Don’t trouble them with the truth
Reporting about haters is hateful, you see. But where are the stories about people who are grateful for the wake-up call about Islamic jihad and supremacism? Surely AP could find a few if they wanted to. But they don’t.
“Newspapers get complaints for DVD ad on Muslims,” by Anick Jesdanun for AP, October 4 (thanks to Sr. Soph):
NEW YORK – Newspapers that carried an advertising supplement in recent weeks containing a DVD critical of radical Muslims have faced complaints from readers and questions about whether newspapers should offer a platform to everyone willing to pay for distribution.
Although a few papers refused to carry the DVD, about 70 including The New York Times distributed it on the grounds that rejecting it would violate the sponsor’s right to free speech. The decision generated letters, cancellations and even a protest. […]
“This is definitely the most feedback that I’ve gotten to an ad,” said Ted Vaden, public editor for The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. “It’s among the heaviest reaction I’ve gotten to anything. The great majority of the reaction was negative.” […]
“I cannot believe that I was sent the hate-inflaming, fear-mongering video disk `Obsession’ in my newspaper!” Margaret Lewis of Durham, N.C., wrote to The News & Observer. “What will you enclose next? KKK robes?”
This is really appalling, but not all that surprising. Margaret Lewis of Durham, N.C. is by no means the first person to equate resistance to a totalitarian, supremacist ideology that would institutionalize discrimination against her and all women, as well as against those who hold other religious principles, with “racism.” But one wonders what she thinks of all the Islamic preachers in the film who exhort people to jihad violence and hatred, and spread Islamic supremacism. Does she think they’re Hollywood actors? Does she think they will abandon their goals if she denounces those who oppose them as “racists” and equates them to Klansmen?
Kelly McBride, head of the ethics faculty at the journalism think tank Poynter Institute, said papers generally reject ads only if they promote illegal activity or might incite violence. The “Obsession” DVD, at most, makes people angry, she said.
“It’s pretty hard to make an argument to reject it,” she said. “It’s hard to articulate a standard that would give you the opportunity to reject something like the `Obsession’ DVD but allow other types of political, religious or anti-religious speech.”[…]
It’s pretty hard, but Muslim supremacists and their allies in the mainstream media will keep trying.
But Elizabeth Brenner, the publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, told reporters at the Milwaukee Press Club that based on complaints from its readers, the paper likely would not carry it again if faced with the same decision. She declined further comment to the AP, saying she didn’t want to re-ignite the issue. […]
She already has, by caving in to intimidation. So much for free speech.
The News & Record of Greensboro, N.C., rejected the DVD, considering it inflammatory and hateful without contributing much educational value.
“We got a lot of e-mails from across the country applauding the decision,” Editor John Robinson said, adding that most feedback for and against came from outside his paper’s region.
The Detroit Free Press, The Plain Dealer of Cleveland and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also declined to carry the ad. […]
The Miami Herald got dozens of letters and e-mails, mostly critical. But Anders Gyllenhaal, the newspaper’s executive editor, said the outcry led to good discussions with the region’s Muslim community about the principles of free speech.
That’s good to hear.