The Free Press Has Surrendered to Islamic Fanatics

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006 11:59 pm by Neal

(Cartoon courtesy of

Former New York City Mayor, Ed Koch, in this excellent essay, The Free Press Has Surrendered to Islamic Fanatics, hi-lights a recent CNN interview of Bill Bennett by Wolf Blitzer on US press non-reaction to the Muhammad cartoons:

At that point, Blitzer interjected, saying to Bennett, “You can understand, Bill, that feeling among many Muslims, that this is beyond the pale when you insult the Prophet Muhammad.” Bennett, as penetrating and brilliant as Krauthammer, responded, “Sure. And if I were a Jew watching what CNN just led in with [anti-Semitic cartoons used in Muslim countries], I might be a little upset, too. But CNN doesn’t have the solicitude for Jews it has for Muslims. Your policy is not to show these cartoons that were shown in Denmark, but to show one after another of the most anti-Semitic cartoons they could come forward with. CNN — I don’t mean to pick on CNN, just because I work for you. But NBC, The New York Times, other media — the Virgin Mary in cow dung, that was fine. We can show that everywhere. Now, the Islamists have won, in that they have intimidated the major news media from showing these cartoons. They have lost, however, in the wider world, because people see that this is just totally nutty behavior, that these cartoons are shown and people, as a result, want to kill people, behead people, burn buildings down. And, whatever the argument with the Danes, what is the point of burning the Jewish flag? What is the point of burning the U.S. flag and saying death to Israel and death to the United States? People get a good, close look at this and say, you know, these people are unhinged.”

Bennett’s most important comment was, “I promise you, they have won. They have silenced — these — these mobs have silenced the mainstream media, who are afraid of the mob.” Later on in the discussion, Bennett stated, “One of the difficulties with the cartoons is, they hit pretty close to the bone…Is there no suggestion that, in the name of Islam, in the name of the Koran, in the name of Allah, people are having their heads cut off? These things hit their target.”

To me, that is the crux of the matter. There is a war of civilizations being waged in the world with the Islamic fanatics subliminally seeking to storm once again the gates of Vienna, where, in 1683, they were defeated. If by threats of terror against them, the great media institutions can be brought to their knees, we are in big trouble. Before this occurred, I had no doubt that, no matter how difficult, no matter how long the war we are now engaged in continues, the democracies of the world would win, as they did when first facing Hitler and later Stalin. Today, I am no longer so certain.

A good read by one of the few Democrats who get’s it.

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