With the notable exception of the small class of American war correspondents, the vast majority of American journalists are, to use the Texas phrase: "All hat and no cattle." The assassination this morning of ten satirists at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo along with two police officers by adherents of the "Religion of Pieces" has once again illustrated that the American media are very brave when it comes to standing up for freedom of speech when the tyrant is a lowly city councilman. But when the attacks on freedom of speech come not from blowhard politicians but from people who have an affinity for beheadings and bombings ... well, talk is cheap.
The Weekly Standard's Mark Hemingway has it largely right when he calls out the professional media.
But it also speaks volumes that so many of Charb's fellow journalists have long been aware of these threats, and have said nothing. And of those who have spoken up about Muslim terror, far too many have said things that in light of today's tragedy that are absolutely damning.
Here's something you're unlikely to see in any American newspaper tomorrow because those brave journalists really aren't.
These are what got 10 journalists killed. And when it comes to American journalists, nothing has changed since the infamous Mohammed cartoons nearly 10 years ago. At the time, I criticized and highlighted the double-standard of the paper I worked for (which undoubtedly didn't put me in good stead when layoffs loomed three years later). The paper wouldn't publish even the tamest of the Mohammed cartoons, but had no problem posting a South Park screenshot of Jesus or a Rolling Stone cover depicting Kanye West as Christ.
At NBC, you won't see any illustrative cartoons:
NBC News spox to me right now says they will not be showing cartoons that “could be viewed as insensitive” pic.twitter.com/kPXP6QsNP8
— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) January 7, 2015
The Associated Press wouldn't even let its member newspapers decide whether they wanted to publish uncensored Charlie Hebdo covers, sending out blurred versions over its wires claiming that they have a longstanding (since the 2006 Mohammed cartoons) policy of not transmitting "offensive" material. Quickly, the Washington Examiner's Timothy P. Carney went into the AP database and discovered they'd happily sell you a print of Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ." (They quickly removed the photo for sale when the exposure of their hypocrisy was imminent.)
Newspapers, news networks, news websites will decry this vicious terrorist attack, but their behavior from the time of the Danish cartoons controversy had the effect of putting the brave satirists of Charlie Hebdo out front in the defense of free speech. The terrorists, instead of having dozens or hundreds of targets, had just a handful. The rest could be cowed merely by the threat.
What you're seeing now is mass journalistic self-censorship as they simultaneously pat themselves on the back for their false courage. Don't fall for it.