“The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prohibits….
the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.”
Feature photo: @Xavier de Torres (pour Paris Match/L’Instant)
This means that these fundamental freedoms are protected by law, but now it seems that these freedoms are limited by fear. In 9/11, several fanatics put a virtual lid of terror on the land of freedom of press and expression. Replaceable towers were destroyed, thousands of irreplaceable lives were lost. Although, above all of this death and destruction, these evildoers succeeded beyond belief to erode these sacred freedoms. While the law still stands, several press outlets as well as the administration are bowing down, embracing the argument that provocation is not a responsible attitude, especially when coming from cartoon drawings. When it is torture, serial bombings, and chronic lies it’s not provocation it’s fair game in war. Only, in the end the effect is exactly the same for the attackers. No one will become safer because they comply with barbary by censoring Charlie’s drawings.
Not all media expressed concerns or disgust over Charlie’s irreverent drawings, but the largest outlets, those who are influencing most of the public opinion, are more than concerned. From a Jihadist point of view, this form of auto-censorship could be considered a sign of defeat and vulnerability in itself. In America, as part of the freedom of expression, there is a right to like or dislike Charlie Hebdo, a right to prioritize safety, and a right to be fearful.
Although bare in mind: ” Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” (Benjamin Franklin)”
Here are the pro-auto censorship:
THE WASHINGTON POST ” Among the covers is a too-racy-for-WorldViews depiction of the Christian Holy Trinity locked in a three-way homosexual orgy (as part of a critique of French religious leaders’ opposition to gay marriage) and a whole array of images mocking pedophilia by priests.”
AP : “None of the images distributed by AP showed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. It’s been our policy for years that we refrain from showing deliberately provocative images.”
(AP extended the censorship to an image of Piss Christ taking down by request from the Washington Examiner.)
CNN : “Journalistically, every bone says we want to use and should use” the cartoons, Zucker said. But “as managers, protecting and taking care of the safety of our employees around the world is more important right now.”
NEW YORK TIMES: ” after careful consideration, also decided that “describing the cartoons” would suffice, according to a spokeswoman.”
NBC News: said Wednesday that the network will not be showing “headlines or cartoons that could be viewed as insensitive or offensive,” and that guidance also applies to CNBC and MSNBC.
ABC News: took the same path
Al-Jazheera: a reported leaked e-mail exchange between executives, is close from being highly caricatural, it is not.