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About this blog: I am President of Embarcadero Media's East Bay Division and the publisher of the Pleasanton Weekly, Dublin TriValley Views, San Ramon Express and Danville Express. As a 25-plus-year veteran of the media industry, I have experience...  (More)

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I am Charlie

Uploaded: Jan 7, 2015
A newspaper is not a weapon of war. A pen does not kill.

Journalists in Paris were targeted and slaughtered like animals, by animals.

Was freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of expression critically wounded in this attack, with the weapon being fear?

#JeSuisCharlie

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 +   2 people like this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jan 7, 2015 at 11:29 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

"Was freedom of the press, freedom of speech and freedom of expression critically wounded in this attack, with the weapon being fear?"

Only if the media allow it, which judging by the coverage so far, they are.

When people in the media openly criticize christianity and judaism, but then self-censor on violent islamism, then yes, freedom of expression is indeed, "critically wounded".

Sincerely.




 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jan 7, 2015 at 11:33 am

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Need evidence?
Web Link

Sincerely.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Gina Channell-Allen, a PleasantonWeekly.com blogger,
on Jan 7, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

Dan, thank you for the post. But This wasn't the first attack. The newspaper was firebombed in 2011 because of a cartoon on the cover of the prophet Mohammad. The publisher just wrote a column where he said he'd rather die than live like a rat. Maybe that made the animals who murdered him more determined.

Also, I listened to Wolf Blitzer's report on CNN. I did not take away from his report that he thought the paper did anything wrong or "went over the line." He did say they didn't back down after threats. In fact, he made a point of me saying they have been doing the same thing for over 100 years. (I couldn't do what I normally do, however, and monitor different channels because I'm out of the country. It bothers me to not know how and what was reported on the other news stations.)

Between this and "The Interview" hack/debacle a few weeks ago, I feel freedom of expression is being deterred. I feel like the press - news sources or satirical weekly magazines - are being told to basically sit down and shut up. Or get hacked. Or get killed.

I hope the Muslim leaders speak up soon to condemn this. I'm confident this act of terrorism is an embarrassment and horrorifying to them. We can't hold the group responsinle for the actions of a few, but we can't allow the actions of a few to stop us from expressing our feelings and speaking the truth.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jan 7, 2015 at 10:20 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Hi Gina,

Thanks for the response.

It seem pretty clear from the article that when WB characterizes the commentary from Charlie as occasionally ?over the line?, that he is suggesting that the mag might be responsible for its own demise.

Call it what you will, but that is not emphatically stating support for freedom of expression.
In fact, it suggests the opposite; that we have to limit our expression so that murderous thugs won't slaughter us for the temerity of insulting their prophet.

From an earlier town hall blog (I can't remember the author) it was discussed what happened to the silicon valley businessman who had the audacity to contribute his money to the prop 8 campaign and then was summarily fired due to the uproar.

What about his freedom of expression?

That's just two examples; there are many more.

It seems to me that there is a social/political/religious class that is doing its best to stifle any expression that they deem hateful and our major media has largely abetted them.

Maybe you can tell us why the major media has a virtual blackout on the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi?s historic New Year?s speech in Cairo calling for an Islamic reformation?

Not a peep. Why?

Sincerely.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jan 7, 2015 at 10:41 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

And more:
Web Link

The above describes policies at CNN and NBC.

Mainstream media indeed.

Sincerely.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Gina Channell-Allen, a PleasantonWeekly.com blogger,
on Jan 8, 2015 at 7:40 am

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

Dan, Very interesting, and disturbing, link to the memo about not showing the cartoon "offensive to some Muslims." This is what I was talking about in my original post.

Again, I didn't take away from watching WB that he implied the Charlie staff was responsible for their own demise. I think he was saying they knew they were pushing the limits by going "over the line" of what they knew might offend a small group, but did it anyway.

As far as the social/ political/ religious class stifling freedom of expression, I would love to be able to debate that, but I agree. Why is it ok to, for example, say "Jesus Christ!" and "God damn it!" as expressions of frustration on national television? Many Christians find that offensive. But it's not ok to print a cartoon some Muslims find offensive? It's ok to state your beliefs, as long as you are part of the majority?

Finally, maybe now is the time the New Year's speech should be aired. Maybe it wasn't aired because it had no direct news tie (and, of course, there were football games and parades to cover... Don't get me started on that...). Now, unfortunately, there is a news tie.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jan 8, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Gina,

You wrote:

"Why is it ok to, for example, say "Jesus Christ!" and "God damn it!" as expressions of frustration...Many Christians find that offensive. But it's not ok to print a cartoon some Muslims find offensive?"

Well, exactly?!

Back in the 80's you might remember an artist by the name of Andres Serrano who created the infamous "P!ss Christ"?

There was a huge uproar among the Catholic community, with wide-spread protests at the museums that featured the work. There were death threats and lawsuits as well. I remember reading about this controversy and seeing pictures in the local media sources of the day.

But nobody was killed over it...

And the media was all too happy to report on Andreas Serrano's right to freedom of expression and reproduce the pictures.

Why doesn't the major media stand up for freedom of expression now?

Indeed.

Sincerely


 +  Like this comment
Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Jan 8, 2015 at 8:01 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

Dan,

I read on another site that the Serrano image was removed from the Associated Press (AP) website. I just did a search on AP.org and it isn't there.

It is on Wikipedia. Web Link Interestingly if you didn't know the medium in which the crusifix is placed, the photo is very beautiful.

Roz


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jan 8, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Roz,

Maybe this is why: Web Link

Gawker isn't usually a site I'd link too, but its very interesting that up until yesterday, they had coverage of P!ss Christ in their website.

All those raging Christians must have been threatening them over Andres Serranos "masterpiece"? <---sarcasm

But seriously, their hypocrisy doesn't surprise me one bit.

Sincerely.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Formerly Dan from BC, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jan 8, 2015 at 8:19 pm

Formerly Dan from BC is a registered user.

Edit to my last..."they" = AP

Dan


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