Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Muhammad Cartoon update

It takes guts to quit your job over principles.

A gut check is exactly what the New York Press Editorial staff has done today:

The editorial staff of the alternative weekly New York Press walked out today, en masse, after the paper's publishers backed down from printing the Danish cartoons that have become the center of a global free-speech fight.

Editor-in-Chief Harry Siegel emails, on behalf of the editorial staff:

New York Press, like so many other publications, has suborned its own professed principles. For all the talk of freedom of speech, only the New York Sun locally and two other papers nationally have mustered the minimal courage needed to print simple and not especially offensive editorial cartoons that have been used as a pretext for great and greatly menacing violence directed against journalists, cartoonists, humanitarian aid workers, diplomats and others who represent the basic values and obligations of Western civilization. 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.

We have no desire to be free speech martyrs, but it would have been nakedly hypocritical to avoid the same cartoons we'd criticized others for not running, cartoons that however absurdly have inspired arson, kidnapping and murder and forced cartoonists in at least two continents to go into hiding.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

lemming Rose, the culture editor of Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, said today he was trying to get in touch with the Iranian paper, Hamshari, which plans to run an international competition seeking cartoons about the Holocaust.

"My newspaper is trying to establish a contact with the Iranian newspaper, and we would run the cartoons the same day as they publish them," Mr Rose told CNN.

The Danish editor was also defiantly unapologetic about the original publication of 12 cartoons - one of which featured the prophet wearing a turban shaped as a bomb - in his paper five months ago.

Mr Rose said he did not regret publishing the pictures.

"I think it is like asking a rape victim if she regrets wearing a short skirt at a discotheque [on] Friday night," he said.

"If you're wearing a short skirt that does not necessarily mean you invite everybody to have sex with you. If you make a cartoon, make fun of religion, make fun of religious figures, that does not imply that you humiliate or denigrate or marginalise a religion."


I took this out of the guardian today. I had a good laugh at his analogy.

mk

Jonathan said...

So did I!

Thanks for sharing.

Certainly an interesting follow up.