Comics

Garry Trudeau on Charlie Hebdo: 'At Some Point Free Expression Absolutism Becomes Childish and Unserious'

Doonesbury's creator accuses the French satirists of publishing 'hate speech' and 'crude, vulgar drawings.'

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The character on the right works for the Iranian government. The strip is from 1979, a time of rising theocracy in Iran—and rising Islamophobia in the U.S. Punching up or down?
Garry Trudeau

Like Doonesbury itself, Garry Trudeau's speech yesterday at Long Island University was entertaining at the beginning but eventually became tedious and smug. After opening with some funny reminiscences about his early struggles with unsympathetic editors, the cartoonist tried to tackle the topic of the murders at Charlie Hebdo. He did not take the position you might expect from a professional satirist. "Freedom should always be discussed within the context of responsibility," he lectured. "At some point free expression absolutism becomes childish and unserious."

Trudeau's talk took its turn for the worse halfway in, when he offered a garbled account of the Muhammad cartoon controversy of 2005. "Using judgment and common sense in expressing oneself were denounced as antithetical to freedom of speech," he told the audience. I seem to remember some responses to those cartoons that were more clearly antithetical to freedom of speech, including death threats and assassination attempts. Trudeau alluded to some of this, but he blamed the speakers, not the censors: "Not only was one cartoonist gunned down, but riots erupted around the world, resulting in the deaths of scores. No one could say toward what positive social end, yet free speech absolutists were unchastened."

And then he got to the massacre in France. Right after the killings, you may recall, an instant take was available for Charlie contrarians: You accused the outfit of hate speech, suggested it was "punching down," maybe pointed to some images that supposedly proved what a racist outfit the weekly was. This critique grew less tenable when people more familiar with the paper provided context for those cartoons and explained the anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment outlook that fueled them. The discussion left room for people to like or dislike the humor in Charlie's pages, but at least they knew which way it was aiming its punches.

Unless they didn't pay attention. Then they ended up like Trudeau, stringing together phrases that feel even more stale now than they did in January: "By punching downward, by attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority with crude, vulgar drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons, Charlie wandered into the realm of hate speech."

But the biggest problem with Trudeau's talk isn't whether he got the paper's politics right. It's that he mixed up the debate about whether Charlie's politics were any good with the debate about how free it should be to express them. "Writing satire," Trudeau concluded, "is a privilege I've never taken lightly." But we should never think of satire as a privilege. We should see it as a fundamental right open to everyone, regardless of taste or talent. And while the defense of that right does not oblige you to embrace the content of anyone's speech, your critique of someone's speech in turn need not become an attack on the speaker's liberties. By turning his discussion of Charlie Hebdo into a denunciation of "free speech absolutists," Trudeau crossed that line.

Bonus links: The decline of Doonesbury. A better response to the killings from Robert Crumb. Some "crude, vulgar drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons."

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  1. “Garry Trudeau on Charlie Hebdo: ‘At Some Point Free Expression Absolutism Becomes Childish and Unserious'”

    Pretty sure this is an admission that Trudeau is simply a coward; unwilling to take a stand that endangers him.
    He’s willing to (direct his staff) to attack those who have no desire or ability to to threaten either of them; he’ll take the easy shots and invent reasons to avoid any danger at all.
    Hey, he’s an old fart, rolling in dough and A-list invitations! Why should he take any chances based on principles? Life’s good!

    1. No, no, it just means he has no principles and no rational argument against those who do. That’s why he goes to the ad hominem. Just like Tony.

    2. No it is an admission he is a fascist

      1. Fascist is just another word for orogressive.

    3. one of the many things that bothers me about the pro-assassin talking points is the phrase “punching downward”. The metaphor seems designed to conflate the cartoons with a violent act; subtly arguing that the assassinations were somehow self defense.

      1. also, thats an amazingly hypocritical Doonesbury Reason managed to find. trudeau is such a schmuck.

      2. I hate the phrase because it brings SJW thinking into the world of humor, dividing everyone into “oppressors” and “victims” and claiming the former can never make jokes about the latter.

        And for a “powerless minority,” Muslims sure do control a lot of countries and have a lot of oppression and death on their hands.

        1. The whole idea of ‘oppressive classes’ is a big pain in the ass, as is any attempt to dissociate ‘oppression’ from particular acts of oppression. White people are not eo ipso oppressor, nor minorities eo ipso oppressed. Otherwise, they’re basically arguing that only Chinese people should be allowed to criticize the oppressive Chinese regime, which they can’t very well do because, ya know, the regime doesn’t let them.

          And I wonder what Trudeau has to say about female circumcision. White westerners criticizing African culture, wow, that’s some serious punching down there.

      3. I used to read Cracked pretty regularly – though less-and-less as the humorless SJWs gradually replaced the old guard. Then one day an article began with the sentence “the first rule of humor is to never punch down.”

        I bellowed, “no, the first rule of humor is to BE FUNNY, asshole, and you aren’t!”, closed the tab, and never went back.

    4. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
      http://www.work-mill.com

    5. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……
      http://www.work-mill.com

    6. Yest another indication that the SJW crowd cares about “equality”, but not “liberty”.

      They’re not necessarily the same things.

  2. a powerless, disenfranchised minority

    Shorter Trudeau: “Animals with no agency.”

    1. It’s such a fashionable racism, though!

  3. ‘At Some Point Free Expression Absolutism Becomes Childish and Unserious

    And 3 guesses as to who Gary has in mind do determine what that point is. What an asshole.

    1. You will obey. And you will laugh at state-approved humour.

  4. “At some point free expression absolutism becomes childish and unserious.”

    In different words, Trudeau is saying that free expression should be regulated by government, and that government should prohibit speech that it believes offends religions. Of course, “religions” only refers to a smattering of beliefs that is actually established and recognized by the government. Trouble is, Europe tried to make that work for a couple of centuries, and it never did.

    Trudeau is a moron. But, of course, that was clear from his cartoons already.

    1. “At some point free expression absolutism becomes childish and unserious.”
      In different words, Trudeau is saying that free expression should be regulated by government, and that government should prohibit speech that it believes offends religions”

      If that is not the intent, I’m having a hard time imagining what it might be. And I’ll presume that crap-sack hoped the comment was so opaque people might imagine he meant other than what he said.
      Suffice to say, Trudeau has no interest in free speech and is a coward besides. A lefty, end-to-end.

      1. Wonder if Trudeau believes a bakery should be forced by the state to bake a gay wedding punching down cake.

        1. Well, as long as gay bakeries are forced by law to bake Catholic wedding cakes, I think it’s only fair that Catholic bakeries are forced to bake gay wedding cakes. Abolish both legal obligations and you got a deal.

      2. No, Trudeau thinks free expression should be regulated by people killing the shit out of those with whose speech they disagree; as long as it’s oppressed brown people punching up at white oppressors, of course.

  5. Does l’affaire Trudeau warrant any commentary beyond “Christ, what a cunt”?

    1. It doesn’t require one, but it’s another great example of elitist bigotry as has been pointed out repeatedly. Call it catharsis.

    2. No. Perfect response.

    3. Gary Trudeau is desperately clawing at whatever remains of his relevance. He’s giving these little bon mots because he knows he’s one step away from being a commenter on the next “I Love the 80s”.

      He reminds me of the Violent Femmes. Like ten years ago, maybe a little longer, they played some festival. During the height of their set, the lead singer yelled something like, “And fuck Reagan!” Problem was, this was the Aughts, and the fashionable left had moved on to Bush. Nobody in the crowd could read during the Reagan presidency, much less have a visceral reaction to it–or the Violent Femmes, apparently. They may as well have shouted tirades against Harrison or Filmore.

      1. Or that goddamned Van Buren!

  6. OT: why we rock

    I just came back from dinner with a couple of lefty friends. Good guys overall, one of them more politically vocal than the other. The vocal guy started complaining about Rand Paul with criticism so banal that I actually asked him if he got emailed Democrat talking points.

    I enjoyed twisting him into knots with the knowledge that greenhouse gas emissions in the USA are far ahead of goals — his answer: ‘really? that’s awesome” — only to see him struggle after I hit him with the punchline that it’s all due to fracking.

    On the way home I realized something that I really enjoy about most posters here and, from what I’ve encountered, libertarians in general. So many on the right and left aren’t really very well informed — their typical response to most things are to parrot the party lines they’ve been told, and they are usually unable to go any deeper into an issue than those party lines. But I’ve yet to meet a self-described libertarian who had not only developed an understanding of important issues, but also clearly had thought out personal opinions on each.

    It’s one reason that the comments section on H&R is so enjoyable, with truly informative and well-based discussions (except for a few individuals and we all know who those are.) It’s so refreshing to be debating with libertarians, especially if you go on to newspaper sites or political blogs and see 80% of the comments being variations on ‘you suck — no you suck’.

    Happy Saturday night — you rock!

    1. +1 Life outside the bubbles

    2. I don’t post on other news sites because the comment sections are just cesspools (usually reflective of the quality of writing you’re seeing in the articles themselves, as well).

      Something else should be said about the willingness of libertarians to engage in debate even with the likes of Tony and Buttplug/Shriek. Or the fact that Reason, whether out of penny pinching or actual ethics, doesn’t moderate the comments so you can say whatever you want. A moron like Bo complains that people with minority views are insulted, but people still engage more often than not (even after warnings, and many of the people who warn not to still do it) which is a positive to me. The comment sections here aren’t perfect, but they are usually productive, informative, and entertaining.

      You go to a lot of places on the internet and you challenge the hive thought, you are likely to just get banned regardless of whatever rules the place actually has and regardless of whether you’ve violated them.

      1. I am going the same way. Argument on the typical prog site consists of name-calling, talking point recitation, and other blather so mind-numbingly stupid and/or in bad faith that the luster wore off quickly.

        1. Same thing on the conservative sites, only with Bible verses included. 😛

    3. Well those on the left and right think just like you. That theyre so well informed and that all their conversations are so intellectually sound, and that everyones opinion except their own or those like theirs is moronic. This site can be an echo chamber as well, and there are plenty of those who would make the very “no you suck” argument here as well. But at least libertarians understand that more government is definitely not the solution.

      1. I can’t factually prove the readers here are better informed. I could simply post links to Breitbart and Salon articles and let people read the comments for themselves, but we’ve all seen it. If you can honestly take a look at many of the other news sites and honestly say that the average commenter (average being the key) puts as much thought into their post as many of those here do…

        Conversely, how many climate change ‘deniers’ are found writing on Slate? How many global warming alarmists write on Breitbart? Weekly, Bailey posts an article trying to convince Reason’s audience of the science. How many of the readers complain bitterly about Shikha’s immigration articles? How many different positions do you find on abortion? How about the differences taken to freedom of association seen among the writers?

        All of this is to say you didn’t form much of an argument. Just saying that those guys think the same about themselves isn’t an argument. It doesn’t debunk what I said. Nor did I say every comment here is gold, but in my opinion the dialogue here offers more by a large degree.

      2. I’m not so sure that’s true. I think most people including myself were once apolitical in many ways. Unless you got involved at an early age, few people care about politics enough to have strong enough beliefs to discuss. Not many people have a developed political philosophy, and this site is obviously only attractive to those who do. I may not agree with Limbaugh, or Rachel Maddow but they have thought about their positions. They can explain them, there is a reasoning to what they believe, even if I think it’s stupid. But libertarianism is too small to attract low information people. If they are low information they haven’t even considered libertarian philosophy, or probably any other. The major parties are stuck with low information players by default.

        1. As I always say ‘people are stupid’.

        2. Point taken. As a high-schooler in the late 80s, well aware of the political world around me, I was perplexed that there wasn’t much in the way of social-conscious music compared to the Woodstock era. At that point, of course, it was mostly mind-numbing pop and metal. I gravitated to the burgeoning rap world as a result, and groups like Public Enemy, BDP and NWA ruled my stereos. Later on I would discover Metallica and Anthrax as well. People thought I was crazy that I wasn’t just another carefree teenager. I guess they had a point too. :/

      3. Well those on the left and right think just like you. That theyre so well informed and that all their conversations are so intellectually sound, and that everyones opinion except their own or those like theirs is moronic.

        See, I don’t quite agree with this argument. I think people who consider themselves libertarian tend to actually really enjoy argument and are able to back up their arguments with facts and citations. I have never argued with anyone on this site about any subject who wasn’t able to provide citations or evidence for their arguments (except, obviously, for actual trolls).

        You can objectively tell whether an argument is intelligent or not even if you disagree with it. When I disagree with someone in the Rawstory comment section, generally they haven’t bothered providing any evidence for why they’re right.

        1. it’s not an argument. It’s tu quoque.

        2. I seem to recall there being cases where at some point one disputer was too drunk to be able to provide his evidence.

      4. The difference is that here I can actually learn something in the comments.

        I’m yet to find another board that has such a wealth of knowledge, particularly in economics and philosophy.

        1. You are welcome.

  7. Cartoons are clearly no place for “Childish and Unserious” speech.

    1. “You can’t fight in here, this is the war room!”

  8. Oh and speaking of thought police: Gawker

    Arrest Climate-Change Deniers

    Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate-change liars.

    1. My favorite response to the article: Oh, but, to be clear – I agree that Rush Limbaugh, et al, should be arrested. Free speech isn’t absolute, and, when it has a demonstrable negative impact on our society, it should face criminal sanction. Europe has figured this out. Why can’t we?

      I’m fascinated by the American left’s fascination with what Europe is doing, the way they throw around words like ‘civilized’ to describe it when claiming we need to emulate them (apparently not a microaggression against other cultures), all while simultaneously making excuses for the actions of minorities that are extremely patronizing. Like, let’s not look at the actions of the disenfranchised minority that slaughtered Charlie Hebdo staff, but instead focus on the speech that riled them up…

      Then I’m reminded of how imperialism has been replaced by good, white progressives (‘experts’) going to poorer countries to help. And by help, I mean educate them on how everything should be done all while trying to trumpet cultural diversity and relativity.

      1. You missed the best part:
        Ideas thinking people agree are bad or destructive should be criminalized.

        Presumably, this is coming from someone who believes themself to be a “thinking person”. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

        1. “Thinking people” means “those in power”. Always does.

      2. free speech is not absolute

        That scares me.

      3. Europe had figured this out, and that is why it had been a continent of religious and ethnic tolerance, peace, and social harmony for centuries, as opposed to the US, whose states teeter tottered between fascism, socialism, monarchies, and the occasional unstable democracy, until the Europeans occupied us and taught us how to be free. Right? /sarc

        Yeah, Europe and China have been civilized for centuries. Civilization obviously isn’t that great. I hope the US will not become civilized.

      4. “Free speech isn’t absolute”

        It’s like words don’t mean anything anymore.

    2. Fuck Gawker. Those assholes should be in jail for stealing that iPhone prototype.

      -jcr

    3. Fucking tyrants.

    4. I would like to think that nobody takes Gawker seriously.

    5. The sad thing about stories like this is that people like the imbeciles at Gawker never assume the screw will turn. If the standard of political debate is that you can jail people you disagree with for “lies (that) contribute to people’s deaths”, how long do they think it would be before their own political stances become “lies (that) contribute to people’s deaths”?

    6. And people wonder why I own guns…

    7. It’s incredible this moron actually cited Italy’s case of putting those scientists in prison as if it was a good thing. It’s not.

      1. Well they’ve got a lengthy tradition in that.

        1. Lengthy? I thought that was the first case.

      2. They were th second option behind Amanda Knox.

    8. “Yes, a thousand times yes! This is one of the best things I’ve ever seen posted on Gawker.”

      “And once we’re done arresting them, can we also arrest all the bankers that took part in the financial meltdown? And those that have perpetuated the myth that vaccines are bad for children? And finally put Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Powell on trial for war crimes? I also want a unicorn. One that shoots rainbow-colored lasers out of its ass. Since, y’know, we’re talking about wish-fulfillment that will never, ever happen.”

      They’re evil.

      How are any different than witch hunters?

      1. There’s a better solution. Just build a huge fence around the country and we can all be in jail.

  9. My god, Doonesbury was irrelevant by the time I got to college (late 80s) – maybe it was remembered as being “hip” with one’s older siblings if at all. I can’t imagine today’s college students even knowing what it is (was?).

  10. Trudeau is just has to exercise that chip on his shoulder because he’s the less funny version of Berkeley Breathed.

    1. ^THIS THIS THIS!!!

      Bloom Muthafuckin’ County! Breathed has and always has had a much tighter grip on how to use absurdism, and just generally how to create satire that was actually entertaining. Trudeau’s problem has always been that he takes himself and his opinions so seriously that he comes off as boring and preachy. That might be forgivable but for the fact that his stances are pretty much just whatever the leftist readership of the Washington Post felt strongly about that week.

      At first I was annoyed when WaPo moved Doonesbury to the op-ed section because it was just so typically self-important of the paper and the strip. Then I was just happy that it got out of the way of far more entertaining comics.

      1. Not just boring and preachy, but smug. The sort of smugness that oozes from John Stewart and the Daily Show: “We are so superior and we all agree our political enemies are just d?class?.” Breathed could do political humor without the smug self-righteousness of Trudeau.

        1. Bloom County was my favorite comic growing up. Not many cartoonists can really walk that political line today without degenerating into full-on “our side rules, your side sucks” drivel. Darrin Bell and Scott Stantis are among those doing the best job with the balancing act.

      2. For an example, look at the difference between the way Bloome County and Doonesbury handled the Bernard Getz story. Opus walloping a mime with onion loaf was much funnier than Doonesbury waving a gun in the subway.

  11. Hat tip Irish with an assist from Bo’s incessant bitching.

    Incidentally, I think Walker missed the most offensive part of this sort of argument – the idea that somehow Muslims are not fully responsible for their actions and are just little robots that react to the inputs forced on them by the white man.

    Or how about the other horribly offensive part – the fact that this reward he was accepting was named for George Polk, who was shot to death during the Greek civil war, though it is unclear by who. I guess Polk shouldn’t have punched down against the murderers on both sides of the Greek civil war, according to Trudeau’s logic. The slut shouldn’t have worn such a short skirt, huh Garry?

    1. I actually laughed when I saw the headline for this article. The first thing I thought of was Bo and you in the other thread. He’s gonna see this tomorrow and have head explosions.

    2. That’s just proof they read the comments. Bo is gonna have to whip out the sophistry.

    3. So now this makes 3 different sources, and additional context, for Trudeau’s quotes. I wonder if I’m now permitted to be disgusted with Trudeau.

      And I’m giving myself a hat tip because Bo pretty much perfectly aped my Bo parody (Borody?) from earlier in that thread.

      1. Why must we always summon the Botard?

    4. Even funnier was Bo’s indirect admission that he has horrible reading comprehension skills. You posted this:

      Charlie wandered into the realm of hate speech, which in France is only illegal if it directly incites violence. Well, voila?the 7 million copies that were published following the killings did exactly that, triggering violent protests across the Muslim world, including one in Niger, in which ten people died.

      To which Bo replied:

      Bo Cara Esq.|4.11.15 @ 4:27PM|#

      You assumed quite a bit at the time, yes. I think you might be assuming something today too. Does Trudeau say the French state should punish those that criticize others who then respond with violence? I don’t see that in your excerpt.

      reply to this

      Bo might make it through law school by towing the proper lefty/PC lion for the professors to paper over his lack of critical thinking skills, but is going to get steamrolled by the real world.

      1. I guess I should have read all the way down the thread before posting. That moron is making the same argument below.

        1. Perhaps you can point out where Trudeau calls for that in either that excerpt or the entirety of his remarks? Saying that something is punishable is not saying it should be. That’s one of those little lefty law school reading tricks I’ve learned I guess.

          1. curiously, nowhere did Trudeau condemn the actual violence. I’m not sure if that worse than his nonsense on “free speech absolutism” but it’s not far.

          2. That’s the problem: Trudeau isn’t saying anything specific, he’s just trying to make himself appear morally and intellectually superior.

          3. Bo, for progs thought equals law. However they feel about something should be enforced by the rule of law. Don’t you know that?

      2. Problem is, my fear this mentality will be the rule rather than the exception in the ‘real world.’

        How long before, for example, will we put ‘deniers’ in prison regardless if it’s based on laughably false premises?

        If they keep repeating it, someone WILL believe it. It’s how myths begin.

        Look at the ‘97% of scientists agree’ crap.

      3. A law degree, in some ways like a medical degree, isn’t proof of intelligence. It’s simply documentation that a person was able to memorize facts and show up on time for several years. Many if not most of the lawyers I’ve met have damn-near eidetic memory but couldn’t think outside of the box to save their own lives. Dumb as a bag of hammers, frankly.

        1. I remember my cousin (a real life lawyer like Saul; may he RIP) telling me years ago, detectives weren’t as smart as you see on TV. In fact, he pretty much loathed them they were ‘so dumb’ in his view.

      4. At least they didn’t print the one that when viewed will cause Muslims around he world to explode in a violent bursts of radiant energy.

  12. “Freedom should always be discussed within the context of responsibility”

    This is why I’m reluctant to use the word as it’s often used in the positive rights sense. People literally like to posit responsibilities up for you. And there’s nothing in the definition or etymology that contradicts such usage either.

    1. In their failure to grasp the legal definition of responsibility, they’ve repurposed ‘personal responsibility’ to outlaw speech they don’t like. I’m thinking in reference Gawker article on imprisoning climate change deniers, but it’s the same argument each time: “fire in a crowded theater.” In other words, you are responsible for all results of everything you say. Which is blatantly retarded of course; if I recommend the steak to a guy I talk to at a restaurant, and he chokes to death on it, I should then me tried for manslaughter, by their notion of the term ‘responsibility.’

      The fact is, in politics, every ‘opinion’ is believed by those who disagree with it to be dangerous, otherwise they wouldn’t waste their breath arguing it. So everyone believes their ideological opponents are indirectly doing harm to others by espousing their views. Ergo, to argue that people should be held legally responsibly for any and all effects of their speech is nothing less than to give discretion to politicians and bureaucrats to imprison the people they disagree with.

  13. Fuck Garry Trudeau & Doonesbury up the ass with a cheese grater.

    1. Microplane Aggression!

    2. Would t a corkscrew be more effective?

  14. When I was a kid, I was taught that sticks and stones will break your bones, but words would never hurt you, and that the whole purpose of freedom of speech was to protect unpopular speech. “I hate what you say but I’ll fight for your right to say it…” It also used to be a bad thing to be a “tattle taler”

    Now it’s acceptable to run to the authorities when someone says something they don’t like, and satirists (satirists!) are calling for unpopular speech to be banned. And there are such things as microaggressions and trigger warnings and punching in the right direction.

    To paraphrase my favorite satirist, if we’re the only life in the universe, the universe aimed very low and settled for very little.

    1. If we’re the only life in the universe, God isn’t just dead, he’s racist.

    2. In the beginning the universe was created.

      This made a lot of people angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

  15. Holy mackerel!! Think I’ll take a trip to hell and stock up on ice for my martini shaker. This is what I read in the NY Times this morning.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04…..egion&_r=0

    If it is progress against poverty that we’re pursuing, trade beats the pants off every fancy development program ever devised. The simple mundane beauty of making things and exchanging them freely is the best anti-poverty achievement in history.

    For more than two decades, the global poverty rate has been decreasing by roughly 1 percent a year. To put this in perspective, that comes to about 70 million people ? equivalent to the whole population of Turkey or Thailand ? climbing out of poverty annually. Add it up, and around a billion people have escaped destitution since 1990.

    Why? It isn’t the United Nations or foreign aid. It is, in the words of the publication YaleGlobal Online, “High growth spillovers originating from large open emerging economies that utilize cross-border supply chains.” For readers who don’t have tenure, that means free trade in poor countries.

    1. President Obama appreciates the benefits of trade and is currently fighting for the latest international trade pact, TPP.

      His idea of “free trade” only applies to the boys big enough to lobby the govt. “Free trade” for individual consumers? ACA anyone?

  16. You’re right. Trudeau is just a plain coward. I guess making fun of Muslims is a lot scarier than Kissinger or Ronald Reagan. Maybe Trudeau can be the designated artist for Achmadinijad.

    The Trayvon Martin Lied

    “There’s no need to fear — Underzog is here!”

    1. No need to fear, just a need to stay the hell away from you.

      1. I clicked on the link. I click on every link. I never learn.

  17. If anyone ever wondered about Jane Pauley having an interest in Sapphic lovemaking, her marriage to Little Garry (Two “r”s…how cool is that!) answers that question totally.

    Little Garry is also a testament to the adage: Socialism is for the people, NOT the socialist.

  18. I seem to recall some Doonesbury’s that were pretty damned insulting to their targets. So, let me guess, Garrrrrrrrrry, pretty much any Republican or Catholic has carte blanche to put a bullet in your head and it will be your fault?

    1. They’re not on “list of official protected minorities,” so insult them all you like.

    2. I think that would be “punching down”.

  19. The outraged are outraged… Vengeance shall be had

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..01492.html

  20. The left doesn’t give a shit about free speech. It’s amazing to witness, but understandable now that they feel they’re in power.

  21. I imagine none of the students present at the talk walked out early in disgust.

  22. Now that the full comments are out there it’s worth saying something about them (see how that works Irish?). A charitable read of them is essentially this: as a cartoonist myself I’m going to say something about the event, and as a cartoonist I’m going to focus on that aspect not the terrorist response. I think Hebdo’s cartoons crossed the line into hate speech and punching down at a down and out group (a comedian that targets Appalachians is hardly doing the world a service for example), and they should have been more prudent and responsible, realizing this would provoke anger.

    Some of that’s reasonable, though yes, pretty pretentious in places. But I think where he misses the most is that if enough down and out members of a group engage in violence then while they may not be powerful in general they can still have a widespread effect on values we cherish (and I think Trudeau would say he cherishes, notice the line about how lucky he says western satirists are). He also misses the key act here: murders. I get that as a cartoonist he’s focusing on the cartoonists actions here, but in doing so and not making a strong statement about the murders he should have known that comes off awful.

    1. Well, as an Appalachian I can say you can go fuck yourself. I don’t recall anyone ever hiring you to be the spokesperson for us lowly folk. You see, we can speak for ourselves and I’m pretty sure that Muslims can speak for themselves if do-gooders like you would give them the damn chance.

      There’s nothing wrong with someone making fun of hillbillies, hell I make fun of them myself(so in effect, I make fun of myself). People like you are what makes the world so damn miserable. If people would shut the fuck up and learn to laugh at themselves and not make everything political, we might all just be a little happier.

      Also what do you mean by “down and out”? You mean because a lot of them are poor? That’s down and out to you? Well the funny thing bout money is that it’s one of the only things you work your ass off for and it belongs to everyone but you.

      There’s so many things that are more important to judge a man by rather than money, how big his house is, and how shiny his car is.

      1. I don’t see why we can’t make everything political and laugh at ourselves at the same time. With regards to being down and out, I think it’s because the “world” ain’t been on time lately with those re?mbursement checks for the “services” rendered.

        1. No I can’t disagree with you more. Hardly anything is worth politicizing. When people start politicizing things is when stupid ideas start coming out of the wood works. People start thinking they have the right to start telling other people what to do, when to do it, how to do it, etc.

          Politics is the bane of humanity and those that engage in it should be eyed with great suspicion.

  23. Also, I realize a lot of people come here to comment to get out some serious ANGER!!!! and that nuance and context can ruin a good two minute (or as the case here often is two hour or two day) hate, but take this:

    “And while the defense of that right does not oblige you to embrace the content of anyone’s speech, your critique of someone’s speech in turn need not become an attack on the speaker’s liberties.”

    Does Trudeau call for a state coercive response to Hebdo’s speech? I don’t see that. He condemns the content. He says they shouldn’t have said it. He points out what he sees as a hypocrisy in punishing the violence inciting speech of Muslims but not what he sees as the inciting speech of Hebdo. But I don’t see a call for state restrictions on their speech.

    1. Hate speech is a criminal offense in France.

      1. He noted that but I don’t see him endorse that. In fact, he says “The French tradition of free expression is too full of contradictions to fully embrace.”

        1. Which just goes to show how Trudeau is completely missing the point. If the state says what is appropriate or not, cartoonists cannot make their own full conscious decision about what to publish, and what not.

          1. He’s trying to walk the line. Stay popular with his leftist readership, yet give a half-hearted embrace of free speech.

            In my mind it’s just pathetic instead of offensive. The concept of punching up and down is a relative subject that has nothing to do the right to speak, the right to be offensive.

            If he objects to the content of the Hebdo cartoons or views them as inaccurate and misleading then that is what he should address, instead of pushing this perverse progressive stack version of humor.

            1. Sure, today he’s just being critical of Hebdo’s speech. But what he and progressive morons like Bo are angling for and supporting is getting our gracious and loving goverment to step in and protect us, and folks like the Hebdo cartoonists, by putting them in jail for their cartoons.

              It’s fucking disgraceful. I am appalled at the left’s turning their back on free speech. The mask has slipped and we can all see them now for the fascists they are.

              1. the left turned its back on free speech long ago. Who do you think came up with concepts like PC, hate speech, free speech zones in academia, and now, safe zones where the little snowflakes can grab a blanky if their sensibilities are offended.

          2. Again, he doesn’t endorse state restrictions, he seems to be advocating that cartoonists need to think about their own personal ‘red lines.’

            1. “Freedom should always be discussed within the context of responsibility,” he lectured. “At some point free expression absolutism becomes childish and unserious.”

              Uh, he is talking about state restrictions since he outright uses the word “freedom.” The only meaningful inference would be that at some point, a person should not be free to say or write something considered dangerous.

              Of course as others mention, Trudeau cannot seem to envision a day when the other side controls the reigns and might consider his writings dangerous. Which goes to show you that the Left is really the more hateful of the two sides.

            2. Committed lefties ALWAYS are endorsing state restrictions. Since the fucking government is always he answer.

            3. when he talks about free speech absolutism being a problem, yes, he’s hinting quite strongly at someone putting restrictions into place. And again, nowhere does he condemn the actual violence.

              1. I don’t get this about the Left. The only violence they condemn is violence that comes from the “Right” but when it does from a “right-wing” source such as radical Islamists, then they make excuses for them and find some other source to blame such as cartoons. It would all be hilariously absurd if it weren’t really happening. It must be very confusing to be an always-indignant prog.

              2. Yes, phrases like “freedom of speech” and “free speech absolutism,” connote the question of state coercion in speech.

                If Trudeau were just criticizing what they said, I would think he would just say ‘they shouldn’t have said that,’ which is fine by me. But when one is talking about ‘freedom of speech’ rather than merely the specific thing they said, I’d say it’s implied that actual state regulation of individual freedom is assumed to be in play.

            4. He doesn’t endorse state restrictions? Maybe. He certainly doesn’t endorse state protections, and the fairly obvious implication from his own speech is that he doesn’t believe that there is an absolute right to free speech. Followed to its logical conclusion–or simply derived from his examples and choice of words–he believes that members of favored groups are fully justified in using any level of violence to attack speech and speakers they find offensive.

              And by referring to speech as a privilege, or as a conditional freedom, he is clearly referencing a legal status conferred by the state, not a universal human right–which, incidentally, would be in contradiction with the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 19, as found on the UN website:

              Article 19.

              Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

            5. Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists did think about it, and they decided to provoke, because that’s what they do.

              Trudeau doesn’t endorse state restrictions because he doesn’t endorse anything and has nothing constructive to say. The purpose of his statements is simple self-aggrandizement: he wants to look smarter and more moral than everybody else. That’s why he sticks to vague generalities.

            6. Labeling it “hate speech” is basically calling for state intervention.

              How many times have libertarians (non-jokingly) have called something hate speech? If it is valid but we disagree, we call it free speech. If it is invalid we call it bullshit. But never hate speech.

    2. Does Bo’s rantings here remind anyone of this…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHmvkRoEowc

      LEAVE GARRY ALONE!!!….

    3. Does Trudeau call for a state coercive response to Hebdo’s speech? I don’t see that

      Trudeau doesn’t call for anything in particular. What Trudeau is doing is trying to appear erudite and moral to as many people as possible; that’s why he writes in such vague generalities, and why there may be plenty of internal contradictions in what he says. It’s not worth trying to second-guess meaning into his words, one should reject his writing and the man for what he is: a blowhard.

    4. Does Trudeau call for a state coercive response to Hebdo’s speech?

      Well, he doesn’t make any particular policy proposals, if that’s what you mean. But he explicitly takes on “free speech” as his subject, and he positions himself against the “free speech absolutists.” I’ll take him at his word.

  24. Aside from the personal fact I never found Doonesbury funny, what an asshole.

    Actually, he worse than that. As Sevo pointed out, he’s asshole AND a coward.

    That’s a left-winger for you in the end.

    1. So by the same logic that a person who is an analyst and a therapist is an analrapist, if Trudeau is both a coward and an asshole, I guess that makes him a cowhole… appropriate, since that’s where the bullshit comes from…

  25. If you believe that murder can ever be justified because of speech or hurt feelings or offense or whatever, you are a vile, disgusting, amoral and repulsive creature worthy of neither mercy nor kindness nor respect. This as much as anything is an excellent litmus test for who among us would have welcomed the Nazi party with open arms 80 years ago.

  26. Free speech is always under attack. Defend it or lose it. Even if you disagree with what A**holes say.

    1. “Free speech is always under attack. Defend it or lose it. ”

      This. Sadly, the majority opinion is and will always be against free speech. That’s why the right to self defense is the most important right. Free speech doesn’t defend itself.

  27. nothing quite says “powerless” like the murder of your political opponents.

    1. So if Dan Quayle murders Trudeau then that apparently would be ok too.

      1. Only if Dan Quayle is an oppressed goat-fucker, oooops, I mean, Muslim… Actually, you have to be BOTH, in order to qualify for the Status of Protected Official Victim! They are similar but different (slightly different circles on a Venn Diagram). Last time I checked, Dan Quayle is a goat-fucker, but he’s not a Muslim, FYI… I think Dan got one of my pet goats pregnant, actually. I had my vet abort it… PLEASE keep THAT one on the hush-hush; I do not want the abortion protesters at my door!

    2. Hitler must have been pretty powerless I guess, poor little guy.

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  30. Perhaps this is too sweeping, but I think anyone who thinks in terms of “hate speech” is not a friend of free speech. It doesn’t matter whether they want laws against it or not, because if they can establish it as a valid idea, they can use it against their political opponents to drive them out of polite society. And if “hate speech” can’t be stretched far enough, invent something like “microaggressions” that you can claim are closely related to hate speech, and hound people for that.

    1. I can buy the concept of ‘hate speech.’ “I hate you.” That’s hate speech. Which isn’t necessarily bad then, since if you’re an S.S. camp guard or a serial killer, you would probably have earned such a vocalization of hatred. But there seems little justification for special laws regarding ‘hate speech’ as opposed to, say, ‘asparagus speech.’

      The claim that ‘free speech isn’t absolute’ is such a red herring. It may be technically true, but not in any sense meaningful to what is usually being talked about. The limits of what you should be allowed to say are pretty few and clear cut: “give me your money or I’ll kill you,” and “I’ll give you 20,000 dollars if you kill Bob” seem to be the big ones. Not a whole lot more comes to mind in way of speech that should be punishable by law.

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  32. Yeah, I remember when “doonesbury” stopped being funny. It was sometime in the 70’s.

    So – fuck Garry Trudeau. I don’t care what he thinks, haven’t read anything of his since I started college in 1980. Cause, as someone noted above, the first rule of comedy is “Be Funny!” And he’d not any more. Hasn’t been for a long, long, time. Sad.

    Fuck you, Garry Trudeau.

  33. I can’t wait to find out how Botox’s first few cases as a lawyer go. Bets that the judge and/or jury and/or opposing counsel will die of boredom, ennui and frustration before settlement is reached?

    I pity the fool who takes the Botox as counsel….

    1. He’ll be in a courtroom? You really think that?! As a solo? No firm is going to hire him.

  34. Garry Trudeau talking about responsibility in cartooning is an act of extreme hypocrisy — or extreme obliviousness, which is actually more likely. He routinely smears those he opposes in a vicious matter and accepts every liberal fad as indisputable fact. (To be sure, I stopped reading many years ago due to these flaws, so I suppose it’s possible that he saw the error of his ways. I doubt it, though. He impresses me as being like Obama, incapable of In seeing his own errors.) Ultimately, his argument really amounts to saying that it’s all right to hate the politically incorrect (as he openly does), but not the politically correct (e.g., official victim groups such as Muslims).

    1. Amen, Dude, you nailed it!

      If I flat-out say “I hate racists”, what proggie is EVER going to accuse me of hate speech?

      I am allowed to hate ONLY those on the 5-minute hate-list!

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  36. Plenty of lefty performance “artists” produce works of “art” that exist only to offend certain amount of people. They’ll blab some nonsensical context, but dipping a crucifix into a jar of urine has no meaning outside of provoking a response from Christians (many who aren’t white).

    But wait, Trudeau might say. Christians are part of the establishment, and artists have a proud history of satirizing the dominant class. But the Muslims are voiceless minorities. Artists should empower them, rather than impugn their image with offensive humor.

    So at the end of the day, this isn’t about an artist urging his peers to use good taste or restraint in the face fanaticism, which is a defensible position. No, this is about a lefty cartoonist voicing displeasure about cartoonists satirizing a protected group. The WRONG group. Charlie Hebdo could have depicted the Virgin Mary as a slut for decades and no one in the left would have cared. NO ONE.

    1. Shorter version of “GT, you ignorant slut” follows:

      “GT, which way would you rather be oppressed, by having someone portray you with a cartoon which you find oppressive, or to have someone shoot a bullet through your brains, in an even vaguely oppressive manner?”

      If he answers it wrong, I wish someone would shoot him, PLEASE!!! Morons like him do NOTHING other than to confuse the numb-skulls!

  37. I’m amazed by how many people — Trudeau included — focus on the issue of the artistic or intellectual merit of the Hebdo cartoons, which are obviously A) subjective (as with any creative content), and, B) entirely irrelevant. Do Americans, the French, Danes, Australians, etc. live in secular democracies in which freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas — which necessarily must encompass the profane, the inane, the offensive, the obscene, the vulgar — are exercised unabashedly and unapologetically, or, do we live under the boot of the Gestapo-sharia police, perpetually quaking for fear of offending their delicate sensibilities? The Left has chosen the latter course, and obviously is content to live in a self-imposed Islamic theocracy where our behavior and thoughts are dictated and constrained by Islamic tenets.

    The entire Charlie Hebdo incident has exposed the Left’s feckless indifference to protecting and standing up for secular democratic freedoms, unabashedly, unequivocally and unapologetically, and, has crystallized how quickly Libs will concede those freedoms. I mean, the ridiculous, nauseatingly sanctimonious sermonizing, hand-wringing and victim-blaming that accompanied Leftist talking heads’ analysis of the attacks is mind-blowing. Trudeau simply is adding to the stupidity with his foolish comments.

  38. “9/11 was terrible and all, but gosh those buildings were way too tall.” Pretty much the same principle.

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