Why they aren’t running the cartoons

by Walter Olson on February 10, 2006

The Boston Phoenix (“World of Pain”, Feb. 9) tells readers that “frankly, the primary reason” it isn’t going to run the Danish Muhammed cartoons:

Out of fear of retaliation from the international brotherhood of radical and bloodthirsty Islamists who seek to impose their will on those who do not believe as they do. …Simply stated, we are being terrorized, and as deeply as we believe in the principles of free speech and a free press, we could not in good conscience place the men and women who work at the Phoenix and its related companies in physical jeopardy. As we feel forced, literally, to bend to maniacal pressure, this may be the darkest moment in our 40-year publishing history.

Somewhere there’s probably an issue of vicarious/employer liability lurking in here — if printing the cartoons did lead to violence, the Phoenix’s owners might well end up having to pay. But of course the venerable alt-weekly’s stance is practically a profile in courage compared with that of editors, publishers, governments and university officials in many other places, including South Africa (bans publication of images), Sweden (reported to have shut down website carrying them), Canada’s Prince Edward Island (university confiscates student newspaper, edict forbids weblog comments) and so on (Michelle Malkin roundup, Feb. 9). Commentaries worth reading: Krauthammer, Kinsley, and, from a different perspective, a commenter at Andrew Sullivan’s. (More on the cartoons here and here.)

{ 4 comments }

1 Overlawyered 03.04.06 at 2:50 pm

Sammenhold

It means “solidarity” in Danish, and specifically solidarity with the endangered liberties of Denmark, where not only the “Mohammed” cartoonists but even some of their family members now live in hiding. (Andrew Sullivan; Michelle Malkin,…

2 Overlawyered 03.19.06 at 8:56 am

Update: Danish Muslim groups to sue over cartoons

27 Muslim groups in Denmark have announced their intent to sue the newspaper Jyllands-Posten for defamation in a Danish court, and also plan to “report Denmark to the UN Commissioner on Human Rights for failing…

3 Overlawyered 03.30.06 at 10:08 pm

Canadian magazine sued over cartoons

Following up on earlier threats (Feb. 14, Mar. 19), Syed Soharwardy has brought a complaint against the Western Standard before the Alberta Human Rights Commission over its publication of the Mohammed cartoons. Ezra Levant, publisher…

4 SAMMENHOLD 03.31.06 at 11:28 am

What is SAMMENHOLD?

By now, many of you know the meaning of the word "sammenhold."  For those of you you do not, I’ll let the words of the High Priestess of Sammenhold speak for themselves:

A reader sent me the Danish word for solidarity t …

Comments on this entry are closed.