When in doubt, don’t publish
Sad sad sad. Sunny at Liberal Conspiracy – see comment 12:
I buy Jonathan Dimbleby’s arguments:
First, even the editor agreed that printing the images were not central to the story anyway since the Yale Press was central to the story. So it’s not censorship. Printing them would be gratuitous.
Really. The images were not ‘central’ to the story because Yale Press was central to the story. Well what about Yale Press was central to the story? Its pretty blue eyes? Its taste in music? No; its withdrawal of illustrations from a book about a controversy about those illustrations. So in what sense were the illustrations not central to the story? Who decides what’s central? Since when is reporting supposed to stick to what is (by some very narrow definition) ‘central’ while stripping out everything that is (by some insanely broad definition) peripheral? Since when is the subject matter of a controversy not central to reporting on that controversy? How can it be ‘gratuitous’ to print something that is informative about the subject of the story? Would Sunny Hundal take that view of the matter if the subject were a strike or a debate in Parliament or a war? I doubt it, so why does he take it here? I don’t know.
The ultimate ethical tangle, or a simple case of selling out to intimidation? I never ran the images on my old blog because I always thought it was a case of stirring up controversy for its own sake. I also had major doubts about the motives of bloggers and activists who did use them. All in all, Dimbleby has made the right decision, but I can’t help wondering if he made it for the wrong reasons.
That’s it. He doesn’t say what he thinks the motives of those bloggers and activists were – he just throws a little stinkbomb of suspicion and then runs away. Tacky. Tacky tacky tacky.