Charlie Hebdo Massacre

Matt Welch on 'The Right to Offend'

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That Cabu was like SOOO racist! |||

This morning I appeared on WHYY Philadelphia's Radio Times program to talk about the Charlie Hebdo massacre and related free-speech issues, such as decisions by legacy media institutions not to reprint any of the newspaper's cartoons, and whether CH was really just a bunch of racisty racists punching down at people of different races (short answer: really?). My co-panelists were Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple and Philadelphia Inquirer cartoonist Signe Wilkinson. You can now listen to the whole lively conversation at this link.

Reason on Charlie Hebdo here.

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  1. Really, how is it possible to avoid offending someone when you publish? There is almost no position you can take without someone being pissed off about it.

    When speech can actually damage someone, based on lies that besmirch the reputation of someone, that’s actionable. Otherwise, the proper response is always to address (or not address) the speech in the marketplace of ideas.

    1. I’m offended by your ridiculous use of italics.

      1. Be thankful I don’t have the power of the blink tag. I had it here once, then they quickly recoded.

        1. There’s an article in the most recent Aerospace America about deadly comets. I will update you on whether we need to sue for patent infringement once I get a bit to actually read it.

          1. Are they talking about accidentally deadly or intentionally deadly?

      2. Your use of the word ridiculous triggers me; I was mercilessly gang-mocked by some people in college who used the r-word.

        I’m offended that you didn’t put a trigger warning on your comment.

        1. I’m offended that you used the second person singular pronoun. I’m plural!

    2. And I’m offended by your coarse and vulgar language. Why must anyone say “p—” instead of “micturate” or at least fucking “urinate”?

      1. Please send all complaints about my comments and their offensiveness to Matt Welch. But for him, I wouldn’t be enabled to offend you.

  2. I’m hoping someone quoted Stephen Fry during the broadcast?

    “It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.”- Stephen Fry

    1. Obviously Fry is RACIST!

    2. I’m really offended that you don’t seem to grasp that being offended is about protecting the children.

  3. Really hope more people read that Tonneau blog. American characterization of Hebdo has been ridiculous.

    1. This quote from the Tonneau link sounds quite similar to Michael Moore’s incomprehension that the 9/11 terrorists targeted the blue state Americans instead of the red state ones.

      This being clear, the attack becomes all the more tragic and absurd: two young French Muslims of Arab descent have not assaulted the numerous extreme-right wing newspapers that exist in France (Minute, Valeurs Actuelles) who ceaselessly amalgamate Arabs, Muslims and fundamentalists, but the very newspaper that did the most to fight racism. And to me, the one question that this specific event raises is: how could these youth ever come to this level of confusion and madness? What feeds into fundamentalist fury? How can we fight it?

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