Paris has been in lockdown mode because of Islamic terrorists connected to Al Qaeda. The terrorists are now dead, and for the moment Paris is breathing a sigh of relief. In the pages of the New York Times there is a quote from a woman who survived the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. One of the gunman approaches her, puts a gun to her head and says this, the quote presented as follows:
“Don’t be afraid, calm down, I won’t kill you,” the gunman told her in a steady voice, with a calm look in his eyes, she recalled. “You are a woman. But think about what you’re doing. It’s not right.”
But, as reported here at the Daily Caller, in fact that was not the accurate quote from the woman. The accurate quote was this:
“I’m not going to kill you because you’re a woman, we don’t kill women, but you must convert to Islam, read the Quran and cover yourself,” she recalled.”
In other words, the New York Times deliberately changed the quote to drop the references to “Islam” and the “Quran.”
Over at the Weekly Standard, Mark Hemingway has written a piece that captures what’s happening in the world of media exactly. The headline: "Don't Be Deceived by the Reaction to Charlie Hebdo Massacre—Our Media Are Cowards."
Hemingway goes on from there to call out all the supposed “Je Suis Charlie” devotees who, when push comes to shove, have in effect turned quickly on their heel and run as fast as they can from any idea of standing up to these murderous thugs killing in the name of Islam. Writes Hemingway, in a column that appeared before the news of the funny business with the New York Times story went public:
In the wake of today's massacre in Paris, there has already been a lot of preening about journalistic bravery. Much of it has come from people who, it can be shown, don't have the guts to work in Charlie Hebdo's newsroom. Preening about free speech may be reassuring at times like this, but what we need are apologies from those who haven't done enough to defend free speech, as well as a real desire to hold those journalists and politicians who have undermined free speech accountable.
….If anything good is to come from this massacre, we have to first own up to and reflect upon the unbelievable cowardice and accommodation of our media and cultural elites in the face of literal assaults on our most basic freedoms. It's not just that they stay silent in the face of threats. It's not just that they don't tell the truth about their own cowardice. It's that they are so far around the bend they argue that speaking up against these threats is harmful to Muslims.
….But it's time to demand that the same media that never fail to see a nonexistent connection between benign Republican political rhetoric and senseless acts of violence start defending freedom of expression for real. Governments everywhere are punishing those who publicly criticize Islam. Already in Canada we've seen journalists dragooned and threatened with government fines for offending Muslims. Here in the U.S., President Barack Obama responded to an al Qaeda attack on U.S. embassy saying, "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam." That may seem reasonable enough, but the statement is really just one of his obnoxious false dichotomies. The future shouldn't belong to those who slander Mohammed, but it damn well better belong to people who believe you have the right to do so. There are even those in the media that are not above blaming the victim, as Time's former Paris bureau chief Bruce Crumley did when Charlie Hebdo was firebombed in 2011. There's no question the lack of conviction in fighting Muslim threats, combined with the self-soothing prevarication and B.S. equivalencies from the media, is making us less safe and less free.”
Well amen to that. HBO’s Bill Maher, one of the few liberals who refuses to duck and cover on the issue of radical Islam, took to the Jimmy Kimmel show the other evening and referred to those liberals who act in the politically correct fashion of the Times in refusing to condemn Islam as “Pussy Nation.”
Bravo to Bill Maher, not ordinarily someone with whom I generally find much agreement. He has made a point of calling out liberal political correctness. So too has liberal Bob Beckel over at Fox stepped up to the plate, fearless in calling out the Islamic connection and the political correctness that is shielding it. And make no mistake. This event in Paris was the ultimate in political correctness. The trigger men took offense at the politically incorrect Charlie Hebdo’s mocking of Islam - so they marched into the magazine’s offices and killed the writers and cartoonists.
Over at The Federalist, Mollie Hemingway (married to previously mentioned Mark) was blunt -- and that too was before the issue of the Times changing a quote had surfaced. Presciently wrote Hemingway of the earlier Times decision not to publish the cartoons that launched the attack:
It’s time to stop lying about why many in the media don’t publish these cartoons. It’s not out of respect for religion, something the media could actually use a great deal more of.
It’s not about causing offense to many, or papers wouldn’t be running photos on the front page of gay couples making out or announcements of same-sex unions or what not. I don’t recall the New York Times discussing deference to pious families in Brooklyn when those began in 2002. There’s one reason and one reason only why we’re not seeing any pictures of Muhammad (and contrary to what many in the media mindlessly tell you, depicting Muhammad is a debated issue among Muslims).
Journalists are absolutely terrified of Islamic extremists.
There are two points here. First, when it comes to political correctness, Islamic radicals don’t fool around. Not for them the business of protesting a speaker at a college commencement by demanding the speaker be uninvited. Not for them the idea of demanding “trigger warnings” that are used to cite material that offends. No, there are no trigger warnings for these people, they simply march in, put the gun to the target’s head and pull the trigger.
Which is what vividly illustrates point two. As Bill Maher suggests, what’s at work with liberals is more than just political correctness. It is indeed “Pussy Nation.” As Mrs. Hemingway suggests, there is nothing more involved here than plain old fashioned cowardice at standing up for that oldest of Western values -- free speech.
The other night Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart delivered himself of a monologue on the Charlie Hebdo murders, saying, in part: : “I know very few people go into comedy as an act of courage, mainly because it shouldn’t have to be that. It shouldn’t be an act of courage, it should be taken as established law.” Sounds lovely, yes?
But take a look back here in 2010 when Comedy Central, the very network at which Jon Stewart stars, cravenly censored an episode of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s South Park, in which the two “During the Muhammad cartoon uproar last year, ….tried to insert a picture of the Islamic holy figure into their show, but Comedy Central said no.” Cartoonist Stone responded by saying "I think Comedy Central totally f**king pussed out.” Where was Jon Stewart during all of that? Did he raise the roof at Comedy Central? Did he go after his network for caving in the exact same fashion that he goes after some conservative somewhere? No, of course not. He did speak out, to his credit. But he stayed put, and life at Comedy Centrl rolled on. with the Islamic terror achieving its desired end of intimidated an American media outlet into silence from there on out.
But in fairness, that kind of response from Comedy Central and Jon Stewart is, as both Mark and Mollie Hemingway noted, all too typical of Western media. As Mollie notes, in this current episode every media outlet from the Associated Press to the New York Daily News to CNN and more have wimped, their actions admitting that in fact they are terrified of telling the truth about radical Islam.
Worse still is the head-swiveling nonsense that the real problem here is the reaction of the right to all of this. Over there at Time -- no kidding -- the headine was this: "Europe’s Anti-Immigrant Parties Make Hay From Paris Terrorist Attack."
The article goes on to express concern that
“The populist and anti-immigrant parties surging in the polls across much of Europe did not even wait to find out the identity of the attackers before deciding exactly who to blame for the massacre of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. Within hours of the assault on the French satirical magazine, far-right politicians had variously pointed the finger at migrants, refugees and Islam.”
As noted here at -- where else? -- MSNBC also frets that the problem at large in the world isn’t Islamic radicals, the real problem is the reaction to it.
Translation? Oh no! There are actually people in “much of Europe” who actually believe Islamic radicals and the self-segregated Muslim immigrant communities in “no go” areas are breeding grounds for Islamic terrorism. Worse, they even blame Islamic radicals for committing terror in - gasp! - the name of Islam! Friday afternoon longtime Fox foreign correspondent told Sean Hannity of a time years ago - years ago! - in which he was driving with a French policemen into a “no go” zone. Suddenly the two came across six men standing up ahead of them. The policemen - to Palkot’s astonishment - said he would have to turn around and leave. Which is to say a policeman in his own country was afraid to drive into an area populated by Muslim immigrants - effectively ceding control of a portion of Paris to Islamic radicals.
Put another way? In addition to terrorizing the media, these thugs are terrorizing the French police as well.
Will this latest incident in Paris knock some sense - or better yet - some courage into the media? Don’t count on it. But make no mistake, this problem is not going away. Until media elites in America - not to mention the current occupant of the White House - have the chops to face reality, this is going to get worse. Much, much worse.
Political correctness rules. With not the slightest sense of irony that the staff of Charlie Hebdon just had visited upon them the ultimate end of all political correctness. The terrorists in Paris have turned themselves into the ultimate PC heroes. Not content with protests, they simply stormed the Charlie Hebdo offices and slaughtered the offenders. Done. Mission accomplished.
Is there a media version of Winston Churchill out there? Keep looking.