NY Times runs brave op-ed about standing up to terrorists but won’t publish Hebdo cartoons

NY Times runs brave op-ed about standing up to terrorists but won’t publish Hebdo cartoons

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has a lengthy op-ed in yesterday’s paper titled “The Blasphemy We Need,” in which he argues on behalf of the right to blaspheme in a free society. “We are not in a vacuum,” he writes, adding:

[T]he kind of blasphemy that Charlie Hebdo engaged in had deadly consequences, as everyone knew it could … and that kind of blasphemy is precisely the kind that needs to be defended, because it’s the kind that clearly serves a free society’s greater good. If a large enough group of someones is willing to kill you for saying something, then it’s something that almost certainly needs to be said, because otherwise the violent have veto power over liberal civilization, and when that scenario obtains it isn’t really a liberal civilization any more. Again, liberalism doesn’t depend on everyone offending everyone else all the time, and it’s okay to prefer a society where offense for its own sake is limited rather than pervasive. But when offenses are policed by murder, that’s when we need more of them, not less, because the murderers cannot be allowed for a single moment to think that their strategy can succeed. [Emphasis added]

Powerful words. Sadly, the paper Douthat writes for doesn’t have his cojones. Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray tweeted late yesterday:

Twelve people died because of those cartoons, which appear below. Doesn’t the Times believes its readers deserve the whole story and the right to judge for themselves whether the offense committed by a group of satirical cartoonists deserved a death sentence?

Charlie Hebdo cartoons

(h/t Lachlan Markey)

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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