Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Mask Slips

The London Guardian has an article in Monday's edition revealing that Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper at the center of the Muhammad cartoon fury, refused to run cartoons lampooning Jesus Christ in April of 2003 on the grounds that "they could be offensive to readers and were not funny."

Here's what the paper's Sunday editor, Jens Kaiser, wrote in an email to the artist:
I don't think Jyllands-Posten's readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them.
Clearly Jyllands-Posten is only concerned with what one segment of its readership thinks, and the obvious hypocrisy that this exposes does considerable damage to the lofty free-speech rhetoric that is rattling around the cloisters and over the cobblestones of old Europe.

Freedom of speech undeniably gives publishers the right to print disgraceful things, but it does not make it obligatory—a distinction Jyllands-Posten saw all too well back in 2003.
Listed on BlogShares