we reward, etc.

  10. “But will the “holocaust cartoon contest” be covered in full and reprinted?”

    all signs point to yes.

  11. It’s a non-story. Newspapers can choose to publish or not publish the cartoons and editors and reporters can choose to quit if they don’t like the decision either way. Now, if the editors decided to bomb the publishers over the decision, *that* would be a story!

  12. chooses not to deliberately fan hatred.

    Cartoons don’t fan hatred, religious nuts do.

    I think it’d be great if every major newspaper printed all the ‘toons and more. There’s no reason to be “sensitive” to childish idiocy.

  13. the paper is not printing the cartoons because they are (rightfully) afraid of vicious violence by fascist thugs. however, their arguing (as the NYT is) that it is a matter of principle is absurd. NYT for instance showed pictures of the dung stained virgin mary after it became a news item. why? because they did not fear reprisals. these cartoons are no longer an editorial issue. they are a NEWS ITEM. when a nazi thug spraypaints a swastika on a black church, do newspapers print the photos? yes. even though they are offensive. because they are NEWS.

    the NYT and the other papers that won’t print the cartoons are merely afraid. that’s fine. they have reason to be. but claiming that this is an editorial decision made out of “sensitivity” is LAUGHABLE. unless one accepts a ludicrous double standard of sensitivity.

    these cartoons are news. period.

    are they offensive? sure, to some muslims. that’s fine. but a real newspaper puts fealty to the truth, well above fealty to sensitivity in a case like this or is at least honest enough to admit they are doing this out of fear

  14. And yet “Beetle Bailey” continues to be published everyday. What kind of horrible world is this?

  15. Not to mention Garfield…

  16. It would renew my faith if Calvin & Hobbes came back. Otherwise, I might have to riot in the streets.

  17. Ditto what whit said on the editorial decision thing. The NYT should come out with a statement such as:

    “The New York Times has chosen not to rerun cartoons originally published in Denmark that some Muslims have found offensive because, frankly, we don’t want our building burned down, videotapes of our foreign correspondents being butchered showing up on the internet, etc. Can you blame us? Have you seen these nutjobs in action? Instead, here’s a Virgin Mary picture that some Christians have found offensive. Western Christians are often whiny squares, but they’re not usually destructive about it.”

  18. Well, I’ll say that at least they have enough chutspah to put themselves on the line and rise-up a bit instead of lying on their asses and complaining. I can admire them for putting the fear to cross them into various institutions around the world. If we could do that we might actually be able to preserve our essential liberties instead of just whining about them. The gov’t, for one, seems to regard it as some sort cute squealing from a hungry pup where they notice it, smile and go off about their business. If they had something to fear when they fucked-up things would likely be very different.

  19. they are murdering people, terrorizing people, and acting like vicious thugs. that is not chutzpah – it’s disgusting scumbag behavior.

  20. whit,

    I’m actually not a violent person would much prefer that they not do those things. Whether or not you call it by those names can depend upon which side you are on.

    Obviously, there are more civized avenues available (at this point) such as jury nullification which would be about as revolutionary as you could get right now without actually going out into the street and kicking ass. Yeah, I know, peaceful protests, etc., etc.

  21. Rats, I had just started reading The New York Press regularly again.

  22. they are murdering people, terrorizing people, and acting like vicious thugs. that is not chutzpah – it’s disgusting scumbag behavior.

    That’s a bit harsh.

    (I’m assuming you’re referring to the publishers of Beetle Bailey and Garfield?)

    (By the way, I’m surprised you nancy-boys can’t take a little Beetle Bailey and Garfield. You young punks don’t realize how sweet you have it these days. I remember Nancy and Sluggo… SHUDDER.)

    Incidentally, my hometown paper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch dropped a comic and was runnning old Calvin & Hobbes strips as filler on the comics page for a while.

    Then they replaced this with a “cute” strip called Doug Eat Dog, which, unbelievably, they introduced as “having some of the same style of wit and sensibility as Calvin & Hobbes.” (Or words to that effect.) Check out Doug Eat Dog and vomit all over yourself while pondering that surreal comparison.

  23. Nothing compares to Calvin & Hobbes. Bill Watterson should win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

  24. “I’m actually not a violent person would much prefer that they not do those things. Whether or not you call it by those names can depend upon which side you are on”

    false. calling them murderous scumbags depends on if you have a brain. it does not depend “which side you are on” unless you think being on the side of murdering people and rioting because somebody drew a picture that you found offensive is somehow justifiable. you would “much prefer” they didn’t “do these things?” you sound like you are discussing farting at the dinner table. we are talking wanton murderous violence over some pictures. get real.

    spare me the relativism. their side is not justifiable. you don’t murder innocents, riot, attack embassy officials etc. because some danish guy drew a cartoon.

    it’s wrong, it’s thuggish, it’s fascist, and it’s scumbag behavior.

  25. I agree with the New York Press not publishing the cartoons… put yourself in their position. If they publish the cartoons, the peace-loving muslims will get offended at the mis-characterization, and bomb New York Press the offices.

  26. *last line should have read:

    and bomb the New York Press offices.

  27. whit,

    I didn’t say their actions were justified over a cartoon. And you are right, you don’t murder innocents but it doesn’t seem like they feel anyone in the west is innocent. To them, anyone living in a way different from how they live is intolerable and justifies any action against the other. They would be far more justified in attacking the newspapers than the embassies though I doubt they consider a government that would allow the press to publish such images to be innocent.

    To me, attacking my freedom is intolerable and I cannnot tolerate their or anyone else’s attempt to deny me that freedom.

  28. Then again, spare me the absolutism…I can never not look at something just from within my own cultural bias despite my personal convictions.

  29. Scratch the “can never not look” (!) and substitute “prefer not to look exclusively”.

  30. Stevo,

    I popped over there and took a look at a few of of those “cartoons”, may God have mercy on my soul. They are every bit as bad as you suggest, but the newspaper’s comparison did strike me as apt. It’s clearly the anti-Calvin and Hobbes, a sort of twisted undead version with all of the humor and insight removed. A perfect statement for our times.

  31. Bob Z beat me to it.

  32. Even journalists who have faith in global warming ought to have misgivings about being forced to call a spade a club.

  33. you are truly amazing. typical of a moral relativist, but amazing.

    let me quote.

    “Then again, spare me the absolutism…I can never not look at something just from within my own cultural bias despite my personal convictions.”

    there IS a time for absolutism. here’s one. murdering danish people merely because some danish guy made a cartoon that you find offensive is thuggish, brutal, fascist, murderous and wrong.

    storming embassies, rioting in the street, and attacking innocents because some danish guy drew a picture you find offensive is thuggish, brutal, fascist, murderous and wrong.

    it has nothing to do with “cultural bias”. it has to do with basic morality.

    if you think that’s just cultural bias, then you are typical of those whose entire framework floats on nothing except relativism and comparative gobbledygook.

    slavery is wrong. that’s not “culturally biased”. there’s another one.

    i hope that helps

  34. whit,

    I agree, the reaction is not justified by the offense and I never claimed it was. In fact, I condemn it on the basis that the reaction does not fit the “crime”. It is not comparable to fighting in response to encroachment upon one’s civil rights and government intruding upon our personal lives. They probably believe their actions are justified, however, and will likely continue to think so.

    They do seem to be getting some of the results they want simply because they act out. Some are intimidated as a result. The media won’t publish because they are afraid. The government here publicly condemns the publishing cause they are afraid of heightened tension and backlash. Etc, etc.

    The second amendment doesn’t exist so we can talk about our right to own firearms and in a certain sense it is superfluous in a free society. A goverment attempting to disarm us should be met with arms, not complaints about them not letting us have our weapons, in principle.

    I still will attempt to see another point of view even if it is thuggish, brutal, fascist, murderous or wrong one much the same way I would try to understand why killing is appealing to a serial killer. That’s not relativism; that’s just trying to get inside their heads.

    I hope that helped back.

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