Update: As promised by Brit Hume, Fox News has republished the offending cartoons. If you’re waiting expectantly for other drive-by media to follow suit, don’t hold your breath. There’s only one religion in contemporary society whose mockery is verboten.
Mark Steyn, as usual, cuts to the heart of the matter. The refusal by almost every North American media outlet of consequence-with one glaring exception-to republish the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo-like their choice to ban the Jyllands-Posten Mohammed caricatures, is an example of cowardice. This is a decision motivated by base, craven fear, masquerading as a sop to Muslim sensibilities. That said, the decision by most European newspapers to republish those same satirical cartoons shouldn’t be seen as an indication that the continental media have any firmer grasp of what’s at stake, as the groupthink denunciation of grassroots anti-Islamization campaigns, as well as of those political figures who’ve criticized the multicultural ideology that contributed to Wednesday’s massacre, makes clear. The consistent obfuscation of who is responsible for the series of horrific anti-Semitic violence being but one example of how muddled the Fourth Estate’s evaluation of Islam’s relationship to the West is.
Unfortunately, I think that Steyn has hit upon a difficult truth to digest. The journalists who were assassinated by jihadists in Paris were not simply irreplaceable in terms of their unique talent for clarifying the relationship described above. They were irreplaceable in a much more immediate, practical sense. There are only so many people willing to place themselves in the crosshairs of the perpetually aggrieved religion before our reserve of martyrs is exhausted. And then, notwithstanding the faux solidarity of people who posture as journalists, the terrorists really will have won.
h/t Gates of Vienna.