Thursday, February 23, 2006

There he goes again


Is there another Alan Dershowitz who is a professor of law at Harvard? This is two days in a row I'm agreeing with him.

The link does require registration, sorry.

I'll summarize: The Western press is for the most part a bunch of spineless sychophants with a negative attitude about the United States. Most of them don't even understand the obligations of a free press to the culture that makes a free press possible. They are the PNB (parochial narcissist buffoons), (TM) Mark Steyn.

Going to an American jail rather than reveal a source is pantywaist stuff compared to going to a Jordanian jail charged with blasphemy. But some courageous Jordanian newspapers published the cartoons anyway. Yelling that the White House Press Secretary is a jerk, because you didn't get some information fast enough, is a lot less impressive display of moral fortitude.

The registration could be worth it to read an article co-authored by William Bennett and Alan Dershowitz. Here are some excerpts:
A Failure of the Press
By William J. Bennett and Alan M. Dershowitz

There was a time when the press was the strongest guardian of free expression in this democracy. Stories and celebrations of intrepid and courageous reporters are many within the press corps...

Over the past few weeks, the press has betrayed not only its duties but its responsibilities. To our knowledge, only three print newspapers have followed their true calling: the Austin American-Statesman, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Sun. What have they done? They simply printed cartoons that were at the center of widespread turmoil among Muslims over depictions of the prophet Muhammad. These papers did their duty...

The mainstream U.S. media have covered this worldwide uprising; it is, after all, a glimpse into the sentiments of our enemy and its allies. And yet it has refused, with but a few exceptions, to show the cartoons that purportedly caused all the outrage...

What has happened? To put it simply, radical Islamists have won a war of intimidation. They have cowed the major news media from showing these cartoons. The mainstream press has capitulated to the Islamists -- their threats more than their sensibilities...

So far as we can tell, a new, twin policy from the mainstream media has
been promulgated: (a) If a group is strong enough in its reaction to a
story or caricature, the press will refrain from printing that story or
caricature, and (b) if the group is pandered to by the mainstream media,
the media then will go through elaborate contortions and defenses to
justify its abdication of duty. At bottom, this is an unacceptable form
of not-so-benign bigotry, representing a higher expectation from
Christians and Jews than from Muslims...

When we were attacked on Sept. 11, we knew the main reason for the attack was that Islamists hated our way of life, our virtues, our freedoms. What we never imagined was that the free press -- an institution at the heart of those virtues and freedoms -- would be among the first to surrender.
An institution, moreover, for which American service men and women have put themselves in harm's way. This press has no problem offending Muslim sensitivity with, for example, false stories about the flushing down a toilet of a Koran. They have no problem with contributing to terrorist recruitment or inviting riots where a story castigates our military. But then they slither away from a set of mundane drawings and claim they do so so as not to offend.

What they have offended is the concept of a free press.

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