Oh please

Can it get anymore pathetic these days than the op/ed pages of the New York Times? Not even two weeks after they stated their reasons why they wouldn’t publish the ‘offensive’ Mohammed cartoons, an editorial appears in their paper today that would have you believing that they never took such an appeasing stance – and they go so far as to frown on others who’s actions they believe have sent a message of appeasement to Islamofascists:

With every new riot over the Danish cartoons, it becomes clearer that the protests are no longer about the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, but about the demagoguery of Islamic extremists. The demonstrators are undeniably outraged by what they perceive as blasphemy. But radical Islamists are trying to harness that indignation to their political goals and their theocratic ends by fomenting hatred for the West and for moderate regimes in the Muslim world. These are dangerous games, and they require the most resolute response.

A resolute response we won’t see from the NYT, as that policy from two weeks ago suggests:

“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.

Back to today’s editorial, the NYT goes on to say:

It is not the West that is most threatened in this crisis. The voices of moderation in the Muslim world are the ones that are being intimidated and silenced. Those few journalists and leaders who have spoken out against the rioting have been vilified and assailed, and even jailed. According to a report by Michael Slackman and Hassan M. Fattah in The New York Times, 11 journalists in five Islamic countries face prosecution for printing some of the Danish cartoons, even when their purpose was to condemn them.

In most of these cases, the legal action represents attempts by cowed authorities to appease the Islamists.
But the effect — in Yemen, Jordan and other countries — has only been to give extremists a dollop of legitimacy, and to encourage them to turn up the heat. That, in turn, increases the perception of a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West.

The willful ignorance here is breathtaking. The NYT (among other popular news outlets) has refused to reprint the cartoons, yet has the audacity to shake its finger at “cowed authorities” who the NYT claims are trying to “appease the Islamists”? Has the editorial board at the NYT looked in a mirror lately?

It’s a sad day in America when a university newspaper displays more courage than the NYT and most of the rest of the mainstream media (like the Washington Post and CNN). The Daily Tarheel was prepared to take the heat over their publishing of the Mohammed cartoons. The NYT, the s0-called newspaper of record, chose to take the easy way out – preferring to appease than to demonstrate to fanatical Islamists that they (the NYT) weren’t going to be intimidated by their threats, blackmail, and violence.

What’s especially baffling about this op/ed piece is how it starts out: “With every new riot over the Danish cartoons, it becomes clearer that the protests are no longer about the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, but about the demagoguery of Islamic extremists. ” The NYT is right about the fact that these riots were about something much bigger than the ‘offensive’ Mohammed cartoons, but the cartoons were the catalyst to stoking the anti-west fires that rage within the heart of fanatatical Islamists. What I find curious about the NYT’s opener is the fact that that was quite obvious not long after the start of all the outrage over the cartoons. Gateway Pundit was one of many bloggers who reported on that well before the NYT came to the realization that all was not as it seemed.

The bottom line is that the NYT’s stance is little more than a too-late attempt to catch up with those who boldly decided to go forth in reprinting the cartoons from the beginning of this controversy. In effect, the NYT have tried with this editorial to make themselves look strong and resolute on the issue when in reality, their stance (one in which they’ve not backed down) on the reprinting of the cartoons was just one of many similar stances made in mainstream newspapers/outlets across America that, in essence, gave the Islamofascists’ rioting the ‘legitimacy’ the NYT decried in their editorial piece and not only that, those stances symbolized the very type of appeasement the Times seemingly frowned upon in the same editorial.

Read more commentary on this via Captain Ed and All Things Beautiful (who has a link roundup of others blogging on this).

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