I don’t blame Comedy Central, or Border’s Books, or the world’s media organizations, for refusing to depict Mohammed out of fear of retaliation. Their job is not to defend freedom of speech, but to earn profits for their stockholders. Acting as a fiduciary, I would make the same decision. But let us not tolerate these same organizations claiming that they also support freedom of speech. They are lying when they say they do, because in order to defend freedom of speech, you have to be willing to protect speech against the inevitable threat of violence.
But watch both of these organizations quickly return to patting themselves on the back for how much they do support freedom of speech, and how hip and transgressive they are–in exactly the same way that movie industry superstars believe they’re on the cutting edge of controversy as well.