A reader makes a good point:
In general, I completely agree with the notion that the offending cartoons are newsworthy and should be published (I recently changed my Facebook photo to the “kissing a Muslim man” Charlie Hebdo cartoon precisely to make that point). But I do want to call attention to one major difference about out about the various media outlets that Christopher Massie refers to. “Legacy” organizations have journalists working on the ground throughout the world while newer digital outlets generally don’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if the primary factor in the decision not to publish those cartoons was protecting the safety of reporters and safeguarding their ability to continue reporting from around the globe.
If BuzzFeed and Slate had journalists and photographers on their payroll working in Riyadh, Jakarta, or Damascus, I’m not convinced those organization would be so quick to reprint the offending images. It’s a heck of a lot easier to post a cartoon of a crying Mohammed when you’re in Manhattan than if you’re working for a news bureau in Cairo.
Update from a Dutch reader:
I have to call bullshit on that. Here are some Dutch front-pages from the day after:
And Flemish front-pages:
So plenty of Dutch and Flemish newspapers had Charlie cartoons on their front-pages, and all had them inside. And from Germany:
And here’s a slideshow of other front-pages from around the world. You think those papers have no international correspondents?
Not publishing insulting religious cartoons is a typical American problem. I read a comment somewhere in the Dutch or Flemish media that suggested that since America is so much more religious than Europe, mockery of religion in general is a no-go area in the US. And that’s true. There is no serious mockery of religion in the US. Bill Maher may be the exception to that rule, and see how much crap he gets for it. The sharpest criticism of religion comes from Stephen Colbert, a devout Catholic himself.
Remember the mess when South Park wanted to show Muhammed in an episode? No-go, said Comedy Central.
Though Matt and Trey were able to get away with this crap-fest in lieu of Muhammed:
Another reader points to a notable exception in the US:
I hate to burst the first reader’s bubble about legacy new orgs, but Bloomberg News has reporters all over the world and in the places the reader mentioned, and it published every one of the “offensive” cartoons. Here’s the main one I’m thinking of, and other images have run with various stories Bloomberg writers have covered on different aspects of what’s going on.
I think seeing the cover will help readers understand what this is all about.