Ed Driscoll

NBC Hyped Da Vinci Code, but Charlie Hebdo Is Too Offensive

Nice catch by Scott Whitlock of NewsBusters:

In the wake of the massacre of journalists in France by Muslim terrorists, NBC has made an editorial decision to not show the cover of the new Charlie Hebdo cover featuring Muhammad, deeming it too offensive for viewers.

This is quite a contrast to the way the network promoted The Da Vinci Code in 2006. The movie (and Dan Brown book it was based on) insisted that Jesus Christ was not divine and had a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene. Many Christians considered that offensive.

On Wednesday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell explained to her audience the decision to refrain from showing the Charlie Hebdo cover: “All of the networks of the NBC News group have made the decision, editorial decision, not to show it because we don’t publish things that are as provocative as Charlie Hebdo is.”

“Provocative” being code for “stuff that could our journalists killed.” Responding to similarly Orwellian code from the New York Times editor Dean Baquet over his  similar decision this month to censor news, just take this quote from Allahpundit this past week and substitute Catholics for Jews:

If Jews want the Times to take their feelings seriously, they can prove the depth of their injury by grabbing some AK-47s and machine-gunning a group of cartoonists. This moron is actually providing an incentive to overreact to blasphemy. Which is probably the closest he’ll come to acknowledging the real calculus in all this: To the extent that Times editors have more to fear from angry Muslims than they do from angry Jews, yes, it’s quite true that cartoons that offend each group don’t parallel each other.

As Glenn Reynolds warned a decade ago during the first round of Islamic terrorism inspired by European cartoons, “I’m sorry, but the lesson here is that if you want to be listened to, you should blow things up. That’s a very bad incentive structure, but it’s the one the allegedly responsible parties have created.”

And speaking of NBC and censoring images, “[Charlie] Hebdo Editor to Chuck Todd: When You Blur Our Cover, ‘You Blur out Democracy,’” as spotted by Mediaite:

Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Charlie Hebdo’s new editor-in-chief Gerard Briard Sunday morning what he made of the decision of many American news outlets, including NBC News, to blur the cover of this week’s issue, which featured a caricature of the Islamic prophet Muhammed. Briard basically told Western media to grow a pair.

“Écoutez, we cannot blame newspapers that already suffer much difficulty in getting published and distributed in totalitarian regimes for not publishing a cartoon that could get them at best jail, at worst death,” he said.

“On the other hand, I’m quite critical of newspapers published in democratic countries,” he continued. “This cartoon…is a symbol of freedom of religion, democracy, and secularism. It is this symbol that these newspapers refuse to publish.”

“When they refuse to publish this cartoon, when they blur it out, when they decline to publish it, they blur out democracy, secularism, freedom of religion, and they insult the citizenship.”

But blurring out democracy and insulting America’s citizens is what MSNBC, CNN and the New York Times does, a “Progressive” journalistic tradition that’s as old as Mencken and just as shopworn. It’s their raison d’être, as the French would say. Why would they start viewing any of these as bad things now?

Allahpundit-esque exit quote: “An unintended side effect of Paris is the revealing, or perhaps I should say reminder, that the left really has a hard time with this whole ‘free speech’ thing. Right alongside grand and glorious declarations of the absolute right of free speech are inserted codicils that, if followed strictly logically, simply negate all of their olympian sentiments.”