THE 1ST AMENDMENT & THE COWED PRESS.
Posted by Edmund R. Folsom, Esq.
January 10, 2015
Free speech is under attack in the free nations of the western world, in a way more effective than I have otherwise seen in my lifetime. We are witnessing that the most effective way to bring our mighty western press to heel–to secure their submission– is to make them understand that giving offense to adherents of a particular religion places them at credible, personal risk of murder. A dozen people were murdered on Wednesday at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, because that magazine published cartoons that offended adherents of a particular religion whose name, it appears, cannot be mentioned in the mainstream press. Yet, with all the gushing of sentiment in the wake of those murders, that “we are all Charlie Hebdo,” there isn’t a single major news outlet that will show you the cartoons at the center of the news story; the cartoons that created the homicidal fuss. These same cowed news outlets had no problem running photos of Andrew Serrano’s “Piss Christ,” or of Chris Olfili’s painting “Holy Virgin Mary” depicting the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung, even without those works of “art” having been launched to the forefront of a major news story as the impetus for mass murder. But then, journalists had no reason to fear that the Christians who were affronted by their publications would hunt them down and kill them. The same cannot be said for members of another certain religion; the one in whose name the Paris massacres of this past week were carried out. Our mighty western press knows a credible death threat when it sees one and is prepared to do what’s necessary not to commit a journalistic capital offense. So while Benjamin Franklin was certain that tyranny follows the curtailment of free speech, and while the very first amendment in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights reflects that concern, by prohibiting the U.S. Government from abridging freedom of speech or press, none of that can save us from the threat we now face. We have reached a point where western governments seemingly cannot protect us from the credible threat of murder for the exercise of free speech; where instead of unequivocally condemning the murders, the U.S. government has at times suggested to us that the exercise of free speech was a blameworthy cause—murder as a righteous reaction to religious insult (see Benghazi talking points); and where the U.S. and other western governments refuse to publicly acknowledge the ideology behind these purportedly insult-avenging murders, or the source of the ideology. In this, our governments have themselves submitted. And I wonder, what is the value of a “free press” in the thrall of a murderous criminal enterprise it refuses to confront?
Update May 4, 2015. And now the jihad arrives in Texas, in the good old U.S.A. (that Fort Hood thing was just workplace violence, remember), with the attempted jihadi shoot-up of a Mohammed cartoon-drawing festival. And what’s the reaction of the American press? A significant segment cry foul over the cartoon-drawing provocation! Oh, that’s exactly why we need a free press, to ask the tough questions, to blame the targets of attempted murder. That will stop the madmen.
All the madmen ask of you, your dhimmitude, is that you submit. And if you find that unreasonable, then off with your head! But what will your fate be once you’ve submitted? Likely, off with your head! Fear of the madmen and hope that capitulation will appease them will be no more effective here than it was for fearful European Jews who were herded like sheep into Nazi boxcars to be shipped to their slaughter. Do you really think the Jihadis have a better fate in mind for infidels? If the Jihadis had their way, we’d all end up like those poor Christians recently beheaded by Islamist goons on the beaches of Libya. We are facing a sick, sick death cult, very large in number, who long ago declared their intent to slaughter us and for whom cartoon-based insults serve merely as proximate excuses in their mad agenda? Do you really think going fetal will work this time?
NR continues to speak truth on the matter in the following pieces: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/418058/pamela-gellers-critics-are-proving-her-point-david-French