Sunday, February 19, 2006

The MSM: Can’t Run, But They Sure Can Hide

William Tucker at The American Enterprise Institute — that den of warmongering corporatists — has an interesting idea for the brave MSM:

…the newspapers—they’re just incredible, huh? The New York Times has risked its neck by revealing that the Bush Administration has been monitoring overseas phone calls. Stogy old Commentary is comparing this to the isolationist Herald Tribune printing a story in 1942 telling the Japanese we had broken their code. Those neoconservative loonies think the Times ought to be prosecuted for divulging secrets in wartime! Well, it’s a different world, brother! Our press today will go to jail en masse rather than give up freedom of speech!

Mr. Tucker reminds us not to forget the brave and the bold in Hollywood, their daring controversial films, their leading edge confrontational approach. Yessir, a brave bunch, rushing in where angels fear to tread. Well, actually, they go places no angel would be caught dead in. Funny thing is, wherever they go, the place is packed with mirrors. Hollywood never goes anywhere that doesn’t permit it to see its own reflection, any more than the media would go to places where it can’t hear its own echo.

As Mr. Tucker, puts it: “Yes, there’s nothing our good old courageous media won’t tackle, is there?” You could see his rhetorical question just coming down the line, couldn’t you? Okay, here’s the set up and a modestly proposed solution to the quaking fear of the MSM:

... It turns out not a single TV network and only two newspapers—the New York Sun and the Philadelphia Inquirer—have dared publish the dozen Danish cartoons that have set off riots around the world. Even the New York Press, which once ran a whole column in which a writer described removing a boil from his scrotum, has chickened out. Four staff members quit in protest last week after the top brass backed down.

That guy with the boil? He just wanted you to know he actually has a scrotum, which is more than one can say for many of his confreres.

But here’s Mr. Tucker’s point about the sudden vast media modesty:

…everybody’s mumbling something about “respect for religion” and “not wanting to offend anybody,” but the real reason is transparent. They’re scared to death. Publishing portraits of rock stars posing as Jesus or putting naked movie stars on the cover of Vanity Fair—that’s all in a day's work. Only a bunch of hillbillies down in Arkansas will be offended. But publishing a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban—now that’s serious. Somebody might start throwing rocks or set off a bomb in the office.

Then Mr. Tucker offers a sensible Gallic shrug. Why bother trying not to offend Muslims? Our very existence is offensive, and their raison d’être is war. Endless war: with us, with each other, with whatever moves. What other culture do you know that shows its exuberance by going out in the street and shooting firearms into the air? Besides Texans, I mean. So, says Mr. Tucker, get used to it, because there’s not a damn thing we can do to change matters when it comes to Muslim explosiveness:

Nothing we say or do will make Muslims like us any better. Islam has been beating down the door of Western Civilization since the time of Charlemagne. They conquered Spain, took Constantinople in 1453, besieged Vienna in 1529 and again in 1683. The Turks blew up the Parthenon in 1687 and fighting between Greeks and Turks continued into this century. The Balkans became the “powder keg of Europe” once the Turks invaded.

And it isn’t just us. Islam is at war with every civilization on its borders. They’re fighting with India, with China, with African tribes in Sudan. Nor do Muslims ever stop fighting among themselves. The whole history of Islam is a story of a group of dissidents going out into the desert, deciding the religion practiced by the elites was not the “true Islam,” and crashing back upon the cities to seize power. The word “assassins” comes from a Persian cult whose members drugged themselves with hashish before carrying out suicide attacks. The Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda are just the latest of a long, long line.

Islam is a culture that has never learned to curb male violence. All it can do is export it.

This exporting of Muslim violence wouldn’t be so noticeable if the Europeans weren’t so flaccid and neutered. It’s much easier to explode in the middle of a city which gave up its manhood years ago.

However, Mr. Tucker things the multi-culti approach here is downright dangerous. And he figures there’s some safety in numbers. Here’s his solution:

In order to put some backbone in the press for the trials ahead, let’s pick a day—I nominate February 28th, two weeks from today—in which every newspaper in America and every TV news station in America will display the offending cartoons. For the faint-hearted there’ll be safety in numbers. It will inform the public and restore our self-respect. It certainly won’t ingratiate us with world of Islam, but what’s the difference? At least they’ll know they’re facing a united front.

And that makes all the difference in the world. Thugs respect courage; it makes them back off:

When the Germans overran Denmark during World War II, they immediately announced that all Jews must wear the yellow star. Instead of cowering in their homes, every man, woman and child in the country donned a yellow star, including the King of Denmark. It seems only fitting that we return the favor.

In order to make his suggestion more credible, he gives directions to his home, since he telecommutes to the office:

And if you’re planning to bomb The American Enterprise offices in retaliation for this column, please don’t bother. I hardly ever set foot in the place. I live at 430 4th Street in Brooklyn, right around the corner from the ice cream storeowner who was just sentenced to 18 years for smuggling $11 million to terrorists in the Middle East and two doors up from a fireman who was killed on September 11th. I’m home every day.

Now this is a great idea, but it doesn’t go far enough. Instead of just one day, the MSM ought to be printing, posting, or otherwise disseminating images of Mo in his various and hilarious disguises all year long. The devil hates ridicule (I gave up believing in devils in adolescence, when I gave up the God with the white beard. I still don’t believe in the latter, but Lordy, those Islamofascists sure do make you realize the deep truth of incarnate evil) but there’s nothing like a large, eternal dose of it to help the medicine go down. And the medicine is this:

Disposable WisdomWe will not be cowed. As our famous war hero once (or twice) said: “Bring. It. On.” Let us make like Denmark and march out wearing our yellow stars, our crosses, carrying small statues of Buddha, and chanting “Om Mani Padme Hum.” Catchy little tune.

Let the newspapers carry a daily Mo cartoon, maybe right next to the weather. We could even assign a Muslim Mayhem prediction to the image: chance of explosions, thirty percent, let’s say.

If they need an image, here’s one from Disposable Wisdom (and apparently from the infamous to start the stalwart press off on the right foot. Or the right hand and foot, depending on whether they’re standing tall or scooting away on all fours.


Hat tip: OS


Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...

"What other culture do you know that shows its exuberance by going out in the street and shooting firearms into the air? Besides Texans, I mean."

I'm insulted! I think that I will go burn down the local "Visit Virginia Tourist Bureau while yelling "Don't Mess With Texas!"

Francis W. Porretto said...

"Why bother trying not to offend Muslims? Our very existence is offensive, and their raison d’être is war."

I have never heard the matter put better than this. My compliments!

Joseph Marshall said...

I know Mr. Bodissey is not the author of this particular post. But since it is at the top of the roll, I want to make as public an apology as I can for the very public and intemperate words on my own blog, so I am posting this here.

I spoke wrongly and am sorry. Please forgive the offense.

Joseph Marshall said...

Since I have been invited to comment here I'll make this brief remark.

There is one other consideration which most people miss in the whole fuss over American media not publishing the cartoons. Most of these news outlets have reporters in the Muslim world trying to find and report stories.

There is always some degree of danger involved in this, as the Daniel Pearl case proved. News executives and editors have to give thought to how much more danger will they be placing their people in when they print or broadcast something.

We are so used to living in both freedom and safety that we sometimes forget to reflect on how genuine danger can impact on such moral absolutes as “freedom of speech”.

Mr. Tucker's own courage is commendable, but I question imposing a demand for it on a reporter or a bureau chief abroad.

Baron Bodissey said...

Mr. Marshall, thank you! No offense taken.

If one stays in the blogosphere long enough, one develops a thick skin, out of necessity.

Welcome aboard. It's good to have you in the comments.

Always On Watch said...

The BBC is not what it once was. See this, written by a UK blogger.

linearthinker said...

“Bring. It. On.” My sentiments exactly.

A minor point...according to HM Queen Margrethe II, the king never did wear the yellow star. I always enjoyed the story myself, until some recent research revealed the queen's correction: "It is a beautiful and symbolic story, but it is not true." (Scroll down at link)
She puts a positive spin on debunking the myth.

Col. B. Bunny said...

I gleefully endorse multiple publications of cartoons and other images of Mohammed.

That by itself establishes the correct principle of no intimidation because of the threat of Muslim violence.

But it misses the point.

Something more aggressive, confrontational, and substantive is in order. What is need is a "Western Manifesto."

It would go something like this:

1. Islam kills to expand its influence. Jihad is an integral part of Islam and it means military conquest, not some kind of inner self-improvement exercise. Do you think we are fools? The express routes to paradise for jihadis in Islam doctrine are deplorable and encourage the most barbaric and pointless sacrifices by Muslim young people. Forget jihad. Keep your sons to make grandchildren for you, not to fill the rivers with blood and tears.

2, Islamic doctrine is established by ignorant and violent men who have no understanding of science, industry, economics, medicine, or technology and who act only to aggrandize themselves and keep Muslim people down.

3. Islam oppresses and enslaves. Nothing grows where Islam takes root. Nothing. Poverty and backwardness are coextensive with strict adherence to the sharia or where there is a struggle to institute such adherence. All of the nations of the Arab world have a GDP less than that of Spain. Why is that? What would the Arab world be if it were not for oil?

4. Why are there so few Christians left in Egypt, Syria, and Turkey when there were so many before? Surely you will not tell us that you did not oppress them and force them to leave? We know what takes place in Egypt, what what happens to the Bahai in Iran, what is done in Darfur. This is not what one expects from a confident, vigorous, and great faith. This is fear and small mindedness. We despise you for your petty ways. You hate the Jews and Israel but do nothing to make your own societies better.

5. Even the brightest of flames in the history of Dar Al-Islam were smothered by the Wahhabis, the literalists, the obscurantists. What Islamic glories do the Wahhabis claim, except the glory of hate and death? How does killing glorify or please Allah? Answer that.

6. The mullahs, muftis, imams, and ulema are afraid to compete intellectually with Western religions and secular doctrines and will condone violence and vicious hatred of infidels as a substitute for competition. If Islam is a great religion, people will come to it. If it proves to be deficient to those who come and they leave, let them. If Christianity or Buddhism attract more people, examine, change, and compete. No one will stop you if you win the battle for the hearts of men that are freely given and freely remain. What has the shedding of blood to do with religion today?

7. Islam fosters hatred of infidels through its support for and condonation of concepts such as "infidel," "najis," "polytheists," "jizyah," "dhimma," and "jihad." So long as Muslims do not reject these concepts totally, they will be met with similar discrimination and contempt from infidels. Is this not just?

8. Freedom of religion is essential to a decent life and the Muslim concept of death as the only possible penalty for apostasy is contemptible and contrary to the best of human understanding of decency and freedom. If a man prays in his home or not at all, or criticizes the Prophet, what is it to you? Are you grown men and women who can accept that others have minds of their own? Do you think that Allah or his Prophet quake at the words of men?

9. Why do you come to the West and still think and act like you are lions who will one day devour the people who welcomed you? Do you think we do not notice the unjustifiable pridefulness in these attitudes, the base ingratitude they involve? Why must you hold yourselves apart like some master race?

10. Let us hear no more of the Crusades, which were a temporary and limited reaction to massive Muslim aggression, killing, rape, enslavement, and pillage. Islam spread far and wide by the sword and huge numbers of people died as a result. The Muslim people of history are a blood drenched as any. Muslim history is not pretty and your Muslim predecessors were not unique in their aggression and killing. Stop pretending that there is no such history.

11. Islam is cursed with Wahhabism, which is a primitive and murderous doctrine that leaves the interpretation of what is correct and decent in Islam to the most backward and uneducated of men. In 1967 in Saudi Arabia, Sheik ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Bin ‘Abdillah Bin Baz, who presided over the Saudi Permanent Committee for Scientific Research and the Issuing of Fatwas, issued a fatwa that the earth is flat. In 1993, he became the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia. Does this not alarm you or embarrass you?

12. The Koran must be open to interpretation by any and all Muslims as they see fit, not just by theocrats. The sharia is impossible to understand and adherence to it in its present confused and archaic form leaves you in the control of the mullahs. You do not need a mullah to tell you whether you properly perform wudoo or what to do if you hear a donkey when you pray. Or to tell you how to think. There is more to life than the Koran. If it is beautiful, show us it wonders.

13. Secularism is not a perfect approach but it is a workable and honorable compromise. Theocracy in the Western experience has led to misery in the same way that purely secular doctrines like communism did. It is best for religion to play no part in government and be left solely to one's conscience. Theocracy, which is integral to Islam, is a terrible curse upon the ummah.

14. Only Muslims who understand these ideas can expect to be welcomed to and to remain in the West. We will not live with vipers in our homes.

15. No Western philosphy, doctrine, system, institution, government, religion, or church is perfect. It is no shame for Islam that it is imperfect and has led to imperfect acts. The West has often behaved badly but it has changed, discarded unworkable concepts, and tried hard to be creative in finding ways to live better. There is much in the West that is wrong and inadequate. The West must improve. However, this does not excuse error and backwardness in other parts of the world. Not to change is the greatest crime. Islam must. The Arab world must contribute its genius, it strength, and its greatness and say goodbye to old ways. It is time.

16. Our patience is at an end. Many of us yearn to strike hard against those who have tormented good and innocent people by their support of terror. We know who they are.

17. Riot and kill all you want, if you must. But be careful. The next magnificent act of destruction you accomplish will sweep away the cowards and the weak voices in our countries. Only the warriors will be heard then. That is the price you will pay. Understand! We are not strangers to violence. If you insist, we will show you what our wrath can accomplish with modern weapons. Remember Iwo Jima, El Alemein, and Stalingrad. The kuffar are not afraid of fighting. Do you dare to put your doubts to the test?

18. Stop crying about Israel and the Jews. The Jews hold Israel because they have superior military might. This is the case with every nation in the world. Please take Israel by your own military efforts and stop talking about how unjust it is that you are ineffective militarily. It makes people feel contempt for you. Act or shut up. Blowing up school buses and restaurants in Israel is stupid.

19. The disgusting Islamic Republic of Iran will never be able to acquire nuclear weapons. We regret any loss of life of the good people of Iran that might occur as a result of our military strikes, but they must come. There is no alternative.

20. Muslims! Believe this.

This is about 60 minutes worth of drafting and might warrant a little editing here and there. It's a bit on the tame side if you axe me.

I'd rather see this kind of a substantive face be shown to the world and to quit all this pussyfooting around that Islam is one of the great religions and we can all get along if we only understood each other better.


We understand each other just fine and it's time we called the bluff of this deficient and twisted set of doctrines.

I'd like to be more conciliatory toward the much sought after but rarely encountered "moderate" Muslims. Undoubtedly they are there but they are for all intents and purposes hors de combat and of no use whatsoever in the battle with Islamic terror and aggression.

When moderates are more in evidence, then they will be entitled to greater respect. For now, they should not expect Westerners to fall over themselves wondering if they are there or not, or whether they will be hurt by having the tamer more worthy concepts of Islam lumped in with the objectionable ones.

A more important battle needs to be fought first.

Are we CLEAR?

Sara (Pal2Pal) said...

With all due respect to Joseph Marshall ... we have already seen that reporters are not doing the job so bring them home if that's the worry. They complain constantly about it being too dangerous for them to get out and about in Iraq, so that niche of reporting has been filled rather nicely by others, i.e., Michael Yon and the Milbloggers and I'm sure there are others who can pick up the slack worldwide. If not, then all is already lost.

I posted one of the cartoons (not the turban bomb) because it was actually funny. Most are so innocuous, it is embarrassing to see these MSM moguls quake over them. And it is shameful that the lion's share of the risk is being born by one lone woman in Michelle Malkin.

The scariest part for someone like me, is to be willing to take part and then being left to hang out to dry when those who could afford to mount a defense for themselves cower and stick their collective heads up their butts.

linearthinker said...

Squiggler said...
"With all due respect to Joseph Marshall ..."
Let's not forget CNN's coverage from prewar Baghdad. Too bad Col. B. Bunny's last name isn't Murdoch or Turner.

Jason Pappas said...

Of course, Dymphna, I agree with the content but more important, I like the tone: muscular, confident, and virile. That, of course, is in contrast to our dhimmi-whipped MSM that’s effete, whimpering and depleted.