Media celebrates massive success of Charlie Hebdo’s defiant new issue by refusing to publish the cover

posted at 11:23 am on January 14, 2015 by Allahpundit

Normally CH’s circulation is 60,000 copies. They printed three million of the new one to try to meet expected demand after the massacre, but sales are so hot in France this morning that they’ve already had to bump the print run up to five million. The issue’s been condemned by Sunni authorities, in the form of Egypt’s grand mufti, and Shiite ones, via Iranian state media. All of which is to say, this feels newsy. Go look at how the AP is handling photos of Parisians on line, though. Everyone who ventures out publicly to buy the issue is taking a risk that some Kouachi sympathizer will copycat the Charlie Hebdo attack by shooting up a newsstand. Given the denunciations from Islamic clerics and the fact that French security suspects the Kouachis had accomplices, that risk is real. Basic solidarity with France in defense of free speech today should mean, at the very least, showing at least as much balls as the average Frenchman strolling around Paris with a copy of the offending issue on full display in his own hands.

This stain won’t come off. The NYT’s own ombudsman seems to recognize that:

I asked Mr. Baquet on Tuesday if he had considered changing course — as some media organizations did, including The Wall Street Journal and the news pages of the The Washington Post — in order to publish the image of the new edition’s cover. He told me that he had thought about it but decided against it, in keeping with his original thinking.

Here’s my take: The new cover image of Charlie Hebdo is an important part of a story that has gripped the world’s attention over the past week.

The cartoon itself, while it may disturb the sensibilities of a small percentage of Times readers, is neither shocking nor gratuitously offensive. And it has, undoubtedly, significant news value.

With Charlie Hebdo’s expanded press run of millions of copies for this post-attack edition, and a great deal of global coverage, the image is being seen, judged and commented on all over the world. Times readers should not have had to go elsewhere to find it.

Not all news outlets are censoring the images. BuzzFeed has a useful list of those who are (the NYT, the AP, CNN, NBC, NPR, the BBC) and those who aren’t (WaPo, the WSJ, the LA Times, CBS, Fox News). I said this a few days ago but I’ll say it again: By far the more dignified approach if you’re unwilling to print the image is to not cover the story at all. Twenty-five years ago I would have thought differently about that: Better for readers to have some inkling of what’s happening in France even if they can’t see the offending image. But in the age of Internet and cable news, when there are literally a hundred easily accessible alternative news sources, there’s no risk of that; every one of the Times’s readers (except, perhaps, the very old and Internet-unsavvy) know about the new Charlie Hebdo and why it’s “controversial.” A Times blackout of the story wouldn’t affect their access to information but it would preserve a bit of integrity. After all, the implied promise of every (western) paper is that they’ll cover the news forthrightly, despite attempts by powerful agents to influence or restrain them. If you can’t, or won’t, keep that promise, then simply don’t cover it. Promise kept.

If you’re curious what’s inside the issue, BuzzFeed has a look.

Update: And one more point worth remembering on Charlie Hebdo day in France: Every media outlet that refuses to publish the image raises the risk, however marginally, to the ones who do. That’s why Charlie Hebdo was targeted to begin with. A small French paper shouldn’t be on jihadis’ radar screens, but if they’re one of only a handful globally willing to publish images of Mohammed, go figure that they might end up there.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

I’m not sure that it would be that interesting.

Of course not…

I’ve never been to China.

Huh. Somehow I was able to guess that accurately. I must be a mind reader or something… ;)

Anyway, I thought you wanted to move on laddy?

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 2:36 PM

I’m quite happy where I am. I thought that was clear ma’am?

DarkCurrent on January 15, 2015 at 2:44 PM

Of course not…

Oh, come on now sonny. You’ve got to do better than that to get my gonad going.

Huh. Somehow I was able to guess that accurately. I must be a mind reader or something… ;)

Why? Was it relevant to the conversation or something?

I’m quite happy where I am. I thought that was clear ma’am?

DarkCurrent on January 15, 2015 at 2:44 PM

Clearly, and thankfully, you’re happy where your at.

I meant, move on in the conversation…

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 2:50 PM

I meant, move on in the conversation…

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 2:50 PM

Good. I’ve been wanting ask, why is your alias ‘Star Bird’?

DarkCurrent on January 15, 2015 at 2:57 PM

Good. I’ve been wanting ask, why is your alias ‘Star Bird’?

DarkCurrent on January 15, 2015 at 2:57 PM

Why not?

What I meant by move on, is going back to the original point that you were attempting to have Blink make for you.

Anyway, while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I have to go see a man about a dog.

That might give you some time to articulate the point that you were struggling to have someone else make for you. Or not.

Cheers.

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 3:01 PM

Why not?

I was just wondering if we had an interest in common, since my alias is “DarkCurrent”

What I meant by move on, is going back to the original point that you were attempting to have Blink make for you.

The point was made on page 2. Perhaps you missed it? You could read it again I suppose…

..

Cheers.

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 3:01 PM

Adios, amigo

DarkCurrent on January 15, 2015 at 3:08 PM

I’m not butthurt. I like exposing your obsession.

blink on January 15, 2015 at 3:14 PM

As has been demonstrated the obsession is in your own head bliky. Yet you continue, because of your blistering butthut :D

DarkCurrent on January 15, 2015 at 3:17 PM

I continue because I’m having so much fun doing this particular service to the Hot Air community.

blink on January 15, 2015 at 3:24 PM

Heh. Demonstrating your stupidity? It’s well-known.

In any case, this article is halfway down the left pane now. Do you suppose anyone but me and you are looking at it?

DarkCurrent on January 15, 2015 at 3:51 PM

I’m still watching it!

AsianGirlInTights on January 15, 2015 at 3:56 PM

The point was made on page 2. Perhaps you missed it? You could read it again I suppose…

DarkCurrent on January 15, 2015 at 3:08 PM

Yes, but as I recall, you never made the point.

Rather, like a communist, you were depending on others to do the work for you.

Maybe you don’t think that you’re capable of articulating the point on your own?

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 5:59 PM

I’m still watching it!

AsianGirlInTights on January 15, 2015 at 3:56 PM

How’s the show?

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 6:00 PM

What’s funny is that the explanation he kept asking me about WAS made on page 2. darkurrent is such a fun toy.

blink on January 15, 2015 at 6:10 PM

Well, he’s not very bright.

But then, what leftist is?

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 6:25 PM

Well, he’s not very bright.

But then, what leftist is?

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 6:25 PM

I’m a psychologist. He seems exceptionally bright to me. He’s not a leftist either, as far as I can tell.

Rakshasa on January 15, 2015 at 6:46 PM

He seems exceptionally bright to me.

Rakshasa on January 15, 2015 at 6:46 PM

He isn’t. And now he’s aware of it too.

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 8:35 PM

Star Bird on January 15, 2015 at 8:35 PM

Star Bird.

That’s an interesing moniker.

Why did you choose it?

Rakshasa on January 15, 2015 at 8:47 PM

You wrote this as if it somehow made you more qualified to determine the intelligence of an internet commenter.

blink on January 16, 2015 at 3:37 AM

Which is why I chose to ignore it.

Star Bird on January 16, 2015 at 8:10 AM

Star Bird.

That’s an interesing moniker.

Why did you choose it?

Rakshasa on January 15, 2015 at 8:47 PM

Because something had to be typed into the username field at hotair.com

Star Bird on January 16, 2015 at 8:12 AM

Star Bird.

That’s an interesing moniker.

Why did you choose it?

Rakshasa on January 15, 2015 at 8:47 PM

Because something had to be typed into the username field at hotair.com

Star Bird on January 16, 2015 at 8:12 AM

Ah. I see …..

– “Psychologist”

fadetogray on January 16, 2015 at 8:29 AM

Ah. I see …..

– “Psychologist”

fadetogray on January 16, 2015 at 8:29 AM

More likely a college kid that’s going to attempt to apply dead Freudianism.

Star Bird on January 16, 2015 at 8:34 AM

Enjoy.

Star Bird on January 16, 2015 at 9:41 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4