Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ye gods, he's back...

I've always been one to point out my own mistakes. As a footnote to my last post, I wondered what ever happened to Osama bin Laden. After the ill-conceived Iraq invasion, it seemed like we collectively forgot about the guy who masterminded 9/11 (everyone that is except the men and women who are still looking for his butt so we can nail it to a wall). I said:
*Oh, and speaking of stories getting lost in the MSM, what ever happened to this guy? I submit that if he had student loans in arrears, we would have had him in a week. Isn't it interesting that the man who masterminded 9/11 went from Public Enemy #1 to The Boogie Man that we don't discuss too often?
Imagine my chagrin after I had a few beers, pulled up the Drudge Report, and read this headline:

Bin Laden Slams Pope

It seems Our Little Foe picked the holiday of Mawlid, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, to accuse the Pope of collusion with a Danish newspaper's decision to reprint one of those cartoons that sparked riots among Muslims in 2005. Incidentally, the exact date of Mawlid varies according to the Islamic calendar. This year, it just happens to coincide with another unfortunate anniversary. In 2003, the holiday was on May 13 by our calender.

If this newest video is for real, Our Little Foe needs to do his homework. The Pope actually condemned publication of those cartoons. The Vatican has also denied that these cartoons represent some sort of crusade against Islam. One of the biggest gripes that Muslims have about the west is not showing proper respect to their culture and religion. Any depiction of the Prophet is considered an insult to Islam. Here's a link to a film that gives a good perspective on other people's views of America.

On the other hand, here's a link where you can see 12 of those cartoons. This is also probably a good time to bring up the Western teacher who had the audacity to name a teddy bear "Muhammad." Not that I am trying to link the two issues. Just saying...

The real insult to Islam is not these cartoons or a teddy bear. The insult is terrorists (how many are named "Muhammad?") killing innocent people because of their religion (or lack thereof) or because of the actions of their government.

Fair is fair, so say I. If you are in a land with a different culture than your own, you have a certain responsibility to defer to the local customs. I'm not planning to take a trip to Saudi Arabia to have a whiskey and cocaine fueled week-long bender. That is against the law. So, in fairness, there is a Western custom of respecting the right to offer critical, if sometimes offensive and crude, perspectives in the media. I could certainly find enough material in our media that would qualify as offensive to my sensibilities if I did not have such a thick skin. That does not, however, confer upon me the right to start a riot over a particular story or picture.

On a related note, here is how the MSM handled the story on line:
Drudge Report: headline story with a photo of the pope
Google News: lead story in the U.S. section; 1,145 related stories (280 with duplicates filtered out)
MSNBC: Second leading story earlier today. Now it is listed in the U.S. and World news sections
CNN: Nothing on the front page. (But don't forget that Spitzer's date was 17 years old in those Girls Gone Wild videos.
Fox "News": Top story listed under "latest news"
New York Times: no mention in the e-mailed "Today's Headlines." Although, as a newspaper, the Times may have gone to print before this story broke.
Washington Post: Second story under another explaining why is it so tough to spy on al-Qaeda.

Interesting that this video was broadcast on a particularly embarrassing day for Our Fearless Leader's Administration. At least CNN seems to have gotten the point that Olbermann has been making for a long time.


No comments: