February 13, 2006

The Danish Cartoon Flap and the Press: Savor the Ridiculousness

Like nearly everyone else on God’s green earth, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have followed the Danish cartoon brouhaha with great interest. After all, it seldom happens that cartoons lead to violence—unless of course you count Andy Capp. That crazy wife-beater.

Perhaps even more intriguing has been the response to this fiasco of the Western press. Whilst some newspapers and magazines have demonstrated admirable courage—notably the editorial staff at the New York Press—others have been strikingly pusillanimous and/or obtuse.

For instance, the chaps at The Economist offered the following headline to their cover story on the flap: “Mutual incomprehension, mutual outrage.” Are we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” the only ones who think that this is a ridiculous way to characterize what’s going on?

First off, we firmly believe that anyone who can’t comprehend the fact that Islamists would react with wild, irrational violence to a slight hasn’t been paying attention to the news since around 1948. We mean, come on: Who the heck didn’t know that Islamists hate the West, blame everything on the Jews, and are a bunch of thugs? Hence the Islamofascists are eager to excoriate Denmark’s Jewish population—all three of them. Frankly, if you can’t comprehend that this would happen, we can’t comprehend you. So there.

And then there’s the bit about “mutual outrage” in The Economist’s title. Um, we hate to quibble, but we don’t think “mutual” is the mot juste. One side is torching embassies, murdering priests, and chanting violent slogans, and the other is…reprinting the cartoons? If you ask us, that’s about as mutual as the love between Rosie O’Donnell and Tom Cruise. And everyone knows he’s into guys.

For the apex of sanctimonious idiocy, however, readers should turn to The Nation, which has presented its own rebarbative view in the form of a staff editorial. Said piece, of course, offers an entirely false characterization of the brouhaha, according to which there are “extremists” on both sides. This allows the Communist dolts at The Nation to position themselves as the voice of reason coming from the center.

Ah, yes: Insufficiently sensitive cartoonists and murderous, anti-Semitic, anti-American thugs. Sounds like two groups of extremists to us. Too bad the Nationistas only have sympathy for the latter.

Now, don’t get us wrong, dear reader; we believe that the cartoons were tasteless and offensive. But we seem to recall the folks at The Nation praising tasteless and offensive art—provided its target is Christianity. In order to score cheap—and easy—political points, purportedly avant-garde artists love to dump crucifixes in urine and defame the Virgin Mary, all to choruses of applause from the left-leaning press.

Somehow, however, when cartoonists turn to offering cheap—and easy—political points at the expense of Islam, the leftists react quite differently.

Smell that, dear reader? That’s inconsistency.

Posted at February 13, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack