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.”
Fair enough: simply because the cartoons should absolutely not be withdrawn on account of blackmail does not mean they absolutely should have been run in the first place. That’s an editorial decision. Editors, of course, must know beforehand that taste is not defined and enforced by the state — or by religion with a bomb behind its back.
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