Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Shame on you, Denmark! Cheers to James Zogby

Okay, I'm really angry about the European press jumping on Denmark's bandwagon to print those obviously inflammatory caricatures of Mohammed... all under the guise of making a statement for Freedom of the Press.

Yes, the press has the freedom to publish garbage, to start arguments, and to offend. But don't we as writers feel any sort of responsibility to be human? To have a soul? To relate to our fellow humans in a helpful manner?

Yes, Denmark had a right to publish those pictures and they could publish a picture of turds on a toilet seat, too. But what purpose do these things serve? The same: baseless offense.

I heard James Zogby speaking on the BBC the other day. He's the head of a prominent Muslim organization in America, and you can click on his name in the title to get to his bio. He really pointed out the main thing about this whole Denmark debacle... how silly it is (and ultimately how destructive) to knowingly publish things that will only offend.

I felt very sorry for the Danish table tennis players who will not compete in their tournament in the Emirates. This is exactly the sort of thing that happens when the press thinks only of its great rights and freedoms, and forgets that it is meant to be a vehicle for news and useful information.

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