US media will print Abu Ghraib photos but not controversial cartoons

Aussie blogger Tim Blair makes a great point in response to the lack of publication by most newspapers here of the controversial cartoons that have sparked such a furor overseas. He writes:

[The American media] won’t publish cartoons, but they will run anything they can get out of Abu Ghraib. Both sets of images provoke Islamic anger; note how the media behaves when that anger is directed at them.

(Hat tip: John Hawkins)

It’s true. The media (and the left here) couldn’t wait to get their hands on any photos related to Abu Ghraib, but when it comes to ‘offensive’ cartoons about Mohammed:

Major American newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune, did not publish the caricatures. Representatives said the story could be told effectively without publishing images that many would find offensive.

“Readers were well served by a short story without publishing the cartoon,” said Robert Christie, a spokesman for Dow Jones & Company, which owns The Wall Street Journal. “We didn’t want to publish anything that can be perceived as inflammatory to our readers’ culture when it didn’t add anything to the story.”

In a midafternoon meeting on Friday, editors at The Chicago Tribune discussed the issue but decided against publishing the cartoons. “We can communicate to our readers what this is about without running it,” said James O’Shea, the paper’s managing editor.

Most television news executives made similar decisions. On Friday CNN ran a disguised version of a cartoon, and on an NBC News program on Thursday, the camera shot depicted only a fragment of the full cartoon. CBS banned the broadcast of the cartoons across the network, said Kelli Edwards, a spokeswoman for CBS News.

Only one of the big three was brave enough to run the cartoons:

Only ABC showed a cartoon in its entirety, lingering over the image for several seconds during Thursday’s evening news broadcast and on “Nightline.” “We felt you couldn’t really explain to the audience what the controversy was without showing what the controversy was,” said Jeffrey Schneider, a spokesman.

Bravo to them, but shame on every other media outlet which refuses to broadcast and/or reprint these cartoons. The double standard here could not be more obvious.

Oh, and speaking of the land down under, the rage over the publication of the ‘offensive’ cartoons has spread to New Zealand.

BBC News is reporting that there have been four deaths associated with these violent demonstrations (Hat tip: Michelle Malkin)

More: Did you find that the spontaneity regarding the riots over the cartoons well-coordinated? Rory McCarthy writing in the UK Guardian examines the possibility. (Hat tip: Captain Ed)

Victor Davis Hanson wonders: A European Awakening Against Islamic Fascism?

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