The clarifier: Charlie Hebdo

I do hope all the assignment desks here make sure to put someone on their local ‘area Muslims worried about retribution’ story right away. Cuz obviously, that’s what the moment demands. How did that BS ever come about anyway?

Unbound: Yes, now that we’re well down the road from trying to avoid calling Benghazi a terrorist attack, this can be an edifying movement where we forthwith are in unequivocal support of free speech.

If this wasn’t ‘clarified’ for you before, I think it’s fair to say that with what’s different now, the office full of dead writers… this can be properly called a clarifying moment.

But let’s recall also, in 2012 Carney / Hillary / the President were blaming the satirists, blaming free speech, to in some ways buttress the argument that the Innocence of Muslims video guy had incited Benghazi. Which was BS but a campaign thing… ya know, like I said, avoiding acknowledgment of terrorism is to avoid political opponents claiming you fell down on the job. True or not, its spin. And in these cases, when it’s terrorism and the Obama administration can be impugned for malfeasance, the rule was, you got to figure out a way describe it as something else, no matter how absurd. Which was Ernest’s wrong instinct yesterday.

Anyway, yeah, there isn’t any difference between Charlie Hebdo and the Innocence of Muslims guy (oh, if there’s to be a qualitative difference discerned in their mockeries, it’s only in tone and temperament, and maybe skill). But you’ll be hard pressed at this moment to find Hillary or the President blame Charlie Hebdo for incitement. Cuz the election is now behind us, this was in Europe, and therefore things are now clarified.

To the extent it’s remembered, this statement does look ridiculous now:

Obama’s unbound, and no, not a Muslim but a closet atheist right? When’s he going to come out and admonish the world’s believers for making war on the urgings of myth and fairy tale? Truth.

4 thoughts on “The clarifier: Charlie Hebdo

  1. pm1956

    First: the local muslims worried about retribution stories are appropriate, because retribution is a real thing:

    Given that it happens, it is not BS.

    And i don’t want to relitigate all of the Benghazi nonsense again (especially now that it has been conclusively shown to be a manufactured crisis by the GOP led House Intelligence committee), but it is clear that the riots in Egypt on that same day as the attack in Benghazi were in fact caused by that Innocence of the Muslims video. And the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office was indeed in direct retaliation for the portrayals of Mohammed by Charlie Hebdo.

    This is the point where you go wrong in your analysis of both Benghazi and Charlie Hebdo. Saying that A led to B is not blaming A for B. President Obama was not blaming that video for the riots in Egypt, even though that video was the proximate cause of those riots. The “blame” for the riots is on the people who rioted. They did not have to riot, they made a decision to riot. There is nothing automatic about their reaction, and all of those on the Right who immediately jumped into the “blame” game are making a mistake here–and making it consciously, because they want to “blame” the President.

    Lets face the facts–if Charlie Hebdo had never said anything controversial about Islam or Muhammed, then this attack would not have happened. The cause of the attack was the actions taken by Charlie Hebdo. That is not blaming Charlie Hebdo for the attack. That is a simple statement of fact. The “blame” for the attack is the reaction of those who attacked. They did not have to react that way, and plenty of other people (both Muslim and non-muslim) did not react in that fashion.

    Why do you want to go around slinging these “blame” accusations, anyway? This is really foolish and simplistic.

  2. pm1956

    Chait has clarified what he was trying to say, and, i think, makes a good distinction:

    It is important to publish racist, sexist, offensive shit, IF people are trying to prevent the publication thru threats and violence.

    Apparently Douthat is making the same distinction.

    I think that it is a good distinction. If I or anyone else takes offense at something, we can boycott it, we can publish a rebuttal, we can even yell at the person(s) responsible. We can not threaten to kill them, however (threaten to sue–that is OK), nor can we attack them or harm them. We can disagree, and we can make our disagreement known (but can’t go to harassment). Furthermore, when someone/group goes so far as the threaten some form of illegal retaliation if people do something that they object to (like publishing “blasphemous” cartoons), (ie., if they try to illegally censor others freedom of expression), then saying/publishing things that might normally be considered offensive actually becomes sort of noble–a defense of free speech in the face of serious threats. Otherwise, it just might be really bad taste, an expression of ignorance, a really mean and nasty act.

    Sort of reminds me of the case of Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine…


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