|This is the new issue of the satricial magazine. |
It show a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed
holding a sign saying "Je suis Charlie."
The caption says "All is forgiven" in French
The outpouring of support for the right to satirize warms the hearts of First Amendment zealots like myself. The problem is that it’s authentic in concept and not true in practice. In France itself days later the country has cracked down on "hate speech" and jailed a comedian. The problem with one group deciding what another group can and cannot say is censorship, the antithesis of supporting Charlie. France isn't alone. Less than a month ago U.S. theatres pulled The Interview from the schedule, forcing Sony to withdraw the film altogether based on threats from North Korea. In Paris people died for the right to satirize and in the U.S. at the first sign of trouble self-censorship kicked in.
Much has been made in the political world that only the U.S. Ambassador to France was at the rally – while world leaders like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were able to attend safely. President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary-of-State Kerry were nowhere to be found. The White House acknowledged the next day it made a mistake by not having “a higher profile” delegate attend.
- This Administration issued a subpoena to New York Times reporter James Risen to testify about his confidential source. After a 7 year fight government lawyers said this week they wouldn’t call him.
- This Administration issued a warrant against Fox News reporter James Rosen which identified him as a criminal co-conspirator and charged him with violating the Espionage Act for writing a story about North Korea’s nuclear program with confidential information he received. The Government followed the reporter, tapped his phone and email – both personal and business.
- The Administration subpoenaed telephone records of 20 Associated Press Reporters in a zest to find out who was leaking information to reporters.
This Administration has guidelines about how information can be shared with journalists. Not a law persay, but fixed rules that if they are violated criminal charges could result.