Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cartoon controversy

I'm waiting for all the US newspapers which "bravely" reprinted the Muhammed-as-terrorist cartoons under the banner of "freedom of speech" to now do the same for the Obama-as-chimp illustration.

Surely if US editors aren't afraid of offending large groups of people in other countries, they shouldn't shy away from offending large groups of readers and advertisers in their own communities! Don't let those Obama supporters intimidate you! Freedom of speech must be upheld!

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This is a good example of how racism is defended as "freedom of speech" only when the consequences take place in somebody else's community. Newspapers certainly have the right to offend whoever they want, but freedom of speech does not protect them from the economic consequences of offending their own communities. This is why newspapers do not purposely print material that is offensive merely because they can: they want to remain in business.

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