Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Came across these links while surfing and I have to say I’m very disappointed in a person and an organization I’ve respected in the past for their indefensible position on the issue. The first is Gary Trudeau, who is taken to task by Rogier van Bakel, and rightly so, for his recent comments on the matter. He was asked the following question:

What did you make of the Danish cartoon mess? I understand that you said you would never play with the image of Allah. But did you feel you should have done so out of a sense of professional solidarity, or to make a statement about freedom of speech?

And here is his response:

What exactly would that statement be? That we can say whatever we want in the West? Everyone already knows that. So then the question becomes, should we say whatever we want? That, to me, is the crux. Do you hurt people just because you can? Because you feel they shouldn’t be deeply hurt, does that mean they aren’t? Should the New York Times run vicious caricatures of blacks and Jews just to show the First Amendment in action? At some point, common sense and sensitivity have to be brought to bear.

What would that statement be? I’m taken aback that a cartoonist who has made a career out of harsh political satire can’t think of anything to say in defense of other cartoonists who are doing the same thing and are now living under a death sentence? As van Bakel notes, 10 of those cartoonists have still not appeared in public in the year since receiving serious death threats. And Trudeau can’t think of a single thing to say in their defense? Rogier gets it precisely right:

Ah, common sense. Is appealing to people’s common sense strictly a one-way street? Because I confess that common sense is not the first quality that comes to mind when I think of jihadists who want to cut off a man’s head for drawing a picture.

Trudeau has quite often used his Doonesbury cartoon to make fun of Christian groups in the US (and rightly so, and to often hilarious effect). Do you suppose that if he had crowds of Christians threatening to kill him he’d find that “common sense” argument a compelling one? I’m guessing not.

The second source of disappointment is Amnesty International, a group I used to belong to in my younger days. Like many others, I was caught up in the concert tour in 1986. I got to meet former political prisoners and hear their stories and I joined up and began to do my part, writing letters to dictators on behalf of those whose rights they were violating. I spoke with people who had been imprisoned under Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran, and befriended the daughter of a man killed by Pinochet in Chile.

Unfortunately, in the wake of the Danish cartoon situation, this group that considers itself a human rights group actually called for making such “hate speech” illegal around the world:

Newspaper editors have justified the publication of cartoons that many Muslims have regarded as insulting, arguing that freedom of artistic expression and critique of opinions and beliefs are essential in a pluralist and democratic society. On the other hand, Muslims in numerous countries have found the cartoons to be deeply offensive to their religious beliefs and an abuse of freedom of speech. In a number of cases, protests against the cartoons have degenerated into acts of physical violence, while public statements by some protestors and community leaders have been seen as fanning the flames of hostility and violence.

The right to freedom of opinion and expression should be one of the cornerstones of any society. This right includes “the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19). For more than forty years, Amnesty International (AI) has defended this right against attempts by governments across the globe to stifle religious dissent, political opposition and artistic creativity.

However, the right to freedom of expression is not absolute — neither for the creators of material nor their critics. It carries responsibilities and it may, therefore, be subject to restrictions in the name of safeguarding the rights of others. In particular, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence cannot be considered legitimate exercise of freedom of expression. Under international standards, such “hate speech” should be prohibited by law.

Sorry, Amnesty, you just lost any claim to being a defender of human rights. The most important human right is the right to express one’s opinion without fear of reprisal. No one has a “right” not to be offended by those opinions, so any talk of this being a question of balancing competing rights is complete and utter nonsense. And you, of all groups, ought to know that. The problem with this notion that free speech shouldn’t be free as soon as it constitutes “incitement” to hostility is that it lets the violent thugs among us determine the limits of free speech; if they would tend to react violently to it, then it’s no longer protected speech.

This is particularly destructive when those violent thugs will react that way to virtually anything, even if it’s not insulting. Remember, the whackos threatening to kill these cartoonists think that any representation of Muhammed, whether insulting or otherwise, is grounds for murder. The mere act of rendering his image is enough to provoke such threats. Also bear in mind that the very same people often take great delight in portraying Jews as inhuman devils, so their response is pretty much the last measure of what should and should not be allowed.

This notion that someone’s violent reaction to free speech should determine whether it should be free or not is patently absurd. AI certainly wouldn’t buy that argument if it applied to governments. Does the mere fact that a given statement is known to set off the insane on flights of violent thuggery make such speech unprotected? If the violence is perpetrated by a government, punishing those who dissent from an enforced orthodoxy, Amnesty International is the first group to protest such barbarism. But if the violence is committed by mobs of thugs, they’re suddenly calling for that mob’s insanity to be the deciding factor in determining what orthodoxy governments should impose. Shame on you, Amnesty. You should know better.

Comments

  1. #1 Prup aka Jim Benton
    October 17, 2006

    I continue to point out the irony that the three worst cartoons that may have been most responsible for the anger were in fact forgeries disseminated by a radical imam. The dog, pig-face, and pedophile cartoons, which were truly insulting (unlike the rather banal others) never appeared in Jyllands-Posten but were circulated in a portfolio by this Danish imam. Since I would doubt that many of the people who saw them were subscribers to J-P, or saw the cartoons when they were republished in an Egyptian newspaper — without incident –some months before the riots, I’m sure they believed these were actually what the west had seen. (Of course, this does not excuse the rioting, or the call for government censorship of a private newspaper.)
    But this fact is often overlooked in the discussion of the matter. We don’t realize that what we saw, which were very mild, was not necessarily what the Muslim world saw.

  2. #2 Gretchen
    October 17, 2006

    That’s a very good point. I wonder if Amnesty International would support legal penalties for people using offensive speech against others of their own faith?

  3. #3 Jim Royal
    October 17, 2006

    As someone who lives in a country where speech that incites violence is prohibited, I can attest that this is not a slippery slope, nor does it do damage to a nation’s democracy. Such curtailments must be applied judiciously and reluctantly, and must be subject to appeal. But they are, at times, necessary to preserve the freedom of the people.

    This insistence that freedom of speech trumps all other freedoms unconditionally is a peculiarly American one.

    With rights come responsibilities. The exercise of rights without responsibility is antithetical to democracy. In your series of screeds against all legislation that attempts to balance competing rights, you have never (as far as I know) discussed the responsibilities of citizens when exercising their rights.

  4. #4 RickD
    October 17, 2006

    The entire debate is surreal. We have faked cartoons, a six-month lag (or more) before it was discovered that the cartoons were “offensive”, and a curious role reversal between the set of people usually standing up for free speech rights and the set of people usually standing up for censorship in some form.

    I also think it’s a bit simplistic to say that all those riots were “caused” by cartoons. I suspect they were caused more by the chaos that is known as the Middle East, and cartoons were solely used as a trigger. (Similarly, when rowdy college students start a riot after a basketball game and set cars afire, it’s really not accurate to say that basketball caused the riot.)

  5. #5 Gretchen
    October 17, 2006

    This insistence that freedom of speech trumps all other freedoms unconditionally is a peculiarly American one.

    What freedoms, exactly, do you think are trumped by the freedom of speech in the minds of Americans?

    With rights come responsibilities. The exercise of rights without responsibility is antithetical to democracy. In your series of screeds against all legislation that attempts to balance competing rights, you have never (as far as I know) discussed the responsibilities of citizens when exercising their rights.

    Rights as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution are the responsibility of the government. It is the government’s responsibility not to impede the free exercise of those rights by individuals. If you want to talk moral responsibility, fine, but then we’re out of the territory of prohibiting “advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence” by law, which is what Amnesty International is endorsing.

  6. #6 Ed Brayton
    October 17, 2006

    Jim Royal wrote:

    As someone who lives in a country where speech that incites violence is prohibited, I can attest that this is not a slippery slope, nor does it do damage to a nation’s democracy. Such curtailments must be applied judiciously and reluctantly, and must be subject to appeal. But they are, at times, necessary to preserve the freedom of the people.

    We have such an exception in the US dealing with incitement to violence, but it’s limited to actual incitements to violence, as when someone whips a group up into a lather and tells them to commit violence. But that’s the exact opposite of what Amnesty is arguing for; the only people such a rule could be applied to are those who whip up the radical Muslims to commit violence, not to the cartoonists. There is a very big difference banning incitements to violence and banning speech that other people react to violently. Amnesty is suggesting the latter, not the former. There is no sane reason why cartoons depicting Muhammed, no matter how insulting they are, should result in violence. We make fun of Jesus constantly in this country and no one kills anyone over it.

    With rights come responsibilities. The exercise of rights without responsibility is antithetical to democracy. In your series of screeds against all legislation that attempts to balance competing rights, you have never (as far as I know) discussed the responsibilities of citizens when exercising their rights.

    Because the only people who are violating their responsibilities here are the people reacting with violence. The right to free speech does not carry the responsibility of never saying another that might offend other people. It does, however, carry with it the responsibility of recognizing and accepting that others will inevitably say things you don’t like, and that the proper response to that is to exercise your own rights, not to threaten to kill them or blow them up. You’ve got the notion of who is violating the responsibilities that come with freedom exactly backwards.

  7. #7 Sastra
    October 17, 2006

    I find it particularly ironic that Gary Trudeau is using the “sensitive people shouldn’t cause others to feel deeply hurt” defense when that is one of the main arguments used against people who publically protest the war — that they are being “insensitive” to brave soldiers and grieving spouses, who are “deeply hurt” to be told that their sacrifices are in vain. There are also people who feel “deeply hurt” when the actions of their beloved president, or country, are criticized (and even mocked!)

    Because he doesn’t feel that they should be deeply hurt — and yet they are, they are — I guess he ought to make Doonesbury more sensitive and not so rude. We don’t want to make anyone to feel uncomfortable with themselves. People are what they believe.

  8. #8 raindogzilla
    October 17, 2006

    “The right to free speech does not carry the responsibility of never saying another that might offend other people.”

    Of course it doesn’t, Ed. I have every right to call my Somali neighbor the dreaded “N” word. But I have the ethical, the moral duty not to do so- not to mention the lack of corresponding beliefs that would make me even consider it. The cartoons in question were published for no other reason than to offend. It’s not like these images were great works of art or even expressions of the artists’ souls. They were commissioned to offend and then published for the same reason. Did the J-P have the right to do so? Sure, no question. But should they have? I’ve got to say no.

    That said, the reaction to them was beyond the pale and is in no way excused by their publication. I wouldn’t go so far as Jim Royal, to ban more than incitement speech, but taste and decency are not overruled by the other side’s abuses.

  9. #9 noself
    October 17, 2006

    Mr. Brayton, I think the case you’re looking for is Bradenburg v Ohio, “The constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action”

    Nevertheless, Mr Royal’s point is taken IF and ONLY IF there are checks and balances against not only the slippery slope but also the danger of chilling speech. Based on his non-distinction of inciting violence and provoking it, he gives way too much leeway to the heckler’s veto.

    *Sigh* I’m just finding it so hard to believe that a political satirist/cartoonist of Doonnesbury stature would make a comment like that.

  10. #10 Markus
    October 17, 2006

    I think it’s kind of sad that with the extremists getting all the attention you cannot talk about the content of the cartoons themselves objectively anymore. Maybe we need some more cartoons that are not inflaming any extremists, and then have a discussion on taste (which I supposed is never objective, but this is really about the standards for taste, right?)

    There are plenty of cartoons that I find offensive. However, having to defend the extremist objection merely to be able to express my own non-extremists objections it’s not really a fair game. Maybe there is some new word for “I think you are wrong but support your right to live with it”.

    Oh, and btw, the terrorists are bad and wrong and the death-threats are wrong wrong wrong..in case any one out there thinks I approve of them.

  11. #11 Ed Brayton
    October 17, 2006

    raindogzilla wrote:

    The cartoons in question were published for no other reason than to offend. It’s not like these images were great works of art or even expressions of the artists’ souls. They were commissioned to offend and then published for the same reason. Did the J-P have the right to do so? Sure, no question. But should they have? I’ve got to say no.

    I disagree that they were published just to offend. They were commissioned to illustrate a point, and they did so about as obviously as could be. Because of the threat of violence from radical Muslims, the author of a book about Muhammed could not find an illustrator for his book because any representation of Muhammed is considered an abomination. So the paper commissioned cartoonists to do cartoons on that subject, some of whom actually did cartoons making fun of the paper for it. They published all of them.

    I really doubt that we would hear this argument at all if it was Christians in this country threatening to kill anyone who drew a picture of Jesus. We would hear only how insane and barbaric those Christians are, no one would say, “Okay, that’s an overreaction, but just like I shouldn’t call my neighbor the n word, you have a moral and ethical duty not to draw such pictures.” I don’t know why the reaction is any different in this situation. The Christians do not have any right not to have their religion made fun of, and neither do Muslims. And no, I do not have any moral or ethical responsibility not to criticize or satirize someone else’s views on something.

  12. #12 noself
    October 17, 2006

    raindogzilla said, “The cartoons in question were published for no other reason than to offend. It’s not like these images were great works of art or even expressions of the artists’ souls.”

    While agreeing in part with the rest of post, nevertheless, the original Danish cartoon was published in reaction to a situation that the original cartoonist found to be intolerable i.e. that speech was being suppressed due to the threats of violence that was being levered against anyone even considering a pictorial representation of the Prophet Muhammad and as a result he was unable to find someone to do so.

    And as an aside, I don’t think my eating of cheeseburgers means that I am blaspheming against either Hindus or Jews of the Jewish Faith.

  13. #13 Jim Royal
    October 17, 2006

    Gretchen, Ed.

    Whenever a democratic government suggests infringing rights, it is usually a result of a competition between conflicting rights. What rights might potentially trump speech? Safety, privacy, reputation, copyright — the list is long. In the USA, speech wins out over all other rights more often than in other countries. But more than that, speech is defended in the USA with a zeal not seen elsewhere in the world. I submit that this zeal is sometimes more ideological than practical.

    As for the issue of responsibility… I would never defend the violent protesters who burned the Norwegian and Danish embassies. Their reaction was one of madness. I also cannot defend the publishing of the cartoons. To my eyes, they had no artistic, political, or social value. It seemed to be a juvenile exercise similar to the publishing several years ago on the front page of my old university campus’ newspaper of a photo of some guy’s anus.

    And to Raindogzilla, I agree with your analysis completely. But I never said that I would ever condone banning offensive speech that was less than an incitement to violence.

  14. #14 Ed Brayton
    October 17, 2006

    Jim Royal wrote:

    Whenever a democratic government suggests infringing rights, it is usually a result of a competition between conflicting rights. What rights might potentially trump speech? Safety, privacy, reputation, copyright — the list is long. In the USA, speech wins out over all other rights more often than in other countries. But more than that, speech is defended in the USA with a zeal not seen elsewhere in the world. I submit that this zeal is sometimes more ideological than practical.

    Which really means that is defended as a matter of principle, not jettisoned the moment it becomes “impractical”. The problem is that in this case, the only thing that makes it “impractical” is the insane reaction of violent thugs. And if we let those people decide the limits of free speech, then free speech will no longer exist. There is no conflicting right here. No one has a right not to be offended by the views of others, or a right not to have their beliefs criticized or satirized. So all this talk of competing rights is simply nonsense. The only things competing here are the right to free speech and the violent, psychopathic response of those who think they have a right to kill people for saying things they don’t like.

  15. #15 Gretchen
    October 17, 2006

    Jim Royal says:

    But I never said that I would ever condone banning offensive speech that was less than an incitement to violence.

    If that’s the case, then you apparently agree with both Ed and I (and more to the point, disagreeing with Amnesty International) so I’m not sure why you’re going on about “conflicting rights.”

    I also cannot defend the publishing of the cartoons. To my eyes, they had no artistic, political, or social value. It seemed to be a juvenile exercise similar to the publishing several years ago on the front page of my old university campus’ newspaper of a photo of some guy’s anus.

    Have you read the history behind the newspaper’s motivation for publishing the cartoons? They have stated explicitly that it was not for the purpose of offense, and it can be assumed that it was not for their artistic value. Rather, it was because a children’s book author, Kare Bluitgen, was unable to find anyone willing to illustrate his book about Muhammed because they were all too afraid. Therefore, publishing the cartoon was indeed a political statement– a statement that in Denmark, free speech trumps somebody else’s offense, and that’s the way it should be. I certainly find that of “value,” as should you.

  16. #16 Steve Reuland
    October 17, 2006

    What did you make of the Danish cartoon mess? I understand that you said you would never play with the image of Allah. But did you feel you should have done so out of a sense of professional solidarity, or to make a statement about freedom of speech?

    When I read this question, it reads to me as, “Why didn’t you, personally, decide to draw an image of Allah?” Trudeau’s answer in that case is perfectly reasonable. I too don’t see any reason to draw images of Allah or Muhammad or whatever just because you can. And I see no indication that Trudeau takes the side of the enraged Muslims over that of the Danish cartoonists.

  17. #17 Sastra
    October 17, 2006

    When black people in the South walked into restaurants and sat at all-white counters, there were people who argued that they went too far, because they did what they did *deliberately* in order to offend. They knew they would create a disturbance, wanted to upset people, and got what they wanted. Sure, rioters were wrong, but the rioters didn’t instigate it.

    Yes — and no. And that ‘no’ part is critical. Rudeness itself wasn’t the motive. Upsetting people was not the real motive. The real motive was to promote liberty and to right a wrong — to challenge what upsets people, and eventually change it so it doesn’t.

    We don’t look back at those incidents and tsk tsk over how provocative and disrespectful of Southern mores the civil rights protesters were. I place the Mohammead cartoons in the same category.

  18. #18 Ed Brayton
    October 17, 2006

    Steve-

    As I reread it, you’re right, it does read that way. I was taking it more to mean “why didn’t you speak up on behalf of your fellow cartoonists”, but you’re right – the way it’s asked, it’s “why didn’t you caricature Muhammed too.” And that is a very different question.

    Still, I don’t buy into this argument that you shouldn’t draw caricatures of Muhammed “just because you can.” I don’t think anyone has ever drawn such a picture just because they can, but rather because they were trying to make a point about Islam. That is absolutely no different than an American satirist lampooning Jesus, or Moses, in order to satirize Christianity. And that goes on all the time, without a peep of protest, usually even from Christians themselves. No one ever says, “You shouldn’t draw caricatures of Jesus just because you can” in response to such pictures. And there is only one difference between the two situations, the reaction. Christians, at worst, react to such satire with whining and boycotts. Muslims, on the other hand, react with firebombings and death threats. And if anything, that makes such criticism more important and more justified in the case of Islam, not less. And yet, only in the case of Islam does anyone say “tsk tsk, why inflame those people just because you can?” I find that curious. And baffling.

  19. #19 Jeff Chamberlain
    October 17, 2006

    I don’t find it either “curious” or “baffling” that folks call on others to refrain from behavior, even free speech behavior, that provokes firebombings and death threats while tolerating similar behavior that provokes only “whining” and “boycotts.” Chickenshit and hypocritical, but not curious or baffling.

  20. #20 Steve Reuland
    October 17, 2006

    Still, I don’t buy into this argument that you shouldn’t draw caricatures of Muhammed “just because you can.” I don’t think anyone has ever drawn such a picture just because they can, but rather because they were trying to make a point about Islam.

    Well if you have a point to make about Islam, then you have a point to make about Islam. When I say “just because you can” I refer to Trudeau’s remarks that he sees no purpose in drawing the caricatures merely “out of a sense of professional solidarity, or to make a statement about freedom of speech”. As he puts it, everyone knows we’ve got free speech, so that’s not much of a statement to make.

  21. #21 Ed Brayton
    October 17, 2006

    Jeff Chamberlain wrote:

    I don’t find it either “curious” or “baffling” that folks call on others to refrain from behavior, even free speech behavior, that provokes firebombings and death threats while tolerating similar behavior that provokes only “whining” and “boycotts.” Chickenshit and hypocritical, but not curious or baffling.

    If it was stated and defended in those terms, I’d understand it. But it’s not. People actually try and rationalize it as a matter of principle, and that’s what I don’t get.

  22. #22 Sastra
    October 17, 2006

    There seems to be a rather subtle form of discrimination at work when whining Christians are supposed to “buck up and take it” when mocked, yet one is expected to fall over with sympathy if the same sort of thing upsets Muslims. It’s as if Muslims are permanently backwards children around whom one must tiptoe delicately, talk down to, and not expect very much out of.

  23. #23 Spike
    October 18, 2006

    I am still amazed that people will equate using the n word, to insulting a belief system. There is a simple distinction between these two: you can choose your religion, you cannot choose the colour of your skin. Mocking and insulting someone for something they cannot change is wrong, foolish, and unproductive. Mocking and insulting someone for something that can be easily changed is rather more pointful. If I say that Mohammed was a clever but insane manipulator of people around him to get them to do what he wanted, therefore following the koran is, at best, misguided, fine. If i say black people are inherantly misguided, this is in no way the same thing, and should be utterly discouraged. The distinction must be made between things people can change, and those they can’t.

  24. #24 Nebogipfel
    October 18, 2006

    Sastra:

    There seems to be a rather subtle form of discrimination at work when whining Christians are supposed to “buck up and take it” when mocked,

    I understand what you’re saying, but offended Christians are NOT supposed to buck up and take it. They can make speeches, hold demonstrations, vigils and prayer meetings, hand out pamphlets, write letters to their newspapers and politicians. They cannot (and largely do not) go round murdering people they don’t like, or inciting others to riot and murder. The same rules apply to Muslims, too.

    It’s as if Muslims are permanently backwards children around whom one must tiptoe delicately, talk down to, and not expect very much out of.

    Harming someone just because they have hurt your feelings is the behaviour of a child, not an adult. If you go round behaving like child, you can’t complain if you get treated like one.

  25. #25 Prup aka Jim Benton
    October 18, 2006

    Raindogzilla, I want to repeat yet again that the relatively innocuous cartoons in J-P were not commissioned to offend. (Annoy, maybe, since J-P is rather strongly ‘anti-immigrant.’) The cartoons that were meant to offend were the three truly scurrilous ones that the radical imam circulated in the ME. Few people in the West that didn’t follow the controversy in ME blogs ever saw them, and didn’t realize why Muslims were as offended as they were. Those were the ones that, had J-P actually printed them, might have gotten them receiving some condemnation, might have given more credence to your ‘they had the right, but would have been better to refrain.’ (One, showing Mohammed on the receiving end of ‘amorous action’ from a dog, might have even been arguably punishable on the grounds of obscenity — if you accept that as punishable, which I do not. Another was, in fact, a picture of a minor French ‘entertainer’ who performs, for some reason, wearing a pig’s nose, and had nothing to do with Mohammed at all until it was falsely captioned.)
    But no punishment has been exacted on the imam, except keeping him, I believe, from returning to Denmark.

  26. #26 Orac
    October 18, 2006

    We have such an exception in the US dealing with incitement to violence, but it’s limited to actual incitements to violence, as when someone whips a group up into a lather and tells them to commit violence.

    Exactly. It’s a very limited situation in which such speech can be considered illegal. The incitement has to cause an imminent danger of violence, as in “Go kill that guy right now!”). It can’t just be something like “blacks should be killed” (or Jews, or whatever), unless, perhaps, there happen to be some blacks or Jews right there whom the crowd might be incited to attack.

    Thus, “hate speech,” per se, is not illegal in the U.S. unless it can clearly be shown to cause an “incitement to imminent lawless action.”

    See Brandenburg v. Ohio.

  27. #27 Raging Bee
    October 18, 2006

    Prup and RickD: Thanx for the background-notes on this issue. I would also add that the “Toon Tantrum” was launched by Saudi state-controlled media shortly after a certain crowd-control fiasco at the Haj that killed about 300 pilgrims and embarrassed the Guardians of the Two Holy Mosques all over the Muslim world. In other words, the whole thing started as a diversion from a totally different controversy.

  28. #28 Raging Bee
    October 18, 2006

    I also cannot defend the publishing of the cartoons. To my eyes, they had no artistic, political, or social value.

    On this I agree: the only cartoon I found at all amusing was “Stop, stop, we’ve run out of virgins!” The rest were somewhere between uninspired and tasteless, and if I was an editor, I would not have chosen to print them on their own merits as cartoons.

    But that is a decision best left to the owners of newspapers and other media; and in the US, most mainstream media outlets normally choose not to print tasteless and insulting “humor,” in order not to offend their paying subscribers.

    But here’s another wrinkle: once the Toon Tantrum got underway, the reaction became newsworthy, and thus, so did the alleged cause of the reaction. Thus, at least for a short time, the cartoons were “news,” and the MSM had good reason to reprint them.

The site is currently under maintenance and will be back shortly. New comments have been disabled during this time, please check back soon.