CBC wimps out on showing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons

You can judge the honesty and commitment to free speech of a journalist or newspaper by whether or not they’ll publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in a relevant article. If they do, they’re showing what they must show to help readers understand what so offended the Muslim killers. If they don’t, they’re cowardly, afraid that they’ll suffer the same fate as the Charlie Hebdo staff. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali said, now is the time for every paper and outlet to publish those cartoons.

But, joining the cowardly BBC and Torygraph, Jennifer McGuire, editor-in-chief and general manager of the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) News online, explains why they didn’t publish any of the cartoons. It’s not a convincing defense. Here’s the relevant part of her defense, called “To publish or not to publish?

News editors around the world grappled with the same dilemma yesterday: to show or not to show the controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons linked to the mass murder in Paris.

At CBC News, we opted on the side of discretion [JAC: AKA “fear”]: to show some of these incendiary cartoons, but hold back from showing the ones most likely to offend Muslims because they depicted the Prophet Muhammad.

We had a great deal of company in making that decision, as organizations such as CNN and the BBC adopted a similar approach.

Others, such as The National Post, made a different choice, and made a point of publishing the cartoons.

If you spent any time on social media yesterday, you’d think that both choices represented some sort of declaration of war: if you published, you were obviously against Islam; if you didn’t, you were obviously against freedom of speech – or at the very least, a censoring coward.

Sorry to let the rabble-rousers on both sides down, but the truth is that neither is the case.

You can be a fierce devotee of freedom of expression who feels outrage against extremists and solidarity with French journalists, yet still decide that you can cover the story clearly and thoroughly without publishing material that could offend Muslims or even incite hatred toward them.

You can also be committed to respect for all religions and believe in social justice, yet still decide that this attack on democratic values and freedoms was so outrageous that taking a stand by publishing the cartoons is the right thing to do.

Sorry, Ms. McGuire, but you’re a news outlet, and the cartoons are news. Readers want—deserve—to see exactly what aroused the ire of Muslims enough to make them commit murder. It is your obligation to show those cartoons. And they are satirical, not pornographic—exactly the kind of stuff that political cartoonists produce. But of course those satirists are making fun of politics, not religion, and politicians don’t kill them in retribution. And really, “respect for all religions”? Even the ones that incite hatred and murder? Do you really respect extremist Islam?

Your additional “explanation” is not convincing:

Recognizing that both choices are okay does not make one a nihilist; it makes one a realist.

No, it makes one a craven coward. It shows you to be someone afraid of Muslim ire. By capitulating to terrorists’ wrath in a way they wouldn’t do for any other faith, the CBC has helped those terrorists attain their goal. McGuire has, by refusing to publish the cartoons, given the Muslim extremists exactly what they want.

McGuire isn’t afraid of offending Muslims; she’s afraid that the terrorists will go after the CBC.

h/t: Jim E.


  1. merilee
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink


  2. GBJames
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Yes. Sub.

    • rickflick
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      I was nauseated reading that load of bullshit excuses for despicable cowardice.
      Notify me of new comments via email.

      • gluonspring
        Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        I only read the first 20 comments on that CBC article, but they were uniformly harsh in their criticism of this capitulating stance. That much is cheering.

        • rickflick
          Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          I can’t blame them for being afraid of retaliation. Perhaps if they had forgone the mealy mouth gibberish and just said flatly they were afraid the Islamists would attack the CBC staff. As painful as it would be to admit it, it would be the truth.

          • Doug
            Posted January 8, 2015 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

            If they said that, then people would complain that they were accusing Muslims of being violent.

            • Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

              The cowardice doesn’t reside in not publishing the cartoons; that may be prudent. The cowardice lies in not giving the true reason: fear of murderous retaliation by Islamists. That is a problem that really needs to be dragged right out in the open. Refreshingly, Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, gave just that as his reason for not publishing the cartoons: he said that if a Jewish newspaper like his published them his staff would be first in the queue to be murdered. That’s a sound reason for not publishing, and he was honest enough to give the real reason, which exposes a problem that urgently needs addressing.

              • GBJames
                Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

                While I strongly advocate universal publication of the cartoons, this is a position I can at least respect. It is, at least, honest.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

                Me too and I happened to say so wrt the CBC stance. Just give us the real reason.

              • rickflick
                Posted January 9, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

                If everyone who was afraid admitted it publicly, maybe it would be easier to move on to facing the source of the problem instead of sweeping it under the prayer rug.

          • jay
            Posted January 9, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

            In encountered that once years ago we went to a small privately owned theater to see a movie (forget the name) about a corrupt Catholic priest.

            When we go there, the only person present was the owner who told us that because of a bomb threat, he sent all his employees home and did not want to endanger employees or movie goers.

          • Diane G.
            Posted January 9, 2015 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

            I agree, rick.

            But what if all the press in a given area or country got together and decided that every one of them would publish the cartoons on the same day. Perhaps we can come up with an “International Post Offensive Cartoons Day.”


          • rickflick
            Posted January 10, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

            Sounds like a plan. All jump off the bridge holding hands. Many small brave hearts become one big one.

  3. Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Censorship of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons is a mortal insult to the memory of Stéphane Charbonnier and his compatriots. How these so-called journalists can show such disrespect for the exemplars of their profession whilst groveling at the feet of the cowards who murdered them is utterly beyond me.


    • thh1859
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Well done, Ben

      • Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Yes indeed, well done Ben.

        As for the CBC’s “justification” it’s really disgustingly pathetic to see one coward defend his cowardly action by saying someone else did the same cowardly thing.

    • mathieu siol
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 2:25 am | Permalink


    • Dominic
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 5:25 am | Permalink

      Looks like Elvis…!

    • W.Benson
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Right on!

    • Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      I posted this cover, many of the response cartoons, and much else on my FB page.

  4. Dean
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Disappointing, but unsurprising. The CBC is perpetually afraid of offending anyone, lest there be a large revolt against their taxpayer funding.

    But they can look around and see that they are definitely not alone in their cowardice.

    • rickflick
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      I find it revolting that they can sight other’s cowardice as justification for their own.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I am totally pissed with the CBC on this today. I wrote somewhere else on this site that I heard them on Radio One say that they didn’t need to publish the images because everyone knows they were offensive and they didn’t want to offend Muslims.

    Okay, so I guess that means you don’t really have to report anything because we can just imagine what they are going to report. I’m glad they have interviewed lots of people today who have said the exact opposite, one person (forget who) saying that if it is in the public interest and it is not promoting hatred against a group of people (and the law is very clear on the difference) then it should be published. I somehow suspect the journalists at CBC perhaps did not agree with their employer on this one.

    Finally, yous (trying to bring “yous” mainstream) will remember that Jerry wrote about that annoying man, Rex Murphy where he bigotedly bashed atheists. CBC didn’t seem too concerned about offending atheists or really about saying hateful things about a significant portion of Canada’s population (there are more atheists than Muslims, not that it’s a numbers contest).

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm | Permalink


    • Posted January 8, 2015 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Exactly right, Diana.

      The editorial hypocrites who run the CBC need to be fired… right along with those who cravenly cowered before Jian Ghomeshi’s sexual bullying as well as those who cravenly cowered before the Facebook group of disturbed dentistry students at Dalhousie University under the disguise of addressing real issues that cause real harm to real people in real life with secretive ‘restorative justice’.

      These are the administrators who are so populous and have gained positions of trust and responsibility and authority by not exercising any! They benefit by not taking stands, by not holding to principle, by delaying with layers upon layers of policy procedures and Royal Commissions and inquiries, always believing that there is a reasonable and tolerant middle ground between issues of incompatibilities while perfectly willing to vilify those who dare point out the hypocrisy of this institutionalized appeasement so slavishly followed by these administrators who reliably and consistently give in to bullying while claiming the moral high ground. And they invariably do so using the same line of defense as the perpetrators of criminal activities: in the name of defending tolerance and respect and justice… none of which – to no one’s surprise – are attained but are constantly undermined by these deplorable tactics.

      Shame on the CBC and shame on those who think tolerating the intolerable will magically make it all go away.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      As usual, well said Diana.

      They don’t have to put the cartoons on the front page. They can put a warning so Muslims can avoid seeing them if they choose.

      That’s how I did it on my website. I have Muslim subscribers, so at the top of the page I told them I had included the cartoons in my article. I made it their choice whether they scrolled down to see them.

      Everyone has the right to be offended, but it’s not like anyone is going up to individual Muslims they know will be offended and waving the pictures in their faces. Anyone who is taking offence is doing it deliberately.

      • mathieu siol
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 2:30 am | Permalink

        “Everyone has the right to be offended…”

        More to the point and as stated by the late Christopher Hitchens on several occasions:
        “You have no right not to be offended in a democracy”

        It’s time for these people to grow up and to deal with dissent in an adult way.

        • Ed Caccavale
          Posted January 10, 2015 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          Listen up folks…
          If the Western leaders, U.S.included don’t start
          telling it like it is, Islamic terrorism, and put together a cohesive plan to defeat these low lifes, we’ll all be fighting in the streets.

    • Filippo
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, why isn’t the CBC and others afraid of atheists being “offended”?

      • Michael
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        I think the most violence atheists would come up with in response is a few angry blog posts. If Islam had such limits I bet we’d see those cartoons all over the place. I appreciate the honesty of the Jewish Chronicle. I wish the CBC could at least offer the same courtesy.

        • conn suits
          Posted January 9, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Great post. Much appreciated. I’m Canadian, this is disgusting. Here’s a link to an opinion piece in the National Post that gets it right.


          Also somebody tweeted to exMuslim Forum a painting of Mohammed from the Middle Ages. I’m going to tweet that to the CBC. Apropos CBC official Studer’s nutty claim that they aren’t showing the cartoons, NOT because of fear of violence, but because ANY pictures of Mohammed are offensive to Muslims. And they just don’t show offensive things. Although they did apparently show the pope-satirizing Charlie Hebdo cartoon. And as the author of the National Post piece above points out you show offensive things when they’re part of the bloody news!

    • W.Benson
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Diana: There is the old adage Money talks. Oil does too. Don’t blame the CBC for being cowardly; it isn’t. They know perfectly well what they are doing, and who they are responsible too. One Hint: it isn’t us.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        I didn’t say they were cowardly but I did imply they were hypocritical and illogical. They can’t say they aren’t afraid (which they did in that article) in not publishing the photos and claim they did so to not offend because they offend everyone else. They should just be honest and say – look, we treat Islam with kid gloves because we’ve allowed terrorists to bully us into submission. I’d actually respect them more if they said that. I wouldn’t like it, but at least they weren’t shitting us.

  6. Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I am an actor and a former Marine. This attack has shaken me to my core. You’d figure after 9-11 and ISIS, I wouldn’t shake anymore but I did. I’ve left the link to my Facebook and I have posted some of the actual cartoons on my wall and I’ve been encouraging all of my industry friends who are actors, directors and producers to post these cartoons and so far, only a few (like 6) have dared to do it. Most people won’t even like the pictures they are so afraid. But one mother who said “No way” earlier this morning, just posted one of the pictures after her conscious got to her and I’m hoping more will come on board.

    Jerry I hope you can direct people to my wall or at least Vox.com which has published them online so that others can copy and paste. I am trying to start a groundswell here in Hollywood but it’s tough.

  7. Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Her characterization of the cartoons as ‘controversial’ and ‘incendiary’ tells the whole story here: she actually agrees with the shooters.

    • John Scanlon, FCD
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Yup. It’s possible to be morally responsible for something after the fact (when not responsible in a causal sense), and most of the corporate and state news media are culpably backing the murderers.

  8. Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    ” if you published, you were obviously against Islam”; bollocks. Ironically, the reason for not showing Muhammad is for fear that his image might be idolatrously worshiped. That is hardly the case here.

    And yes, I am, and so should CBC and BBC be, against the right of those who claim to speak for Islam to decide what I may or may not see. If any support that right, let them say so.

  9. mordacious1
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I, and many of my friends, am insulted when they report the weather. I’m sitting in my nice warm living room and they’re talking about (or aboot in this case) it being 0 degrees C. It gives me the chills just thinking about (aboot) it. I demand that they stop reporting the weather immediately. Eh?

    They won’t even respond to my indignation because I refuse to blow anyone up.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Canadians don’t say “aboot”. Learn about Canadian Raising here.

      • mordacious1
        Posted January 8, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        I’m not sure that you know what you’re talking aboot.

        • Steve
          Posted January 8, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          I have also never heard any Canadians say aboot;it’s a myth.

          It’s more likely a Scottish thing!

          • bacopa
            Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

            Peter Jennings said “aboot”, at least to my East Texas ears.

            But then again, y’all probably can’t hear the clear pitch inflection which distinguishes “rat” and “right”, or “tar” and “tire”. Seriously? They are as distinct as noon and midnight.

            • rickflick
              Posted January 8, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

              Bet you can’t say “all the oil” three times fast. Or is that amusing when the west Texans way it?

            • conn suits
              Posted January 9, 2015 at 4:21 am | Permalink

              Bacopa, if they had likes for comments I would totally like that one. :-)Yours too Diane McPherson and Steve. Damn straight.:-)
              Canadians and everyone who speaks English except in the US and the home counties of England pronounces “ou” with narrow vowels. Kind of like how southern Ohioans pronounce “pen” so it sounds like “pin”. I’m talking about strong regional accents here. You can really notice it in anybody from the west country of England. Lots of Canadians that’s the only regionalism they have. And so other than that they sound American.
              This was fun and so completely not about massacres or craven news organizations! Nice break.

              • Posted January 9, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

                And sometimes in the southern U.S. you’ll hear “ink pin” for pen:-)

              • chris moffatt
                Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

                My Montreal-born ex used to say “aboat” as in “oat and aboat”. Reportedly her mother from Wishaw in Scotland did say “oot and aboot”…..Being from Ontario meself I, of course pronounce “about”. And not being from the Ottawa valley or Montreal I don’t say “eh”.

              • Filippo
                Posted January 9, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

                There’s an old joke about planning a wedding in the Southern U.S. The bride’s mother goes to the floral shop to order flowers (pronounced “flares”). All sorts of play on words, including, “Why? Is she making an emergency landing down the aisle?”

          • TJR
            Posted January 9, 2015 at 4:48 am | Permalink

            Every Canadian I have talked to has said “aboat”, not “aboot”.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted January 9, 2015 at 8:34 am | Permalink

              Canadian actors often work to rid themselves of their way of using vowels so they can work in the US without being noticed as a Canadian. They learn to say “about” by opening their mouths and also by relaxing their mouths more when saying “sorry”. Canadians say “sore-y” – more closed.

              However, since Canadians say “sorry” so often, it really should be considered the standard pronunciation. 🙂

              • Posted January 9, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

                lOL- also people here say to-more-ow instead of tomorrow. This and sore-y very obvious in Joni Mitchdll songs.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

                Merilee – you’ll enjoy the last sound bite on this page where you hear “sorry”. This is how I say “sorry”. It has other vowels to show rounding of vowels. The sentence spoken is, “Sorry, I left my oranges and chocolate in the forest”

              • Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

                That “sorry” doesn’t sound much different from mine. Loved the “Toronto” clip. I had to tell the young California guy(Mexican/Caribbean background) I sat next to on the plane in May that he was going to have to learn to say Toronto like a native before marrying his Mississauga fiancée;-)
                Btw, I would NEVER leave my chocolate in the forest.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

                You always know a non-Canadian on TV by the way the pronounce “Toronto”. 🙂

              • Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:35 am | Permalink

                It’s funny because Canadian English is usually slightly more “clipped” sounding than the U.S. version, but Torontonians really drawl Taronna and Americans say it very crisply.

      • Merilee Olson
        Posted January 8, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Good link!

        Typo ergo sum Merilee


    • Posted January 9, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      The notion that Canadians saying “aboot” is a myth, is a myth. Virtually all western Canadians I’ve encountered (and I’ve met a lot both in Canada and elsewhere)say “aboot” and “eh”. Maybe this distinction is perceived more by the hearer than the speaker. We are not always aware of our regional differences in pronunciations. For example: the pronunciation of “Oregon” by Oregonians is quite different from pronunciations elsewhere in the country. Regional dialects are a fact of life and we don’t always hear how we sound the same as others hear us.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        No we don’t say “aboot”. You think you are hearing that but I say “aboot”, “aboat” and “about” all differently.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Here is the linguistic explanation of Canadian Raising.

        • rickflick
          Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          I ain’t buyin’ it. I was born in TO and we always said aboot. And Hoose. “look aboot the hoose.” Where are you frum Diana? Do I detect a strange Nova Scotia lilt in your parle?

          • Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            Are you some kinda Hoser, Rick? :-))

            • rickflick
              Posted January 9, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

              No whey Ho’zed! I’m from T.O., or as we like to say T’rona. I played ice hockey in the back yard rink since I was 4 years of age.
              My sister sang the neighborhood anthem: “Yokinana kiza sadoo, saday.” Which might be Ukrainian for all I know.

              • merilee
                Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

                ;-)) I’m from California but have lived in Taronna and Oakville for many years. My kids skated in the back yard.

              • rickflick
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

                Skating? With stick and puck? California is where old hockey players go to die.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

                I finally found out where the slang for underwear, “gotchies” came from. Not all my friends knew of the word but I learned it came from Ukranian Canadians and started in the prairies where they settled. 🙂

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            It could be what linguists call, “categorical perception”. You brain isn’t used to hearing the difference in the pronunciation so you try to make sense of it with words you know. There is a good explanation of it on this site’s second page, some of which I’ll paste below.

            I recommend reading the whole article and the link to this page where a Canadian from Toronto reads the article. You can also listen to this page’s article read by the author, an American, to hear the differences in pronunciation.

            So if Canadians pronounce house and about with this other diphthong, where did anyone get the idea that they say hoose and aboot?

            The answer to this isn’t in the mouths of Canadians; it’s in the brains of the non-Canadians who hear them, and it’s a thing called categorical perception.

            Basically, categorical perception means that your brain tries to perceive the world according to the categories that it already knows, and it takes a lot of new evidence to get it to form another category. For example, if your language has words for yellow and red but not orange, you’ll group the lighter, goldier oranges in with yellow, and the darker, ruddier oranges in with red. (In fact, English didn’t use to have a word for orange, and this is why we say redhead and not orangehead.)

            I was born and raised in urban Ontario. My accent is called “urban Canadian”. My dad is from Nova Scotia and moved here when he was 10 and my mother is from New Zealand. There are a few things I pronounce differently because I learned them from my mom “Arthur” I say without the “r” and I call them “scons” not “scones” even though the way it is spelled suggests otherwise. I also say a long “a” for “apricot”. I don’t know why but while most Canadians say “process” with a long “o” much like the English pronounce it, I say it with the short “o” like Americans pronounce it. I looked it up and Canadians actually say both. I have no idea where I picked it up and it only became apparent when I worked with a mix of Canadians and Americans.

            • rickflick
              Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

              I agree that “hoose” and “aboot” are not accurate Canuckian. It’s just that it’s hard to find better spellings.

            • Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

              But do you say project w a long i? I find most Canucks do. I say the noun w a short o but the verb w a long o.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

                No, I say “project” with a short “o”.

              • Posted January 10, 2015 at 11:30 am | Permalink

                I meant “o” not “i”, of course…

              • Posted January 10, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

                Do you pr[short-o]ject your voice?!


              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

                No, the verb is long o but the noun is short o

            • rickflick
              Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

              The speaker at the link refers to the Canadian version of the diphthong as “Canadian Raising”. It’s nice to have a label for it.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

                Yes, that’s the term for it. Some vowel raisings are also shared by northern US speakers.

      • rickflick
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        I pronounce New Orleans, “New OAR-linz”. Some, it seems, say “N’awlins”.

      • Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        It’s Oregun, right? You can tell Canucks and some east coast Americans, and probably Brits by their Oregone. I’m amazed that John Oliver still says Los Angelese…

  10. BillyJoe
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink


    I know it has probably not occurred to you, but you have just written a piece concerning the Charlie Hebdo cartoons without posting one of the cartoons in question.

  11. Charles Jones
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    The CBC had no problem showing ‘Immersion’, a crucifix submerged in urine:


    If Christians were a murderous lots, the CBC would not have shown this photo.

    • jay
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      I understand AP has removed that image from their archive. You just get an error message now.

  12. Posted January 8, 2015 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Many deeply devout people were so offended by the Bible being rendered into English that they burned the offending translators. Out of respect for their deeply held beliefs, I call for all these blasphemous Bible translations to be removed from public display and never again to be quoted in public.

    • Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      LOL- that’ll fix our USA goddies!

  13. Posted January 8, 2015 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    To be clear, the English side of CBC has refused to show the cartoon. The French side (Radio Canada) will show them. This shows starkly the cultural and social divide between French and English Canada and how so often French Canadians get it right.

    • rickflick
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Refreshing news.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        Here are the French language papers who have decided to show the images according to this CBC article.

        Le Devoir.
        Le Journal de Montréal.
        Le Journal de Québec.
        24 Heures.
        La Presse.
        Le Soleil.
        Le Quotidien.
        Le Droit.
        La Tribune.
        La Voix de l’Est.
        Le Nouveliste and Métro.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:16 am | Permalink

          Oh and just to piss me off worse, from the same article:

          “We are being consistent with our historic journalistic practices around this story, not because of fear, but out of respect for the beliefs and sensibilities of the mass of Muslim believers about images of the Prophet​. Similarly, we wouldn’t publish cartoons likely to dismay or outrage mainstream followers of other religions​.” – David Studer, CBC’s director of Journalistic Standards and Practices

          So religion gets a pass — you can offend but just not if it concerns religion. That explains why it was okay to attack atheists so viciously and do so more than once.

          The CBC is really losing a lot of respect from me lately – the Gian Ghomeshi story, where they allowed him to harass women because he was talented was pretty awful and now this.

          • Delphin
            Posted January 9, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            We know they are lying. They showed the piss-christ, and 2 seconds googling turned up this http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/cartoon-draws-ire-of-jewish-group-1.877333

            (The CBC does not deserve your respect IMO. For years now, whenever I see or here a story from the CBC about an issue or topic where I know something I find many simple factual misstatements. Terrible organization.)

            • conn suits
              Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

              Not only that, but CBC’s David Studer who Diana quotes “We are being consistent with our historic journalistic practices around this story, not because of fear, but out of respect for the beliefs and sensibilities of the mass of Muslim believers about images of the Prophet​. Similarly, we wouldn’t publish cartoons likely to dismay or outrage mainstream followers of other religions​.” – David Studer, CBC’s director of Journalistic Standards and Practices

              Has a Twitter feed @DavidStuder1 FULL of stuff including pix making fun of Catholicism. It’s not particularly funny. But it’s not bigoted either. See it before he takes it down. He KNOWS dissent through religious derision is a real thing. He does it. 😮

              I also like how he actually says “mainstream followers” of other religions. He’s saying mainstream Muslims object to any pictures of Muhamed. And consider that ban a part of their religion. That is simply factually untrue! There’s that painting from the Middle Ages I posted on my Twitter. There is an animated life of Mohammed. The no pictures of Muhamed at all doctrine is part of sharia. Sharia is not mainstream Islam. The CBC has taken it upon itself to tell Muslims they should be the most right wing kind. But you don’t hear him telling Christians to all become Southern Baptists. Lying and idiocy right when we need integrity and intellectual coherence most.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:03 am | Permalink

                Tarek Fatah had a “discussion” with some guy whose name escapes me, on Sun TV. The guy whose name escapes me believes in Sharia and all that stuff that we would call extreme. I think the interviewer bated him a bit to make him fly off the handle at the end of the interview but I liked what Tarek Fatah said to him when this man tried to explain why these murderers behaved as they did (because they love Mohammed and it is wrong to draw him, of course). Fatah asked 1) why should we, as Muslims, be so easily set off 2) why should we impose our beliefs on others. The second one was something I didn’t think about but it’s so obvious. Fatah said basically that he agreed Muslims were forbidden from drawing Mohammed, but non-Muslims don’t believe in that stuff so they are free to do so and if it’s something offensive then Muslims are free to peacefully protest it.

                Of course, extremists don’t accept that – they want to force their beliefs on others. It never occurs to them that others can believe other things and live as they want within a secular society.

    • Bebop
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      They were already in the news yesterday. They were shown because it is just normal to see what everybody was talking about!! It was news!!
      I heard that the Gazette (the major English Montreal newspaper) wanted to show one cartoon this morning but they were stopped by the owners. But all french newspaper in Quebec published the cartoon this morning where Mahomed says: “It is hard to be loved by morons”. As written above, the National Post is I think the only English newspaper who published some cartoons.
      Now, this is not a contest, and if there are big differences between English and French Canada, I wouldn’t say that Quebec has always the “beau rôle”. But in this case, I would say yes.

  14. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I don’t agree with the non-publish decision, but I do understand it. When you are responsible for the personal safety of staff (as this, and many other editors are) you do have to think of your staff.
    I look at my own work : would I tell my subordinates to take a flight in weather conditions they’re not happy with? Would I tell them to do a basket transfer in a force 9 ? (Done one. I won’t do a second.) Would I tell them to put the breathing apparatus on and go to the rig floor, or put the BA on myself.
    I look at the list of people who died on the DWH and think 2/3 of those guys walked FROM a place of relative safety INTO an accelerating shit storm. They could have ran to the boats (life rafts, ladders to sea) but they went the other way.
    Those are relatively easy decisions. The editors in question have to balance the threat to ALL their staff. Including the janitor who finds his family at gunpoint by people wanting access to the building.
    I don’t support this sort of decision. But I do understand it and will not condemn it.

    • steve oberski
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      The CBC is the national, federally funded, broadcasting agency of Canada.

      It is their job to report the news.

      News by definition can be controversial and offensive.

      The time for the editors to “balance the threat to ALL their staff” was when they accepted the job as editor.

      If they can’t do their job then they should resign.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 5:42 am | Permalink

        They did their job. They made their decision. That you don’t agree with it is obvious, but then you won’t be the one answering questions if any of their staff end up dead.

        I’m with Aidan on this.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        And so far I am proud of the journalists at CBC but I’m disgusted by their employer. The journalists seem to want to publish the pictures. Now, of course there are journalists I don’t always agree with and am offended by but we can’t always agree, get along, etc.

        I’m starting to think CBC needs to have a restructuring.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        If accepting responsibility for the death/maiming of their subordinates was part of the job description, I’d accept your point.
        Jobs do change under people. And parting company with a morphed job does happen. It’s not necessarily a black mark on the employment record.

        • BillyJoe
          Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

          You are shifting responsibility.
          The employer is not killing and maiming their employees, the terrorists are.
          Please at least get that right.

          • BillyJoe
            Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

            The other thing you got wrong is thinking that acceding to the demands of terrorists works. It may be a temporary solution but, in the long run, you just encourage them.

            • Diane G.
              Posted January 10, 2015 at 12:27 am | Permalink

              I’m quite sure Aidan is thinking nothing of the kind.

              Say you published an independent newspaper out of your house, where your extended family lived. You decide to print the cartoons and the next day your house is blown up, killing your Mom, or spouse, or kids, or all of them. Was it worth it?

              • BillyJoe
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 5:45 am | Permalink

                The point is that if everyone printed the cartoons, who are they going to target?

                On the other hand, if no one prints them, they’ll be encouraged to kill again next time someone does something that offends them.

                In the long run we all progressively lose our freedoms by acceding to terrorist’s demands.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 6:10 am | Permalink

                ‘if everyone printed the cartoons, who are they going to target?’

                Oh, they’ll pick someone at random…

              • Posted January 10, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

                You mean, like they did with that marketplace attack yesterday, or that they regularly do in Israel, or that they did at the Boston Marathon a year ago, or…?


              • GBJames
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:58 am | Permalink

                “Say you published an independent newspaper out of your house…”

                Because this is exactly the situation the editors of the NYTimes, the CBC, and the BBC find themselves in.

              • Posted January 10, 2015 at 10:19 am | Permalink

                Say you instead live a very sheltered life, careful to offend nobody, and you take the family to the government office building to sign up for Medicaid at the same time as a Timothy McVeigh wannabe detonates another moving van full of fertilizer bombs. Was it worth it?

                Danger is everywhere. Death will come to us all, to some sooner, to most later — but to all sooner than most of us will wish for.

                An independent home-published newspaper in the States is at negligible risk from Muslim terrorism. Should said paper also refrain from editorializing in favor of abortion rights? Because the chances that some Christian terrorist will commit atrocities in such circumstances are far higher than the chances of Muslim terrorism.

                …or are we all supposed to tiptoe everywhere, careful to remain quiet at the back of the bus lest we offend somebody else’s delicate sensibilities?

                We might sympathize with, in this example, Southern Blacks in the ’50s who did sit quietly at the back of the bus, but we generally don’t admire them and might not necessarily respect them. But Ms. Parks is one of the greatest American heroes ever, and we’re all proud of her.

                Why did everybody else leave it to her to be the first?

                What’s so hard about not walking to the back of the bus…or of copy / pasting an image link?


          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted January 11, 2015 at 6:56 am | Permalink

            I’m perfectly aware of who is killing whom. And, no, that doesn’t matter. If you read any corporation’s health and safety policy (which I do, on a regular basis ; I’m required to, by those self same corporations, because there is a significant risk of me dieing either on my way to work, or in the process of doing my work), you will see statements to the effect that “the number one concern of our corporation is the health and safety of our employees”. In fact, if you think of the alternative (a statement equivalent to “we don’t care if we kill our employees”), then it is practically impossible to not have such a health and safety policy.
            I do not know about American law, but in British law, failure to comply with your employer’s health and safety policy is not a matter for the civil courts. It is a criminal offence. (It isn’t often prosecuted under criminal law, but it is prosecuted often enough to remind people that that is the law, and the law is stone-cold serious about this. I’ve spoken to HSE inspectors on this – they aim for about one prosecution in each piece of local press per year, to maintain adherence to the law at an acceptable level ; they never have a shortage of suitable cases on the books.)
            Under those circumstances, then the editor who recklessly re-publishes is running risk of prosecution for reckless endangerment of their workforce. (Or the editor’s bosses.)
            Now, you can get around this – how do you think my employers can get away with killing an average of five of my colleagues a year in helicopter crashes, and the occasional larger group in fire and explosion? – but you do need to have thorough going implementation of policies consulting your work force about the hazards they face, and implementation of comprehensive security measures (I had to do my helicopter underwater escape training twice last year. A state of joy, bliss and happiness does not accompany one course, let alone two in one year (there was a new piece of equipment, requiring about 20,000 training courses to be passed in one 4-week crew rotation). What the corresponding security would be for, say, the janitor of the building in which the publishers are based is … I don’t know. But if you don’t have your legal ducks in a row on this, then you, the editor (or other senior management) are personally liable. I’ve got friend working in Northern Iraq who travelled between accommodation and rig in a “technical” with an anti-aircraft gun mounted on the back, and we started feeling terribly exposed on the Tanzanian island when a 50m vessel was taken by Somali pirates only a couple of hours sail from our location. So we moved exploration onshore and inland.)
            Now, you may not be happy about those brutal facts of corporate responsibility, but your unhappiness is going to do absolutely nothing to change the legal realities that editors (and higher-ups) face in making decisions like that. They do have a responsibility to their work force, and a moral responsibility. And if they are not certain that they’ve covered their entire workforce … they have got to be extremely careful. If you have a secretarial staff of (about) 200 in the advertising/ sales department of your publication, then you almost certainly have several temporary staff in every day. Different people. Does your temps’ induction cover that, as well as where the fire escapes are? It’s not just the war correspondents in flack jackets who you, the editor, has responsibility for. It’s every one who is affected by your decisions.
            Like I said – I don’t support this sort of backing down. But I do understand it, and I am not going to condemn them for taking that decision. And if you are wanting to scream and shout that they should have been braver … well I hope that you are prepared for the consequences of your actions. You’re trying to write a cheque with your mouth which someone you don’t know may have to cash with their life. That’s a pretty serious decision to have made before flapping your gums.

            • GBJames
              Posted January 11, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

              They pretty much have to go out of business, then, unless they are willing to become the propaganda arm of whoever the most extreme ideologist of the day happens to be.

              I don’t think that “corporate responsibility” trumps the obligation of news organizations to publish news. It is what they are supposed to do. “Reasonable precautions” are one thing. Abandonment of your profession is another.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted January 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

                I don’t think that “corporate responsibility” trumps the obligation of news organizations to publish news.

                Clearly a considerable number of news organisations disagree with you. Or, to be more precise, their lawyers do, and acting on behalf of the directors (who employ them) are protecting them (the directors) from exposure to legal liabilities by their subordinates (the editors). Which is what the lawyers are, after all, paid to do.
                You can’t simultaneously have (for an example) holding BP corporately responsible for the DWH deaths and pollution and not have (for another example) Guardian Media Group corporately responsible for the actions of it’s employees (editor etc). You can’t have it both ways. They’re two sides of the same coin : corporate responsibility.
                Feel free to try making exceptions to that. The body count from irresponsible corporations killing their employees (and customers, and innocent bystanders – it’s just past the 30th anniversary of Bhopal, I recall) will rapidly exceed the wildest desires of the terrorists.
                Fundamentally it’s a political problem, to do with human nature. I’ve never had a very high opinion of that.

    • Grania Devine
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      Then they need to say “We’re afraid”. Kind of says it all . . .

  15. Randy Schenck
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I think we can add one more to the list of cowards and that would be the PBS here in the U.S. They refuse to offend even a mouse.

    On another disgusting note, there are hardly enough political cartoonist left in American Journalism to fill an SUV.

  16. glenn
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I find it incomprehensible as a long time CBC fan that you would bend to the political correctness of convenience. Islam is an ideology that embraces intolerance (along with hatred and violence) and you are supporting their claim to inflict their views upon the civilized world. Would you not print images of animals for an equally intolerant religion that forbid it with the treat of violence – the most common tool of islam is their violence against anyone who does not embrace their antiquated religious views……

  17. Greg Esres
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    “she’s afraid that the terrorists will go after the CBC.”

    Sure. But consider what would be necessary to be able to publish these things safely. Every publisher needs to fortify its working environments. Just a security guard or two obviously isn’t enough.

    That’s a lot of money to spend for organizations that are struggling to stay afloat in the first place.

    • Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      There’s a great deal of safety in numbers, and numbers is what we need for greatest effect.

      Imagine if every TV news outlet opened its broadcasts with a slideshow of the cartoons with a voice-over from the presenter delivering the news about the shooting. “Just to put this in context, we’re going to show you some of the cartoons in question. [start slidshow] Police say the youngest person of interest is in custody, but are still on the lookout for the two brothers. One of the victims remains in critical condition….”

      Imagine if every newspaper had an above-the-fold copy of one of the cartoons opposite the de-rigeur shot of the scene of the carnage — and, for added effect, a pull-out section of nothing but poster-sized copies of the cartoons.

      What’re the fucking cowards going to do? Shoot up every TV station and every newspaper? Good luck with that.

      The major news organizations have a duty to society and a duty to their profession to take the lead on this, to take the risk, to provide the cover so that all the small news organizations can safely join the charge. And they have to know that all sorts of minor news organizations are going to demonstrate the courage of their convictions, regardless of the risk…and, by failing to stand with them, they’re only hanging them out to dry.


      • rickflick
        Posted January 8, 2015 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Please forward that to CBC.

        • Posted January 8, 2015 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

          I did, though they made me lie and say I’m a Canuck. And they don’t have an email link, and the contact form is buried behind a filing cabinet warning of leopards….


          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted January 9, 2015 at 8:14 am | Permalink

            That’s weird – I hope CBC notices the world is watching how they behave.

      • Bebop
        Posted January 8, 2015 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        What you describe is exactly what happened when the French-CBC covered the event yesterday. And nearly the same thing with the French newspaper in Quebec this morning.

        • Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          Curious that the francophones get it but the anglophones don’t. Is that cultural, or simply an expression of allegiance?


          • GBJames
            Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

            cultural vs. allegiance = what’s the diff?

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:43 am | Permalink

              I think Ben means allegiance to France. I don’t think Quebec is anymore allied to France than English speaking Canada is to the UK (Ant – I said UK!!).

              • Posted January 9, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

                Yes, exactly.

                Are they standing shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with their cultural brothers, or is there something in the culture that says that liberty should be protected regardless of whose liberty is threatened and the cost to themselves?

                Seems perhaps more of the latter. If so…we sure could use some lessons in freedom from the French….


          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

            I suspect it’s cultural. This is just my opinion but French Canada is more sensitive to their values being threatened because they are a minority culture/language surrounded by English speakers in Canada and the US whose culture is a bit different from their’s.

            • Posted January 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

              It is also that Quebec is in some ways more secular than the rest of the country – or at least wants itself to be seen to be. That’s where the “charter of values” thing came from.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 9, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

                Quebec is the most atheist province, which is funny because so much went into putting BS Catholic stuff into the British North America Act in 1867 to pacify Quebec. Now, it’s the other provinces like Ontario that pay for two school systems: one public, one Catholic.

            • Bebop
              Posted January 9, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

              I would say too it is cultural. If a lot of people came in America because of the religious freedom it offered, it wasn’t the case for the French who settled in Quebec. It didn’t prevent Quebec to be a strong catholic land until the ’70, but now churches here are empty… Because of that, a lot of people want to evacuate religion from the public sphere, something that divides the population and the muslim immigrants.

              As for France, secularism is at the heart of the republic. But the colonial history of France and the new geo-political context seems now to clash with that republican ideal…

              • Bebop
                Posted January 9, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

                Also, english countries have I think a better relation with their minorities (except for the Afro-Americans). I remember my Colonial African History where my professor said that the English were more subtil than the French when it came to take the power of place. Maybe minorities in english countries feel more comfortable than in french countries for some… I don’t know, cultural differences inside english and french minding.
                Last year, the party who was governing Quebec wanted to pass a law that would have forbidden religious symbols to be shown in public sphere. Not everybody agreed but it was often seen as a racist move by English Canada…

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

                Well, it wasn’t the case for people who settled in English Canada either. Many came here as UEL after the American Revolution.

              • Posted January 9, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

                Religious freedom was not offered in America.
                Those who left England (or wherever else) to escape what they viewed as religious persecution at home, were perfectly happy to restrict religious freedom in the colonies. Of the 13 colonies, all but about two required residents to follow their particular sect of religion in order to own property,live and have a say in the colony. Please do not continue to promulgate this erroneous view of religious freedom in the American colonies.

            • Delphin
              Posted January 9, 2015 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

              I agree. PQ is much more serious about protecting their culture.

      • Greg Esres
        Posted January 8, 2015 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        “There’s a great deal of safety in numbers, and numbers is what we need for greatest effect. ”

        No doubt, but the mortality rates of the front lines is pretty high.

        Everyone seems pretty eager to sacrifice the lives of others for the sake of your own principles.

        • Posted January 8, 2015 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Ben Goren 1022 West Apollo Avenue Tempe, Arizona 85283-2627


          • Dominic
            Posted January 9, 2015 at 4:37 am | Permalink

            I suppose you want birthday prezzies then! 🙂

            • Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink

              Well, if you feel so inclined….


        • BillyJoe
          Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

          “Everyone seems pretty eager to sacrifice the lives of others for the sake of your own principles”

          Are you for real?

          He was offering a solution to these problems – a way to reduce targetting and ongoing deaths from terrorists!

          And the principle is that giving in to the demands of terroists makes things worse in the long run.

          Take a lesson form history.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted January 10, 2015 at 2:09 am | Permalink

            “He was offering a solution to these problems”

            And his ‘solution’ involved others taking risks – and imposing risks on yet others (their staff). So, not really a perfect solution for everybody, is it?

            I get very tired, very quickly, of people who think [someone else] should be obligated to do all the heavy lifting – as quite a number of commenters seem to advocate. (I’m not including Ben in that criticism, and he’s done his best to put his money where his mouth is by publishing a cartoon with his address. I applaud him for it, and hope no ill comes to him.)

            I’d like to see every media outlet publish at least those cartoons which led to the raid; but fulminating about those who decide not to, smacks of holier-than-thou. I’m sure they didn’t take the decision lightly, and it isn’t as if they’re suppressing news, the cartoons are easily enough available on the Internet for anyone who wants to look.

            • BillyJoe
              Posted January 10, 2015 at 5:55 am | Permalink

              Let’s se…
              Ben suggests a solution – everyone publish ths cartoons.
              I support this view.
              But somehow Ben is okay, but I’m not.
              Seems fair.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted January 10, 2015 at 6:24 am | Permalink

                Ben did what he advocated & published a cartoon, which is why I softened my criticism of him. Though I still don’t think his point is 100% accurate.

                I’m not going to get into who is okay and who isn’t okay and why, that way madness lies.

      • jay
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        “Imagine if every newspaper had an above-the-fold copy of one of the cartoons opposite the de-rigeur shot of the scene of the carnage — and, for added effect, a pull-out section of nothing but poster-sized copies of the cartoons”

        That was the idea behind the ‘draw Mohammed day’ but it did wind up with amateur cartoonists being driven into hiding.

        Unlike CBC, news outlets need to be at least honest about their reasons and not try to pretend that they are being courageous when they are not.

        There are concerns, though, that if that’s the reason, they need to be honest about. They do have some vulnerability (and as we see, police protection does not help). But it would not be hard for attackers to target employees of the organizations: reporters, workers even delivery drivers or news stands. Start killing off a few innocent workers and you don’t even need to go for the top people.

        • BillyJoe
          Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

          But, give in to them and they will find more restrictions to place on your freedoms and more reasons to kill people like you who do not fall in line.

          I hope they don’t encroach upon your freedom any time soon, but I have a way that will make that less likely…

          Fight back now!

          • Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

            We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.


          • jay
            Posted January 10, 2015 at 10:08 am | Permalink

            Agreed, but the fight back must be done by those ready to take the risk and not innocent bystanders.

            When it comes to retaliation, employees are much easier target than the decision makers. Who is really bearing the risk?

            Since these black shrouded scum are using anonymity and asymmetric warfare, we need to do the same. Private individuals can do what the corporations may not be able to.

            • Posted January 10, 2015 at 10:23 am | Permalink

              The innocent bystanders are already at risk, and any increased risk from publishing the cartoons is dwarfed by the already-accepted risk of getting in a traffic accident on the way to work.

              If you’re too scared of Muslim terrorists to want to work at a place that would publish the cartoons, you have no business being within 20 feet of an American roadway.


    • gluonspring
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Safely? I’ve seen lots and lots of reporters and camera people in war zones with bombs exploding all around. It seems like the profession has plenty of people willing to flaunt safety. Maybe those people just aren’t at the head office.

      In any case, I doubt any organization who won’t print the cartoons now would print them even if they worked in a fortress. Just this one time, it’s such a big news story and being printed by so many news outlets already, so say nothing of t**tter and blogs and the sort, that if you don’t have the courage to be the 41st news organization to print the cartoons, you wouldn’t have the courage to print them from inside a bunker either. That or you have some other issue besides lack of courage, a blinkered view of your responsibility to protect your readers tender eyes, perhaps.

      • Greg Esres
        Posted January 8, 2015 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        “Safely? I’ve seen lots and lots of reporters and camera people in war zones with bombs exploding all around. I”

        And do you see secretaries, cartoonists, file clerks swarming war zones.

        Pretty callous attitude towards the safety of others.

        • Posted January 8, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

          Erm…squeeze me? Modern militaries are substantial majorities of non-combat personnel at forward operating bases, including plenty of secretaries, file clerks, and military reporters — including, I’m sure, as many cartoonists as you find with any such organization.

          No, they don’t go out on patrol, but they’re still subjected to shelling, roadside bombs as they enter and leave the base, and all the rest.


          • Diane G.
            Posted January 10, 2015 at 12:38 am | Permalink

            Yeah, but the non-combat personnel presumably still knew what they might run into when they signed up for the military. Not so much for all the blue-collar or secretarial types an institution like the NYT needs to keep running.

            • Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

              Thing is…they’re already on the firing line, regardless of where they work. Or don’t work.

              Do you think the people in the Twin Towers went to work that morning with the thought that they were being directly targeted for death merely because of where the worked? But we now know that that’s exactly the case.

              Nor does publishing offensive-to-Muslims cartoons place you at any special risk; the Jesus-n-Mo Author has no bodyguards I’m aware of, nor has he had any fatwas placed against him that I’m aware of.

              News organizations that reprint the cartoons are not going to measurably increase their own chances of being targeted by cowards for murder and mayhem. Increase, yes — but not measurably. Their employees are still going to be at far greater risk of death and injury on the drive into work.

              But, by failing to reprint the cartoons, they’re stabbing themselves in the back. News organizations are nothing if they’re not free to publish whatever they want without outside censorship…and, yet, by paying the Danegeld, they’re handing the censor’s knife over to the very thugs who killed some of their own.

              Right after the coward brothers murdered the staff of Charlie Hebdo, some other fuckwit coward attacked a freakin’ grocery market. What, is Einstein’s supposed to stop selling bagels lest they put their employees at risk from Muslim anti-Jewish terror attacks? Is it time for Anheuser-Busch to shutter its doors because alcohol isn’t halal? Maybe we should also shut down all the schools, too, before the teachers and students get acid thrown in their faces because girls are in the classrooms.

              Paying the Danegeld is like wetting the bed. It’s easiest at that narrow instant of time and might even feel nice and warm for a minute, but the disgusting mess it creates is all out of proportion with the minor inconvenience of just getting up and walking the ten feet down the hall to the bathroom.


        • gluonspring
          Posted January 9, 2015 at 12:30 am | Permalink

          More realistic than callous, I feel.

          I used to work at a medical school that was under threat of violence from animal rights activists. Not nearly so bloodthirsty a lot, I realize, but the threat was real enough. I know three people whose homes were fire bombed, for example. I don’t recall anyone seriously suggesting we should give up our medical research because the secretaries might be in danger. They, like the rest of us, were certainly on edge after these events, but everyone continued to show up to work because our work is important, and also because not being bullied is a substantial good in and of itself.

          There are many important jobs in the world with work that must be done despite the risks. Cops (and everyone who works at the station), firemen, soldiers, doctors (and the whole ER staff), rescue workers, power company linemen, and many many others put themselves in harms way for the public good. It is unfortunate that anyone has to be in harms way, but what they are doing is simply too important not to take such risks. There is a steady stream of courthouse violence, for example, and not a few court recorders have been killed over the years merely for being there. Yet, the work of courts must go on. I don’t think it is so radical a thing to suggest that journalism should be listed among these important jobs that must go on even if there are some risks to the people performing the job.

  18. Ken Pidcock
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday, folks were linking to various cartoonists’ and illustrators’ responses to these events. Following on this, check the New Yorker’s next cover. Just a magnificent piece of graphic art.

    • merilee
      Posted January 8, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

      Great cover!

      • Posted January 8, 2015 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        Yes…but…needs more Muhammad….


        • Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:03 am | Permalink

          and cowbell

          • Posted January 9, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

            Always more cowbell.

            Hmm…perhaps Muhammad in Hindu holstein drag wearing a cowbell? And then, of course, being turned into a bacon cheeseburger to be served in a synagogue….


    • Diane G.
      Posted January 10, 2015 at 12:41 am | Permalink

      Poignant and effective. Good for them!

  19. Filippo
    Posted January 8, 2015 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    “We had a great deal of company in making that decision, as organizations such as CNN and the BBC adopted a similar approach.”

    So freaking what? Are you like the kid who, when voting on a certain item, looks around the classroom (or like the state representative/senator in the state capitol) to see WHO is voting HOW in order to determine how to vote?

  20. Posted January 8, 2015 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Apparently Canada still has a blasphemy law.

  21. wejuli
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    The events in Paris have shown that there is a very real danger to publishing these photos. Is it cowardice to avoid poking the bear only days after it mauled your colleagues? Perhaps, but I personally feel the blame is better placed on those who would respond to art with violence, at least until governments demonstrate that they are better able to protect their citizens from the enemies of freedom of expression.

    • BillyJoe
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      So it’s okay whilst others are being targeted?
      Keep a low profile to save your ass?
      …and when the wolves are at your door?

  22. bonetired
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    To be honest: has any mainstream news source actually printed the cartoons of Muhammad in full? In the UK, it seems that not a single one has. Not the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, Channel 4, Indy, Mail, ITV. Pretty certain that Sky hasn’t as well. Indeed, C4 has an editorial policy not to.

    I would be delighted to be proved wrong but I suspect the nearest we will get is the pixelated Telegraph.

  23. Aldo Matteucci
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Remember the Bard:

    I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

    • conn suits
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      What on earth is this supposed to be? I have no idea what you’re trying to say.

      I’m an actual Jew. Not some bigotry promoting fictional character. The Merchant of flippin Venice? What has this got to do with the topic?

      • gluonspring
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        I take it to be an expression of a desire for revenge for the murderers and those who would support them.

        Or an expression of the likely outcome.

        There is some truth to it. The fine veneer of civilization will fall away if people are sufficiently frightened, and then there will be horrors all around. We have already seen some of this, with fine upstanding members of society soberly advocating for torture, and possibly also in a callous attitude about bombing -those people-, wherever they are, and whomever happens to be standing near them. Although terrorism is a mere irritant for a great society (barring nuclear terrorism), school someone in barbarism enough and they may, indeed, learn the lesson.

  24. conn suits
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 4:39 am | Permalink

    Thanks for that Jerry. Mega-nauseating. One particularly questionable bit is she seems to be saying all Muslims are offended by seeing any pictures of Mohammed. Like it’s some religious rule on the same level as keeping kosher. I’m pretty sure that’s rubbish. There was a Shabab center on the street where I lived a couple years ago and one night they had a special showing of a film about the life of Mohammed at a cinema on that street. So either depicting Mohammed is actually perfectly okay and objections to cartoons of him are objections to the satirical content. OR like how the old Dick Van Dyke show at first never showed Alan Brady’s face, they have a whole movie about Mohammed where he just always happens to be looking the other way or standing behind something. 😂
    More seriously it shows that the CBC person and I read a similar thing coming out of the BBC really do think that average Muslims are some kind of Martians. Who are freaked out by pictures of Mohammed. “Sure, it makes no sense to us. But they’re Muslims, you know, super weird.”

  25. W.Benson
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Muslim terrorists have shut down the freedom of expression. Imagine if Kim Jong Un had tried something like this! Oh, he did?

  26. Michael
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    “Sorry, Ms. McGuire, but you’re a news outlet, and the cartoons are news. Readers want—deserve—to see exactly what aroused the ire of Muslims enough to make them commit murder. It is your obligation to show those cartoons.”

    This is the bottom line. How can you report on an issue, and pretend to explore it with any kind of seriousness, without showing the content of the report? We see loads of pointless graphics and maps, fancy massive touch screens, that add minimal informational benefit to stories. So how can they exclude these cartoons? They don’t have to take a side, and say whether they like the cartoons, or find them offensive, or anything. Just _show_ them so viewers know what the fuss is about. I’m hugely disappointed in the CBC for this.

    • Posted January 9, 2015 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I heartily concur.

      How can people fully understand the enormity of this act unless they can see exactly how innocuous (in a secular context) these images are? It’s not as if they’re MMME pr0n! (link to The Onion cartoon goes here)


  27. GBJames
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    And here you can read about the New York Time’s cowardly decision.

    Ultimately, he decided against it, he said, because he had to consider foremost the sensibilities of Times readers, especially its Muslim readers. To many of them, he said, depictions of the prophet Muhammad are sacrilegious; those that are meant to mock even more so. “We have a standard that is long held and that serves us well: that there is a line between gratuitous insult and satire. Most of these are gratuitous insult.”

    If I had a dollar for every gratuitous insult the NYTimes has published against atheists I could retire.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      English CBC & NYT must be run by the same people!!

  28. Flounder99
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The easiest way to cure arachnophobia is to cover every wall with posters of giant hairy spiders. With constant exposure to the images the fear begins to fade. Every newspaper on the planet should print a full page comic of Mohammed fucking a camel on the front page of every issue and tv stations should air a 15 second cartoon of the same thing every hour until the shock value wears off. This would be the most effective treatment for this problem. That if my armchair shrink recommendation.

  29. Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    And, once again, for those who say Islam is a “peaceful, loving” religion (or has to do with a “ground of all being” rather than a warlike medieval sky god): Why are publications not censoring things that offend, for instance, Mormons, Xians, Jews, athiests?

    A: Because only Muslims go on murderous rampages when they decide to become offended about someone else’s free speech.

  30. rickflick
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Another opinion:
    Eugene Robinson, columnist at the Washington Post.

    “No one looks forward to seeing newsrooms turned into armed bunkers. But I fear the alternative may be to run the risk that journalists, perhaps acting subconsciously, will shy away from some controversial topics involving Islam.

    The choice is clear. Bring us some helmets and flak jackets, and let’s proceed.”

  31. marick99
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    All Canadian institutions, not only the CBC, have become submissive and gutless when it comes to the mere possibility of offending other cultures. As a result, what little exists of our own culture is turned into a forgettable afterthought. A few examples: Taking down Christmas trees in public offices? Saying “Happy Holidays” now instead of “Merry Christmas”? Allowing religions the right to prayer in public schools?! It’s what Canada does on every level. We assimilate our own country to the ideals and beliefs of others because institutions are terrified to offend anyone. This with the CBC is not an isolated case… nor is it at all surprising.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Canadians have successfully stopped prayers in public schools – note that these were almost always Christians. There was a Toronto school that had an uproar with Muslims but that was stopped.

      As for Xmas trees, I worked in Gov’t for ages and they were there. Thankfully, no religious symbols like nativity scenes were though.

      I don’t have an issue with saying Happy Holidays either. I’m an atheist who celebrates Xmas but I think it’s fine to say whatever you want to say.

      • Bebop
        Posted January 9, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        We live in a strange time… Unlike the US, religion never really was a public issue. I mean, politicians don’t have to talk about it and even the Tories have a low profile on this issue. And while you could have thought in the 90′ that religion was now part of history in Canada (at least, from the perspective of Quebec), immigration brings it back in a way we didn’t see it coming…

        • GBJames
          Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          I’m not sure about “never really was a public issue” given state-funded Catholic schools.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted January 10, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          Pierre Trudeau who was a practicing, believing Catholic, always advocated strong state/church separation and under him Canada stopped the sodomy laws “the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation” and allowed abortion.

          I hope this tradition continues. I’m so tired of Harper’s “god bless Canada” crap & his Office of Religious Freedom.

          • rickflick
            Posted January 10, 2015 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            Sounds like Harper is mimicking some other country? He must think: if it works for them it will work for me. Too bad it plays to the mindlessness of the electorate and not there imperiled intelligence.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 10, 2015 at 12:10 am | Permalink

        I’d be with you Diana. Christmas trees are *good* (also probably pagan 🙂

        I see nothing wrong with enjoying Christmas as a holiday. Everybody needs a holiday now and then.

  32. Bebop
    Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    There is right now a documentary on the French CBC about Charlie hebdo called – C’est dur d’être aimé par des cons – .
    And just in the beginning, I saw the drawings of the prophet many times…

  33. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted January 10, 2015 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Bill Maher in fine form –


    He isn’t afraid to offend – I’m sure Charlie Hebdo would approve –

    ‘Meanwhile ISIS beheaded a street magician. Finally we’re on the same page’

    ‘The death toll would have been higher except this is Paris at midday – everyone was at home having sex’

    ‘Senate Republicans are even considering changing Freedom Fries back to French Fries’
    Yep, I was wondering about that too…

  34. Posted January 12, 2015 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    -And really, “respect for all religions”? Even the ones that incite hatred and murder? Do you really respect extremist Islam?-

    The cartoons didn’t JUST attack extremist islam! just google it and there will be enough things to offend anyone. Still, I see your point. showing these pictures or not doesn’t necessarily make you a coward or someone who supports freedom of speech. Its the reasons and attitude that matters. Its just that when people think of the freedom of speech, they often seem to forget the saying “my freedom ends where your nose begins”. For me, personally, the charlie hebdo cartoons don’t stand for courage or even represent anything that is right or just. But no one deserves to die for something like that. I think people need to start differentiating between the terrorists who did that horrible thing and muslims in general. I think just re-posting these images is going to to more harm than good, its going to create more hatred than encouraging people to stand up for their freedom of speech. There are better ways to show that you support freedom, and to show your courage.

    • GBJames
      Posted January 12, 2015 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I’m curious what the “better ways” might be given that you think refusing to comply with Islamic demands should be off the table.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 12, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Strange, but I didn’t notice anywhere that thisuri said ‘refusing to comply with Islamic demands should be off the table’. You straw-manning him, GBJ?

        • GBJames
          Posted January 12, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          Really? Perhaps “re-posting these images” means something very different from ” comply with Islamic demands” to you. They seem rather similar to me. No straw there.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted January 12, 2015 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

            Re-read what he said. “re-posting these images is going to do more harm than good, it’s going to create more hatred than encouraging people to stand up for freedom of speech”. Whether you agree with that or not, nowhere did he give as a reason, complying with Islamic demands. That’s your invention, your conclusion.

            Now re-read what you said – “refusing to comply with islamic demands should be off the table”. What, any and all possible Islamic demands (which is what your sentence implies)? That’s an awfully wide possible spectrum and nothing in thisuri’s post suggests that.

            • GBJames
              Posted January 13, 2015 at 6:25 am | Permalink

              There is an Islamic demand, that images of Mohammad may not be published, at the core of this page’s conversation. Declining to post images of Mohammad is complying with this demand. Declining is, in my linguistic understanding, equivalent to “taking it off the table”.

              Are we lost on each other as the result of simple language misfires? Somehow I doubt it, since elsewhere you insist that many of us are saying all Muslims are the same, a preposterous position. Two, actually.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted January 13, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink

                No you’re shifting the goalposts and I suspect you know it. Your phrasing of it subtly misrepresents what thisuri said. It assigns a different reason from what he gave and generalises it to an implied ‘all’ islamic demands.

              • GBJames
                Posted January 13, 2015 at 7:18 am | Permalink

                I think I am correctly understanding the comment. I would welcome a clarification from thisurl if I’ve misunderstood them.

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