Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A liberal leftie goes ballistic

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I was doing my daily rounds in the blogosphere when I bumped into an article in the Washington Post on the cartoon issue. Acclaimed scholars William J. Bennett and Alan M. Derschowitz manage to link up freedom of the press, islam, anti-Americanism, antisemitism, September 11th, Abu Ghraib. They claim that the fact that only a few American newspapers have published the cartoons is a sign of severe self-censorship regarding Islam. They say that good journalists would have the duty to report this.

I went ballistic. No one can say that the issue has not been covered. But to brand not publishing the (poorly drawn) pictures into cowardism is highly dangerous. They fall (I guess consciously) into the trap of making all the Muslims look like phanatics. They use arguments such as saying that Catholics do not burn embassies when Jesus is mocked. What narrow-mindedness and short-mindedness.

They end their article:"When we were attacked on Sept. 11, we knew the main reason was that the Islamists hated our way of life, our virtues, our freedoms. What we never imagined was that the free press -- an institution at the heart of those virtues and freedoms -- would be among the first to surrender."

I could not help the film I saw yesterday, George Clooney´s marvellously political Good Night, and Good Luck. I see a lot of similarities in McCarthy´s witch hunt in the 50s and the current polarisation and facilitation of fear. The main character of Clooney´s film Ed Murrow talks about the responsibility of media in a way that is accurate still over 40 years later. I will not elaborate more on that in order to encourage more people to the cinema to see a film on a topic that really matters.

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