Ils Ne Sont Pas Charlie

The massacre of political cartoonists at a satirical magazine in Paris prompts American newspapers and magazines to express “solidarity” with cartoonists – even though they have been firing them for years.

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  • How does that make them hypocrites? If I were a media outlet of some kind, whether in print or on the Internet, why can’t I say that I think what happened was terrible? – even if I don’t employ a cartoonist in my publication? Why can’t I say that I am on the side of or support the rights and freedom of cartoonists without having to employ one? Ted – I support you and usually agree with you, but I have never sent you any money. Does that mean I can’t say that I support you – does support or solidarity have to be cash?

    • On the other hand, rikster, if cartooning is a vital element of freedom of expression, as all these declaration to the effect that je suis Charlie would seem to indicate, it does seem odd that these journals, which continually proclaim their support for such freedom, don’t choose to employ staff cartoonists. I fear that Ted’s conclusion that ils sont des hypocrites is spot on….


    • @rikster, To answer your two questions:
      They’re hypocrites because they say they “support” free expression and political cartooning. That’s a lie. They’ve fired 99% of US political cartoonists, and those who remain are those who are the safest and blandest. If they decried murder and terrorism and left it at that, I wouldn’t accuse them of hypocrisy.
      As for whether you can claim to “support” (as opposed to “agreeing” with me), that’s more subjective. In this day and age, however, with political cartooning under siege, seems that “support” ought to actually mean something other than just saying “I support.” I suppose it could mean something non-monetary, like calling your local editor to ask that she pick up my cartoons. But it has to mean something concrete.

  • Given how the press both in the US and Europe are ardent supporters of censorship of all kinds it’s basically hypocritical for any of them to talk about freedom of expression.

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