Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, February 10, 2006

American newspapers are fearful

I don't seem to have the mindset to do orginal writing today, so I'm just having fun directing you to all the interesting things I read this morning. This post's interesting thing is Rich Lowry's well-put take on the fact that the American is finally being exposed as a paper tiger:

Christians have long wondered how to get due regard for their religious sensibilities from the arbiters of our culture. Now they know the answer: mayhem. The riots and protests around the Islamic world and in Muslim communities in the West regarding a dozen cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published in a Danish newspaper have fostered a newfound sensitivity to religious offense in the more secular precincts of the West. The New York Times — the most important liberal organ in the country — chastised the Danish cartoonists and refused to reproduce the cartoons, instead bizarrely illustrating the controversy with a photo of a painting of the Virgin Mary festooned with elephant dung from a long-ago dispute at a Brooklyn museum. The Times's disdain for the cartoons is a departure. What happened to art for art's sake? When was the last time the Times criticized any piece of art, no matter how jejune, outrageous or stupid? And what happened to shocking the bourgeoisie? Well, they are much more enjoyable to shock than Islamists because, once duly shocked, the bourgeoisie pack the kids into a minivan and head to a soccer game, rather than issue death threats and burn down embassies. Fear stalks the cartoon debate. Understandably. Few editors want to potentially endanger their employees by reprinting the cartoons. The comedian Sarah Silverman has a riff in her offensively titled concert movie, 'Jesus Is Magic,' in which she explains that she feels freest to insult groups that she's not afraid of. So she lets loose on Asian-Americans, assuming they won't threaten her. This logic is also why she would never title her film 'Muhammad Is Magic,' and is clearly at play in the cartoon debate.