Lamentable Disrespect and Raving Lunacy

Charles Taylor joins the flock.

“The publishing of these caricatures shows a lamentable disrespect,” said Taylor, who elaborated on his views to an audience of nearly 200 people at an event organized by the Heinrich Boell Foundation. “Freedom of speech means you can’t outlaw the printing of these cartoons,” acknowledged Taylor, “but in order to get through this difficult time, we need an informal code where that kind of gratuitous insult can not take place.”

Well doesn’t that sound just like Jack Straw and Sean McCormack and Franco Frattini and the pope and Kofi Annan and that student union spokeswoman at the U of Cardiff – doesn’t that sound just like all of them saying No you may not say that. Not because it’s a lie, or fraudulent, or a falsification, or dangerous, but because – it shows a ‘lamentable disrespect’. Well does it? Does publication of these caricatures show a lamentable disrespect? Some people certainly think so; other people claim to think so because that sounds better than saying they are afraid of getting beaten up or killed; but other people again don’t think so, and think on the contrary that the very idea that it does is more disrespectful than the publication of the caricatures could ever be. But not Taylor, it appears.

Taylor questioned why the editors of the Jyllands-Posten didn’t consider the 100,000 Muslims living in Denmark before they printed the caricatures and the reactionary responses to them.

Um – because that’s not how editors do things? Because they don’t look at material they plan to publish and run through a mental list of the national population complete with figures for each, wondering what they will think of the material in question? Could that be why? Because if that were the way editors did things newspapers would be a little on the empty side? Would have, like, nothing in them? Does Charles Taylor not know that? And has he even looked at the dang cartoons? Has he even asked himself where the lamentable disrespect comes in?

Taylor defended his position against the printing and reprinting of the caricatures, and refuted [she means rebutted] the argument that printing them was somehow a defense of a free press. “Who can take away your press freedom? The German government can, not the government in Damascus. I don’t understand why [people here] are so hypnotized by this idea of press freedom. It’s just raving lunacy,” he said.

Is it. Valuing press freedom is raving lunacy. Is it indeed. Charles Taylor is a name philosopher. Dear oh dear.

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