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  • SCHOOLED BY AN HEK

    Filed at 6:19 pm under by dcobranchi

    He’s right, Scott.

    Dane Keil, 14, home-schooled, Charlotte: Freedom of the press is one of our most precious rights, however, it must be used responsibly. When deciding whether to publish an editorial cartoon, both the cartoonist and the editor must consider the impact on the readers and their community. Additionally, the readers should understand that the cartoonist is trying to be funny or trying to make people think about important issues, and should keep things in perspective. The violent responses demonstrated over this issue are appalling and inappropriate.

    I’m really impressed with Dane Keil. This is the second time I find myself quoting him.

    UPDATE: According to this site, “Dane” is a boy’s name. I’ve edited the post to reflect it. Sorry ’bout that, Dane.

    7 Responses to “SCHOOLED BY AN HEK”


    Comment by
    Do You Believe...
    February 14th, 2006
    at 12:33 am

    Do you believe that bloggers should hold themselves to the same level of responsibility? Should they publish opinions which are deeply offensive to others? Is there any set of guidelines on what is considered irresponible? Seriously. I am not trying to offend, just trying to understand.

    Additionally, is it only religious ideas that deserve respect, or does it include other beliefs as well? I am asking this not in a confrontational manner, so please take my question in the spirit of one who wants to understand your views.


    Comment by
    Scott W. Somerville
    February 14th, 2006
    at 9:55 am

    Daryl, I’m happy to be taken to task, but each time I try to explain my position I have to explain it all over again.

    Daryl, if I recall the Christian response to taxpayer-funded crucifixes in urine, it was, “We don’t t think our tax dollars should be used that way, and exercised various First Amendment rights to petition our government for a redress of that very specific grievance.”

    I would urge the Danish government NOT to use tax-dollars to fund the “Queer Mohammed” posters that Mike Adams has suggested. That might lead to political protests by law-abiding Muslims who would argue (just like the Christians did here) that such an “art” project was an unwise use of public funds. It also might lead to other reactions, but I don’t think Denmark (or any other free country) should give up its freedom out of fear of violence.

    I myself have been careful NOT to post any pictures of Mohammed that (a) are offensive or (b) show him without a veil. But I did post a (Muslim) picture of a veiled Mohammed because I think we are EXACTLY at that moment in history where we either stand up for free speech or start the long slippery slope towards dhimmitude.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 14th, 2006
    at 10:10 am

    Scott,

    You’re being willfully obtuse. The Danish paper published those cartoons to get a rise out of the Muslim minority. It was not courageous. It was nasty and stupid. Did they have the right to publish? Of course. Should they have? Only if you think next week’s expose on Queer Jesus is appropriate and acceptable.

    And the “Piss Christ” controversy was not solely based on who was paying for it. There was a strong component of “First Amendment” thrown into the mix. Go back and read the records. It was from 1999 and is available with a quick Google search.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 14th, 2006
    at 10:22 am

    Do you believe that bloggers should hold themselves to the same level of responsibility?

    As what, the Danish paper? I’d hope that I held myself to slightly higher standards of journalistic ethics than that.

    Should they publish opinions which are deeply offensive to others?

    It depends. Is there some greater good that is served by offending? In this case, I would argue not.

    Is there any set of guidelines on what is considered irresponible?

    Not that I’m aware of. I don’t think it’d even be possible to come up with an exhaustive list. I try to think of it like the Hippocratic Oath– First, do no harm. The Danish paper intentionally did harm. With no offsetting “good.”

    Additionally, is it only religious ideas that deserve respect, or does it include other beliefs as well?

    Religious beliefs are particularly troublesome. But there are other areas that can also inflame passions: race, the Holocaust, Nazism, etc. Would it have been acceptable for the paper to have commissioned cartoons from a bunch of Holocaust deniers? Hey, it’s free speech!


    Comment by
    Scott W. Somerville
    February 14th, 2006
    at 12:04 pm

    Daryl, you write, “The Danish paper published those cartoons to get a rise out of the Muslim minority.”

    Maybe this is where we’re failing to connect. I understood the story line to be a bit different. An author wanted to find an illustrator, couldn’t, and went to the paper saying this was a newsworthy fact: you can’t find an illustrator in Denmark, of all places.

    Perhaps I’m viewing all this through the lens of my own personality. If somebody had brought this story to ME, I would have done just what the Danish paper did–not out of racism or “Islamophobia” but because sometimes you have to take a stand or you lose your freedom forever.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    February 14th, 2006
    at 1:21 pm

    Well, they evidently found illustrators, no? So, it really wasn’t a story anymore. From Wikipedia, quoting the paper:

    The modern, secular society is rejected by some Muslims. They demand a special position, insisting on special consideration of their own religious feelings. It is incompatible with contemporary democracy and freedom of speech, where you must be ready to put up with insults, mockery and ridicule. It is certainly not always attractive and nice to look at, and it does not mean that religious feelings should be made fun of at any price, but that is of minor importance in the present context. […] we are on our way to a slippery slope where no-one can tell how the self-censorship will end. That is why Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten has invited members of the Danish editorial cartoonists union to draw Muhammad as they see him. […]

    So, they knew that people would be offended and essentially told the Muslims to Cheney themselves. Very courageous.

    And, BTW, the most offensive cartoon was drawn in-house. Strange coincidence, that.


    Comment by
    Scott W. Somerville
    February 14th, 2006
    at 5:01 pm

    So… what do you think about TV personalities who intentionally inflame the sensibilities of the teachers union? Go see “Public School Teachers and Blasphemy” on my site at:

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