Thursday, January 8, 2015

Further Thoughts on Charlie Hebdo: Where We Go From Here

Usually, governments have been the worst opponents of journalists, satirists, and those who not only believe but daily practice freedom of expression.   In the case of totalitarian governments in the 20th century and dictatorships throughout the ages, those in power often imprisoned and killed those who dared to criticize them in print or any medium. Democracies have been a little better, but even Turkey recently arrested and imprisoned a journalist.  The United States has been known to do the same - certainly numerous journalists were arrested here during Occupy Wall Street, in blatant violation of our First Amendment.

Recently, corporations have engaged in a kind of self-censorship, which has been destructive of the public's right to know.  Sony's initial pulling of The Interview out of movie theaters is a recent regrettable example. And even last night, in the reporting of the Charlie Hebdo attack, progressive stalwarts such as MSNBC refused to show some of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons deemed so offensive by the murderers in Paris.   But not showing those cartoons is an offense to those who died, and everyone who believes in freedom of expression.

The world changed yesterday.  Journalists have long been in danger on the front lines of war reporting.  Now they are in danger in their very offices.   Now more than ever, governments and corporations need to give those brave guardians of our democracy their maximum support.



my comments yesterday about the Charlie Hebdo attack



world response last month to Turkish media crackdowns



Sony media hack fiasco
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