Weasel Zippers Today, Doonesbury’s Gary Trudeau became the first cartoonist to ever receive a George Polk Award. During his acceptance speech, he remarked that the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo — the satirical Parisian magazine that was recently the site of a terror attack — “wandered into the realm of hate speech.” He also added that “free speech… becomes its own kind of fanaticism.”
So Charlie Hebdo’s nationally beloved cartoonists were massacred and yet, Trudeau thinks its helpful to contextualize their deaths by characterizing them as hate-spewing fanatics. This is the free speech equivalent of suggesting they had it coming because they were wearing a short skirts. And yet, Treaudeau’s journalistic peers don’t seem to see the problem here. Here’s what a New York Times bureau chief had to say:
"Free speech…becomes its own kind of fanaticism." Wise, nuanced words on Charlie Hebdo from Gary Trudeau accepting the Polk lifetime award
— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) April 10, 2015
“Wise, nuanced words”? Perhaps there will be some general condemnation of Trudeau’s idiotic sentiment here, but my personal experience shows that the media are downright cowardly when it comes to exposing savagery for what it is. They let themselves be easily intimidated by the threat of violence and are content cultivating an atmosphere of self-censorship.