For all of us, continue to create, to draw freedom

The (staid, mainstream, conformist) New York Times has less hostile coverage of Charlie Hebdo than the putative “lefty” Guardian.

A special issue of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo went on sale in France on Wednesday, amid a week of official commemorations and other events paying tribute to the 17 people who were killed one year ago in attacks last January at the newspaper’s office and other locations in the Paris area.

The commemorations have been accompanied by a flurry of book releases and new documentaries on the subject, as well as a resurgence of questions about whether French intelligence and police services failed to adequately assess security threats against the newspaper, which had been under police protection.

The newspaper has printed around a million copies of the issue, up from a typical print run of about 100,000, and it includes drawings by illustrators who were killed in the attacks as well as guest contributions.

“Charlie is insolence elevated as a virtue, and bad taste as a mainstay of elegance,” the French culture minister, Fleur Pellerin, wrote in her contribution to the issue. “For all of us, continue to create, to draw freedom.”

Laurent Sourisseau, the newspaper’s editorial director, wrote, “It isn’t two little idiots in balaclavas who are going to screw up our life’s work.”

“They aren’t going to see Charlie die, it is Charlie that is going to see them die,” he added.

The Times does mention the Vatican’s disapproval, but not until 13 paragraphs in – it doesn’t make it the focus the way the Guardian did.

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