NYT and the Charlie Hebdo massacre

NYT has an editorial on the subject. It opens by praising the French.

The brutal terrorist attack on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris on Wednesday has badly shaken France. But the French have reacted with a fierce determination to defend their freedoms. President François Hollande, speaking from outside the magazine’s office a couple of hours after the murder of 12 people, was crystal clear: This was an assault, he said, on “the expression of freedom” that is the “spirit of the republic.”

Then, of course, they appear to defend freedom of speech:

There are some who will say that Charlie Hebdo tempted the ire of Islamists one too many times, as if coldblooded murder is the price to pay for putting out a magazine. The massacre was motivated by hate. It is absurd to suggest that the way to avoid terrorist attacks is to let the terrorists dictate standards in a democracy.

But actually reprinting the cartoons at NYT is not in the cards. Instead, they quickly segue into ranting about Marine Le Pen:

This is also no time for peddlers of xenophobia to try to smear all Muslims with a terrorist brush. It is a shame that Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front party, which has made political gains stoking anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim fears, immediately sought political advantage with talk of “denial and hypocrisy” about “Islamic fundamentalism.”

President Hollande has wisely appealed for national unity. His sentiments were echoed by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, who asked the public to avoid the temptation to “lump together” terrorists with Muslims, and he called for a united front against terrorism. Dalil Boubakeur, the rector of the Grand Mosque in Paris, expressed his community’s anguish over the attack. He did not mince words: “This is a deafening declaration of war,” he said.

They conclude on the note that they thoroughly approve of the hashtag campaign #JeSuisCharlie.

But hashtags campaigns have proved completely useless against Muslim terrorists. Where are the Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram? They are gone and forgotten.

Many of the comments highlighted as “NYT Picks” are negative.  A reader going by “Occupy Government” says

You think this was about islam? it isn’t. this is about people who believe they can impose their faith, (opinions, politics, sexual preferences, etc.) on others. it’s not about Islam, but about us.

WTF does that even mean? Another pick:

And, by the way, upsetting all Muslims is a really great way of radicalizing a population.

Another comment they thought worth “picking” says:

Although I believe in freedom of the press, I do believe depicting another’s prophet naked and in sexual positions is over the top. Do, I believe such a response was appropriate, of course not. But, why is it we teach our children not to bully and torment others, but it doesn’t apply in adult life, where the lack of stableness can be seen all around us, also?

The one thing NYT could do in reprint the cartoons. But they won’t. One comment with many recommendations (“likes”) and also a “pick” says

“Je suis Charlie?”

If we truly mean this then we should tweet, share, send and display those “offending” cartoons to as many people as we can.

Just like we asked Sony to stand up to the North Korean dictator, every media outlet should publish those cartoons, on their front pages, in unison.

Otherwise, it’s just words, and the terrorists will have won.

We are waiting, NYT. Do you really support free speech or not?

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