Patterico's Pontifications

4/2/2006

Somebody explain me this one

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 7:40 pm



[A post by See-Dubya]

Little Green Footballs is covering the Borders War–not illegal immigration, but the refusal of the bookstore Borders to carry the current issue of the magazine Free Inquiry. This month’s issue just happens to contain the 12 Danish Mohammed Cartoons that started all that trouble. Borders’ statement (quoted at LGF) makes explicit that this is for safety reasons: “For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority.”

Funny thing about this is that back in February, at the height of the crisis, the Weekly Standard ran the cartoons. I double-checked their .pdf archive of back issues, and sure enough, there it is, right on p.8 of the Feb. 20, 2006 edition, which had The Cartoon Jihad as their cover story. I didn’t hear anything about banning the Weekly Standard. How come?

The worst of the cartoon jihad was over by then; that’s why they were writing about it. So it’s not that a bunch of awful things happened between 2/20 and the end of March, at least nothing worse than what had already happened.

One idea occurs to me: It’s the Weekly F’in Standard, b*tch, and you don’t kill an issue of the cool kids’ weekly without paying a stiff price. Drop the Standard over this, and Matt Labash or even P.J. O’Rourke will write scathing obloquy about Borders until they can’t scathe no more.

But Free Inquiry? Had anyone heard of this journal before this week? No one reads Free Inquiry at the White House. It’s published by the “Council for Secular Humanism”. Nobody cares about a bunch of whiny atheists, and Borders isn’t going to stick their neck out for them.

I’m not necessarily blaming Borders alone here. They didn’t say there was any threat that motivated this censorship, but what if there was? (WARNING: RANK SPECULATION ALERT) Surely a radical Islamist would know that a bookstore would be more susceptible to pressure to remove Free Inquiry than to pressure to remove the Standard. The backlash from shutting out the Standardwould be devastating to his cause, but Free Inquiry? That’s a gimme, right?

–See Dubya

6 Responses to “Somebody explain me this one”

  1. “Borders’ statement (quoted at LGF) makes explicit that this is for safety reasons: “For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority.””

    It took much less than safety to get blockbuster to not carry “the last temptation of christ.” Back when I called them about it they said it was a ‘business decision.’

    actus (6234ee)

  2. It probably was.

    sharon (fecb65)

  3. Would it be a “business decision” to print the cartoons in your unknown publication and prod Borders to pull it to get some publicity? And did the editors of Free Inquiry make such a business decision?

    Lew Clark (5acde5)

  4. It probably was.

    It was my first introduction to the wonderful world or PR’isms. I mean, “Business decision”?

    actus (6234ee)

  5. “business decisions” … not that there’s anything wrong with that…

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  6. Hey, thanks to Borders, Free Inquiry is going to have huge sales this month.

    Dana (dd8e7e)


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