Patterico's Pontifications


American Spectator And Franklin Center Say They Stand with Charlie Hebdo . . . But Do Their Actions Say the Same?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:24 pm

A stirring post at the American Spectator declares solidarity with those murdered at Charlie Hebdo:

It could be said that the people who worked at Charlie Hebdo knew this day could come.

Charlie Hebdo’s Editor Stephane Charbonnier (a.k.a. Charb) was among those killed today.

Amid the threats against Charlie Hebdo, Charb told his staff, “I prefer to die standing than living on my knees.”

Clearly the people who worked at Charlie Hebdo lived and died by those words.

Je suis Charlie.

Isn’t that inspiring? And the folks at the Franklin Center issued this press release:

This morning the world awoke to the horrific news that Islamic extremists stormed the offices of the French publication Charlie Hebdo in Paris, murdering at least 12 people. This heinous act was an assault on the freedom of the press – an attack on free people and the values western civilization cherish deeply.

This senseless, inhumane act will not prevent journalists who understand the significance of a free press to a free society. The journalists at Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity stand with our colleagues in Paris and the people of France. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

Not terribly grammatical — will not prevent journalists who understand the significance of a free press to a free society from doing what? — but the sentiment is similar to that of the American Spectator: we must all stand together when speech is threatened.

Well, guys, that’s easy for you to say . . . but your actions don’t line up.

The American Spectator and the Franklin Center both caved to Brett Kimberlin . . . when all that was on the line was money. Sure, they can talk big about how they stand with those who literally risked (and lost) their lives to defend free speech. But the grand pronouncements ring a little hollow when we all know that they caved to a domestic terrorist, when the risk they faced was not being killed, but merely having to defend against an utterly frivolous lawsuit.

I was going to write a post about that this morning, but I was too busy working on our response to that same silly lawsuit — the one that the American Spectator and the Franklin Center slinked away from.

Vous n’êtes pas Charlie, Franklin Center. Vous n’etes pas Charlie, American Spectator.

P.S. Matt Welch summed up how easy it is to talk big in this great post:

So no, we’re all not Charlie—few of us are that good, and none of us are that brave. If more of us were brave, and refused to yield to the bomber’s veto, and maybe reacted to these eternally recurring moments not by, say, deleting all your previously published Muhammad images, as the Associated Press is reportedly doing today, but rather by routinely posting newsworthy images in service both to readers and the commitment to a diverse and diffuse marketplace of speech, then just maybe Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t have stuck out so much like a sore thumb. It’s harder, and ultimately less rewarding to the fanatical mind, to hit a thousand small targets than one large one.

A “bomber’s veto,” you say? Interesting terminology.

If it makes you feel better, Matt, the AP is also suddenly deleting its Piss Christ images — the ones that have graced their Web site for years. This is necessary, you see, to support their transparent lie that they won’t publish the Muhammad images out of deference to religious sensibilities.

P.P.S. I’m not Charlie Hebdo, but I’ll pretend to be Spartacus for a moment if it will help.

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10 Responses to “American Spectator And Franklin Center Say They Stand with Charlie Hebdo . . . But Do Their Actions Say the Same?”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Don’t worry, Patterico — I’m sure that American Spectator and Franklin Center are polishing up a DOOZY of a hashtag. It’ll be carefully and sensitively wrought to give the appearance of SUPPORTING Free Speech and Freedom of Religion, while still admitting that Islam and Muslims and the Koran and The Prophet and Allah *NEED* to be “protected” from “disrespect” (or suspicion, or criticism, or — cartoons) because . . . unh . . . because they’ve got violent idjits willing to kill anybody who dares to speak up against the Islamization of the world.

    (Has anybody actually asked one of the noodle-brained Imams how Mohammed, dead for 1400 years, is going to be “offended” by a cartoon? Or how Almighty Allah, creator of heaven and earth, having been criticized in some fashion or caricatured in a cartoon, is somehow completely unable to “defend” himself and so requires those same “violent idjits” to take care of the necessary smiting FOR him? I mean, REALLY?)

    A_Nonny_Mouse (3ee72c)

  3. Or ask them why their prophet is so thin skinned and weak so as to need a bunch of goat rapers to avenge even the slightest insult… if their God and prophet are so needy yet so great, let their God and/or prophet take me now.
    Who in their right mind worships a God and prophet who require me to avenge an insult.
    I’d rather worship a God who could squish those who insult, yet chooses to let it go, while giving every chance for grace.
    When did Allah become a third rate diety strapped with a thin skinned idiot of a prophet?
    Oh. When the clergy geniuses decided they had it all on word from Allah
    Perfect. Circular resoning applied to religion… great people those arabs

    steveg (794291)

  4. It’s like the Bee standing up for freedom of speech all of a sudden, but their empty comment section and sanitized archives say different.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  5. and also this cheap terroristic violence is exactly the sort of thing our Saudi royal trash friends do to their own people as a matter of course every day

    same as how failmerica’s new cuban whorefriends regularly assault their fellow citizens as a way of cracking down on Charlie Hebdo-like thoughtcrimes

    happyfeet (831175)

  6. I agree. And maybe, just maybe, the Charlie Hebdo events will lead the Spectators and Franklin Centers of this world to reconsider their prior cowardice.

    To pick the smallest of nits:

    – Spartacus, not Sparticus.

    – “Vous n’êtes pas Charlie” — avec un accent circonflexe (ˆ).

    Mitch (341ca0)

  7. Well done Patterico!!

    Seeing this cartoon published on your site gives me hope.

    Georganne (e37667)

  8. New York Times Op-ed column by David Brooks today:

    I Am Not Charlie Hebdo

    He talks about universities. Also that most people aren’t like Charlie Hebdo.

    Most societies have successfully maintained standards of civility and respect while keeping open avenues for those who are funny, uncivil and offensive.

    In most societies, there’s the adults’ table and there’s the kids’ table. The people who read Le Monde or the establishment organs are at the adults’ table. …They’re not granted complete respectability, but they are heard because in their unguided missile manner, they sometimes say necessary things that no one else is saying.

    Healthy societies, in other words, don’t suppress speech, but they do grant different standing to different sorts of people….

    The massacre at Charlie Hebdo should be an occasion to end speech codes. And it should remind us to be legally tolerant toward offensive voices, even as we are socially discriminating.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  9. Thanks, Mitch. Both are fixed.

    Patterico (9c670f)

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