Saturday, February 04, 2006

A RESPONSIBLE PRESS I'm with Sullivan.

And while I can understand the impulse behind the State Department's condemnation of European cartoons depicting Mohammed, it's not encouraging to read nuggets like this one from State Department spokesman Kurtis Cooper:

We all fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility.
Just what role is the word "must" meant to play in this sentence? And since when is the State Department in the business of crafting standards of "press responsibility"?

I was under the impression that we're engaged in a global war against a particular strain of religious fanaticism. And that the defining characteristic of the fanatics in question is that they, in the words of our Fearless Leader, "hate freedom."

So why is Kurtis Cooper allowing himself to sound sympathetic to those calling for the killing of editorial cartoonists? Why is the State Department mollifying the freedom-haters instead of challenging them?

UPDATE: The Danish embassy in Lebanon was torched on Sunday, one day after the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Syria were set on fire.

This isn't about "press responsibility." It's about an ideology that condones the burning of buildings in response to a cartoon's publication. Plain and simple.

If we're truly serious about the future of freedom, we need to resist that ideology with everything we've got.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.