The New York Times and CNN, among others, are ducking their responsibility as news organizations to run the current cover of “Charlie Hebdo.” Why is it their responsibility? Because the response of the devastated satirical publication is news, and as the Times laughably says on its front page, that news is fit to print: the Times and CNN are describing the cover, but don’t have the guts or integrity to show it. The disingenuous rationale, in CNN’s terms, is that they are respecting “the sensibilities” of Muslim viewers.
In a word: CRAP. The vast majority of readers and viewers should be kept in the dark to avoid offending Muslim readers and viewers who can easily avert their tender eyeballs? When have CNN and the Times applied that standard regarding any other religious group, or any group at all? [UPDATE: Over at Popehat, Ken White extravagantly exposes the intellectual bankruptcy of the Times’ rationalizations for not showing the cartoon with a series of well-formulated and pointed questions. This is admittedly more diagnostic than “CRAP,” but the message is the same.]
The translation of this craven self-censorship is “We are concerned about offending an anti-democratic and violent minority who are successfully using threats to constrain the free distribution of knowledge and information, because we are unworthy of the profession we presume to practice.”