Cartoons your newspaper (except the Inquirer!) won't let you see!

Via Pajamas Media and Michelle Malkin, I see that the Philadelphia Inquirer has received praise from the New York Times for daring to publish one of the forbidden Danish cartoons.

Here's how it appears in the Inquirer's hard copy:

InkMohamet2.jpg

In a post which has drawn comments from all over the world, I had originally chided the Inquirer for not publishing the cartoon, and said I'd apologize for my post's title -- ("Cartoons your newspaper won't let you see") if they did. Much to my surprise, the Inquirer first linked to the cartoons, then ran the hard copy above, which I scanned and put into the post. Despite the fact that the post continues to draw comments, it's no longer on the front page of the blog, hence the need for a new post. With a new title! (As Michelle notes, the Inquirer is joined by the New York Sun, the and the Riverside Press Enterprise.)

It was very brave of the Inquirer to do this and I agree with Michelle:

The point that needs to be hammered again and again is that the newspaper did not publish the cartoon to deliberately offend Muslims or to make an anti-Islamist statement, but to inform. Which is what newspapers, may I remind them, are supposed to do....
The Inquirer explains the editorial decision:
To us, this was a moment for newspaper journalists to do what they are uniquely qualified to do in this country - to lay out all sides of the issue for a well-informed public to debate and discuss. The Inquirer published the image to inform our readers, not to inflame them. Before we published it, we interviewed a wide range of people, from Muslim theologians to experts in journalistic ethics. We considered the publication of the image in the same way we have previously considered publishing difficult or troubling images. Other such examples include the burned bodies of contractors hanging from a bridge in Fallujah, and artistic works that included disturbing Christian imagery.

We published the Danish cartoon as part of a rich offering of coverage on the whole issue. We not only covered the protests, we also examined the issues behind the protests. We have run stories on why Muslims might find the images offensive and on why the American media found this such a difficult choice. We plan further coverage on a variety of topics, including satire in the Middle East. We also have invited members of our local Muslim community to contribute pieces for our op-ed page.

This is what newspapers are in the business to do. We educate people, we inform them, we spark discussion. It is not only our profession, it is our obligation.

Good work!

I feel truly blessed to have such a good, principled, newspaper.

And remember, this is coming from someone who disagrees with the Inquirer all the time (as any regular reader will confirm).

UPDATE: My apologies for not including the Rocky Mountain News on the list of exceptions!

(I hope I can keep on apologizing....)

MORE: Editor and Publisher has more on the Inquirer protest.

Accoring to the NYT, the protesters are demanding an apology by this Friday. (Why Friday, I can't imagine...) I can't help notice this comment from CAIR's Ibrahim Hooper:

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, said that despite The Inquirer's decision, he had seen restraint on all sides of the issue within the United States. "I think The Inquirer's move was the exception that proves the rule," Mr. Hooper said.
I didn't know the United States had such a "rule."

(Remember, that's coming from a guy whose organization wants to sandblast a sculpture from the wall of the Supreme Court.)

MORE: Obviously, I hope the Inquirer does not apologize.

UPDATE: Via InstaPundit, NRO's Jim Geraghty also praises the Inquirer:

I’m a fan of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and not just because they sometimes run my column or quote this blog. They’re proving they’ve got guts (or some other part of the anatomy associated with courage and fortitude), as the first major paper to publish the infamous cartoons.
If only the praise from the New York Times had sounded more like that! (But I'm trying not to be percieved as insulting the New York Times...)


MORE: Mark Petrelis takes a harder line with the recalcitrant Times:

Too bad Keller, Calame and others at the Times lack the moral and journalistic courage of Amanda Bennett, editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, and her publication which ran one of the cartoons on Saturday.

Reading the lame excuses from Keller, and Calame's lazy support of Keller's weak arguments, I am more impressed today with the strong spine of Amanda Bennett and her news room in Philadelphia. Keep up the great journalism, Ms. Bennett!

I hope they do!

MORE: In a comment below, Callimachus asked whether there was a "small version of the bomb-head caricature [] in a Tony Auth cartoon on their editorial page a few days ago."

Yes, there was! And it was so good I had to pull it from the recycling bin and scan it.

Here it is:

Auth0203.jpg

MORE: The Inquirer's editorial page editor Chris Satullo interviews Tony Auth about the cartoons:

Satullo: How do you deal with upset people who say you use stereotypes and depict their religion or ethnicity as all uniformly terrorist, and they feel you are painting with a too-wide brush? What is your response?

Auth: I would disagree. The cartoon was about the tolerance of mass murders, not the accusation that all Muslims are mass murderers. What is the underlying message here? To me it is of a particular concern - Muhammad with a bomb in his turban is not so much an assault on Muhammad but is raising the question: Is this now what has happened to Islam? And if it is, shouldn't there be an uproar about that? Isn't that what we should be complaining about? And in fact the Jordanian editor that Trudy Rubin pointed out in her column raised exactly that question - what is more an assault on Islam, a beheading of a hostage on the Internet or these drawings? And he was fired for just raising that question

- I think that is the problem.

Regarding the role of political cartoons generally, I enjoy this quote from "Boss" Tweed:

In perhaps the best known example of the force of the political cartoon, Thomas Nast’s images in Harper’s Weekly played an important role in the overthrow of the Tweed Ring in 1870s New York City. An exasperated Boss Tweed is recorded to have demanded of his henchmen, “Stop them damn pictures. I don’t care so much what the papers write about me. My constituents can’t read. But, damn it, they can see pictures.”
Perhaps they're afraid the message will resonate.

posted by Eric on 02.07.06 at 04:38 PM










Comments

Thank the Philly Inquirer for me too, willya? Also, if they really want to be balanced and informative, they should print this stuff alongside some samples of Jew-bashing cartoons taken from Arab publications.

You think our MSM is bad? Check this out:
http://muttawa.blogspot.com/2005/11/saudi-arabia-to-tackle-racism.html

Raging Bee   ·  February 8, 2006 9:58 AM

Yep, good job to the Inky (with whom I, too, almost always disagree editorially nowadays). I wonder if Trudy Rubin thinks it was a good idea? And good on you for noticing it big and clear.

Was I dreaming this, or did a small version of the bomb-head caricature also turn up in a Tony Auth cartoon on their editorial page a few days ago?

Callimachus   ·  February 9, 2006 4:46 PM

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