I'll be on Fox News Channel with John tonight about 8:10 EST talking about Iran and the cartoon intifada. Hope you can catch it.
The Spectacle Blog
Guys: Volokh can't explain away what Cooper said. State is getting this wrong, badly so. It's only made worse by the fact that their spokesmen are only clear when they're on the wrong side, as is Cooper. So where is Condi? Why isn't she simply saying that freedom of religion goes hand in hand with freedom of the press? And that religious rules of one group do not, will not and can not restrict the free speech and free press rights of all?
"These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims. We fully recognize and respect freedom of the press and expression, but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatreds in this manner is not acceptable."
What is not acceptable is the State Department impliedly agreeing that Sharia law should be substituted for the First Amendment. I'm not saying Condi should go. Yet. But Cooper, and whomever supposedly supervises him, should be getting pink slips before sundown.
Let's not go calling for the head of State just yet. Courtesy of Powerline, which posted the transcript, Scott McCormack puts the official line like this:
"Our response is to say that while we certainly don't agree with, support, or in some cases, we condemn the views that are aired in public that are published in media organizations around the world, we, at the same time, defend the right of those individuals to express their views. For us, freedom of expression is at the core of our democracy and it is something that we have shed blood and treasure around the world to defend and we will continue to do so. That said, there are other aspects to democracy, our democracy - democracies around the world - and that is to promote understanding, to promote respect for minority rights, to try to appreciate the differences that may exist among us."
Spoke Australia source that the Oil for Food scandal has now washed onshore to damage the John Howard government. The allegations are graft, skimming, kickbacks, bribery and conspiracy to conceal with regard trading with Baghdad as late as 2002; and the tale points to a bevy of plutocrats and also toward Howard and his able, popular Foreign Secretary Alexander Downer. It is smoke for now, but there is noise of documents linking Howard directly, at least as someone who should have known of the schemes earlier than now. Worse ahead. Downer and Howard are ducking questions thrown at them each time they appear without buffers.
Not resigning weather, now now.
(a) Wish I'd originated that headline; (b) the State Department, siding with the Muslims against Europe, means the inmates are still running that particular asylum; and (c) the more these protests continue, the greater the risk of permanent damage to freedom of the press here as well as in Europe. This began as farce, and now may end as tragedy. For freedom of the press, and us all.
I had missed this: The Islamic Society of Denmark apparently ginned up this controversy by mixing in with the images that were actually published three cartoons that are much more offensive than the others -- and obviously created by a Muslim. (Who else would think to use "unclean" animals like pigs and dogs for maximum shock-value?)