Media double standard on offending Muslims

The bigwigs in the media both here at home and abroad have gone out of their ways to explain to us how, out of sensitivity to Muslims, they won’t publish the offending Mohammed cartoons. Yet they don’t seem to mind offending Muslims when it comes to displaying yet more photos/video from the Abu Ghraib scandal – horrible abuses that happened two years ago that surfaced early to the middle of last year in the press.

Keep in mind that the people involved in the abuse that took place at Abu Ghraib at that time are being punished accordingly – this story is not new news, outside of showing “new” photos of the same abuse we saw when this story first broke last year. So why the need to pile on? Hmmm.

Here’s a breakdown:

The Washington Post on the publishing of the Mohammed cartoons:

[ Editorial Page Editor Fred] Hiatt also could have chosen to run the cartoons depicting Muhammad. Downie oversees the news pages. And the wall of separation between editorial and news is high, very high.

But Hiatt said he would have made the same decision. “I would not have chosen to publish them, given that they were designed to provoke and did not, in my opinion, add much to any important debate. Should our calculation change once the story becomes big, because the cartoons are suddenly ‘newsworthy’? If it was essential to see them in order to understand the story, then maybe. But in this case, the dispute isn’t really about what the cartoons look like . . . it’s about the fact that he was depicted at all. The cartoons were easily explainable in words. Why reprint something you know will offend many of your readers?”

The Washington Post on the new Abu Ghraib photos/video today (note photo and video links in the middle right side of the page).

CNN on the publishing of the Mohammed cartoons:

CNN is not showing the negative caricatures of the likeness of the Prophet Mohammed because the network believes its role is to cover the events surrounding the publication of the cartoons while not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy itself.

CNN on the new Abu Ghraib photos/video today.

The NYT on the publishing of the Mohammed cartoons:

“On the one hand, we have abundant evidence that a significant number of people — some of them our readers — consider these cartoons deeply offensive and inflammatory” Mr. Keller wrote. “Indeed, to publish them after seeing the outrage and violence across the Islamic world could be perceived as a particularly deliberate insult” he said.

“On the other hand” he continued, “we feel we can quite adequately convey the nature of the cartoons by describing them.” I quite agree. I doubt that the descriptions of the cartoons in Times articles over the past four days have left many readers with any major questions about why the drawings could offend Muslims or why some people might find humor in them.

The NYT on the new Abu Ghraib photos today: Nothing yet. I’ll update when it happens. PM UPDATE I: The NYT joins the reporting on this story here.

Don’t let the media fool you when they talk about not wanting to ‘offend’ Muslims. They have no problems with it at all – at least not if it fans the flames of hatred against the US under the Bush administration.

(Hat tip: Tim Blair)

Others blogging about this: Stop The ACLU

PM UPDATE II: Antonia, you still don’t get it . It’s not about any mythical double standard on the part of ‘hateful blogbursters’ of wanting the media to censor Abu Ghraib photos while at the same time requesting they post the ‘offending’ Mohammed cartoons. It’s about the very real media double standard on not wanting to’ offend the sensibilities of Muslims’ – a rule they only seem to selectively follow, as this post has pointed out. Get a clue, woman.

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