Saturday, February 11, 2006

Weekend Thoughts

-The Cartoon Jihad continues and I do not have any new thoughts other than a brief response to CNN's statement on the cartoons:

CNN is not showing the negative caricatures of the likeness of the Prophet Mohammed because the network believes its role is to cover the events surrounding the publication of the cartoons while not unnecessarily adding fuel to the controversy itself.

(1) How can you say your are covering events if you refuse to show the very thing which caused it. You had no trouble showing the U.S. miliary torturing prisoners in Iraq but suddenly a few cartoons make you squeamish?

(2) Not wanting to add fuel to the controversey is basically telling the world that if you create enough of a stir, CNN can be coerced into censorship by extreme acts of violence.

(3) Will CNN show the same kind of restraint when it comes to controversies surrounding Christianity? Can we expect the same kind of treatment or do Christians need to burn a few buildings first to ensure pictures of Kanye West as Jesus or "Piss Christ" do not get shown repeatedly?

This statement is a shift from the original company line which was "respect for Islam" Someone over in Atlanta must have realized how hyporcitical they must look trotting out respect for Islam with one hand and using the other hand to slap Christians by plugging the Kanye West Rolling Stone cover. This statement gives CNN a lot of leeway to dodge any restrictions on Christian insults since Christians do not tend to raise the same level of controversey as Muslim extremists.

As I have said previously, I think free speech should govern such decisions with deference given to people on showing things which might be offensive. In this case, if CNN showed the cartoons they would not be doing in a capacity to offend like Ted Rall does but rather in a presentation of the facts of a story. I also want consistency. There should not be double standards for one religion over another. You must either censor all, censor none or at the very least qualify such presentations which some sort of warning and aplogy to anyone who might be offended.

-I find predicting the major party candidates for 2008 to be interesting and almost impossible. Generally speaking the Democrats need a moderate who can engage the center and even court some moderate Republicans to win the national race. The problem is such a candidate will have a tough time surviving the primary since much of the far left controls the money and party apparatus. On the Republican side, I do not have a clue. Playing to the Christian conservatives is important while at the same time moderation on social issues is a key play to keep from appearing that the candidate is too far right. In both cases key blocs of voters could either bolt for a third party(i.e. liberals voting Green) or they simply could stay home(Christian conservatives tend to abstain from voting if neither candidate fits the bill).

As this point I do not have a clue who will come out for either party.

-Another Alabama church burned making it the 10th fire in a week. I was in Charlotte on Wednesday and was watching the local news when they broadcast the story of the second round of fires which occurred on Tuesday. The newscaster said(and I am not making this up): "authorities believe the fires may have been deliberately set" Gee, ya think! Nine churches burn; five on the first night, four more later on and the thinking is they might have been deliberately set?!?! My feeling is that this was the copy writing and not so much what the authorities may have said. If that is the case, they need to hire a new copywriter.

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