Saturday, June 24, 2006
FEELS RIGHT, DO IT
Keller told USA Today that publishing the Mohammed cartoons would be “perceived as a particularly deliberate insult” by Muslims, and that, moreover, not publishing them “feels like the right thing to do.”
Seeing as Keller’s feelings are evidently an editorial test, we may assume he felt right about exposing a classified anti-terror program. The Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal also ran pieces on the program—but, like the NYT, had earlier declined to publish newsworthy Danish ’toons. Washington Post executive editor Len Downie, back in February:
This newspaper vigorously exercises its freedom of expression every day. In doing so, we have standards for accuracy, fairness and taste that our readers have come to expect from The Post. We decided that publishing these cartoons would violate our standards.
Here’s a plan: instead of merely classifying its anti-terror programs, the US government should devise a code that renders the programs as Islam-mocking cartoons. Newspapers would never publish them.