Oh my, our "Fourth Estate" is so brave, so defiant when they know that there's nothing to fear. "Speaking truth to power" is easy and essentially cost free when you know that "power" happens to be a group of elected officials constrained by and accountable to the mechanisms of a mature constitutional republic.
When "power" happens to be a mob of Islamic fanatics under the sway of an 8th Century religo-political totalitarian philosophy that very well might firebomb your office, uh... that's another story altogether.
And no, it's not just simple cowardice that drives the media to renounce and reject its love of the First Amendment. Multiculturalism, and its attendant Western cultural self doubt/loathing, allows the media elite to wallow in a warm, comfortable pool of self referential rationalization.
"We're not afraid, we simply do not want to incite." Yeah, right. That would explain the release of the Abu Ghraib pictures.
Ah... but Abu Ghraib dinged the United States and weakened our cause. If the American people were allowed to see the cartoons in question vis-a-vis the violence that they provoked... well, that wouldn't do at all. It would make the Islamist nut jobs look like insane a-holes. It would reveal the cultural "other" in all of their fanatical, violent, homicidal, irrational splendor.
No, that simply will not do.
To bastardize Deep Throat: If you want to get to the bottom of this - "Follow the narrative." When exposing abuse of Muslim detainees or the "flushing" of a Koran down the toilet in an American run prison facility is the story - sensitivity and caution be damned. Why? Because stories like these serve the press' anti-war, anti-Bush narrative and makes the press feel like they're fighting the good fight with Woodward and Bernstein. Let's do the time warp again.
Liberal media elites look back on Vietnam and Watergate with so much pride and nostalgia that he late 60's/early 70'a seems to be their "World War II". My World War II defining historical reference is, well... World War II - and the Cold War.
Let's look at one of the cartoons.
Okay, it's not the funniest political cartoon I've seen but it certainly isn't offensive. It shines a light on the philosophy behind Islamo-Fascism. The tone and execution of the piece actually seem soft and gentle to me. Mohammed looks like a friendly sort.
With another caption, he could be St. Peter at the Gates of Heaven. The St. Peter at the gates cartoon template has been used a hundred times over the last 75 years to make one point or another. Has one of those cartoons ever stirred violence in the streets here or anywhere else?
And ta-daaaa! That, my friends is the cartoon's editorial thrust.
The radical Islamists don't like it because it rings true. The MSM doesn't like it because it puts a damper on their anti-war / anti-U.S. narrative.
And yeah, I do think that the Managing Editors of the newspapers in Europe and the United States that chose not to print these cartoons as NEWS - not as an Op-Ed or Editorial piece are more than a little bit afraid of the consequences.