Publish and be damned?

Not at all a question to do with pretty homemaking, crochet or anything sensible, but a question I find myself trying to answer; after the murders in Paris last week and the massive march and supportive, journo-centric coverage of the march across many news channels this weekend, how come when Charlie Hebdo decides that a cartoon (quite a nice cartoon, not scary or vile or malicious) of Mohammed is their cover of choice and the only justifiable response to the challenge on free speech....
How come when the cover is a big news story, the news channels are censoring themselves and not showing the cover? Even with a disclaimer or a warning that images will offend? Are they saying yes to free speech and the right to offend and be offended (like the march said) but not doing free speech and the right to offend? The cartoon isn't illegal, it's not blasphemously against the law, because there are no blasphemy laws. It's a cartoon. A picture. Just like any one of many I've seen that poke fun at or make you think about a person, cause or belief.

Your decision;

A. Publish and be damned
B. Publish on the website and refer those who are interested that way
C. Talk about the cover, describe it but don't put it into the public domain because it could offend. (even if you happily publish material that could offend others?)

I know this isn't a typical blog community question, but then fortunately Wednesday doesn't happen every day. Leave your vote below, with or without explanation. (preferably with, because I like knowing what you think)


  1. A) Publish and be damned (all the way). I firmly believe that you shouldn't do things by half measures & that any news story should be reported in full!

  2. Can I have a D) publish behind a warning, so you have to click to go and see it, so you only see it if you really want to and can't "accidentally" by offended by it? In a previous lifetime I would have said a) but after what happened at Charlie Hebdo I can understand nervousness in other publications.

  3. I really have no idea what the right thing to do is. I certainly believe in free speech, I support the right of others to say things that may offend and the right of people to be offended. I do not support violence or terrorism. On the other hand, I do not support people making racist and homophobic remarks for example, so is that censoring people and not allowing free speech. Tricky questions with a lot of things to work through. xx

  4. Great post - enjoyed it. A, as far as I'm concerned. Horses, bolting and stable doors.


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