Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Danish cartoons

Much has happened in the week and a half since I noted here the apology of the editor of Jyllands-Posten for the cartoons that have incited violence in many nations.

I haven't written anything else because it seemed that as the media discovered what was going on (albeit belatedly), there were plenty of opinions for everyone.

But I think William Powers' National Journal column this week, 'Toon Terriffic, is worth pointing out for its compact and clear assessment of the publish-or-not-publish debate. I was especially struck by this line:

As the media universe explodes into a zillion atomistic units, and as news loses its exclusivity, one of the only ways left for an outlet to distinguish itself is to take a stand on the controversial content of the hour: We are running this (or not) because we believe x, y, and z. And that's exactly what a lot of old-fashioned American news outlets did, with great seriousness and cogency.
"On the Media" also has a good discussion on the issue. Here's the audio. Transcript to follow.


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