Being respectful toward the sensitivities of Islamists should be easy for the “legitimate” media. They are normally more than respectful toward the sensitivities of the Obama Administration.
An April 15th post by Jonathan Turley argues, gently, against catering excessively to Islamic sensitivities.
Lawrence Pintak, dean of the Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, has written a controversial guide for journalists on how to cover stories without insulting Muslims. “Islam for Journalists” is an effort to educate reporters on the sensitivities of Muslims to avoid triggering protests or violence. Pintak writes that “Across the Muslim world extremists are wielding their swords with grisly effect, but the pen . . . can be just as lethal.” That line captures the controversy because it seems to suggest that reporters are a cause of violence when they fail to adhere to the demand of religious values or orthodoxy in their publications. [Emphasis added.]
. . . .
My concern about the “how to” guide is that it is part of a quiet move in the West to accommodate religious demands while publicly declaring fealty to free speech. For many years, I have been writing about the threat of an international blasphemy standard and the continuing rollback on free speech in the West. For recent columns, click here and here and here.
Much of this writing has focused on the effort of the Obama Administration to reach an accommodation with allies like Egypt to develop a standard for criminalizing anti-religious speech. We have been following the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard. (Emphasis added)
In a satirical video posted back in 2011, Andrew Klavan explained how and why not to offend Islamists.
Dean Pintak and Mr. Klavan take slightly different approaches, but the results would be little different.
A similar tendency of the “legitimate” media to avoid offending the sensitivities of the Obama Administration, by investigating and reporting on matters that might be seen as offensive, is well expressed in this recent video of an interview with former CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson.
If less than the desired respectful attitude were shown toward the Obama Administration by investigating and reporting matters it hopes to conceal, the response might well be injurious to the wealth of the guilty media. Integrity? What’s that? Appeasement requires less effort than investigative reporting, will not precipitate charges of “racism” and is better for the bottom line. Appeasement through reporting propaganda as fact has become the accepted answer.
Do the legitimate media believe that the Obama Administration must, like Islam, be treated with great deference because otherwise the consequences would likely be adverse? Might the problem go even beyond that? An article posted on April 9th by Gatestone Institute offered this:
The president made this really quite remarkable statement in his Cairo speech: “I consider it as part of my responsibility as president of the United States is to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” [Emphasis added.]
Think about that. It’s really quite astonishing. I would say that if a president made that comment about Judaism or Christianity most of us would say, “That’s really quite bizarre. It is actually not his job.” [Emphasis added.]
To pick out and isolate Islam as the one religion, criticisms of which he has the responsibility to correct, is actually amazing. [Emphasis added.]
Assuming that President Obama was candid when He said that “I consider it as part of my responsibility as president of the United States is to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear,” did He thereby advise the legitimate media to be respectful toward Islam? Or else?
There’s at least one more point to be made. On April 13th, in an article titled Truth, lies and conspiracy theories, I dealt with the media tendency to appease, rather than investigate and report candidly concerning, the Obama Administration. My thesis was that since the Obama Administration lies more far often that not, and the legitimate media regurgitate its lies for us to swallow, even far-out conspiracy theories gain relative credence. If, some happy day, the Obama Administration were to advise us candidly on a matter of political significance, would we believe it? Remember the story of the boy who cried “Wolf!”? Who could trust him? Who, for the same reason, can trust President Obama or His legitimate media?