Really? I’d love to hear that argument.

Vilks, who has been a controversial artist for more than three decades in Sweden, says his drawing was a calculated move, and he wanted it to elicit a reaction.

“That’s a way of expressing things. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. And if you look at it, don’t take it too seriously. No harm done, really,” he says.

When it’s suggested that might prove an arrogant — if not insulting — way to engage Muslims, he is unrelenting, even defiant.

“No one actually loves the truth, but someone has to say it,” he says.

Vilks, a self-described atheist, points out he’s an equal opportunity offender who in the past sketched a depiction of Jesus as a pedophile.

Still one could argue Vilks should have known better because of what happened in Denmark in 2005, when a cartoonist’s depictions of the prophet sparked violent protests in the Muslim world and prompted death threats against that cartoonist’s life.

What makes this doubly unbearable is the media’s endless preening self-congratulation about how indispensable they are as a check on power. Vilks is literally facing death over a piece of art, a sentence that would rightly kick up an international storm if it was the Swedish government or a Christian group that was trying to carry it out. Because the Perpetually Aggrieved don’t fit the narrative mold of what constitutes the kind of Power to which Truth should be spoken, though, CNN slides effortlessly into apologizing for violent cretinism. It’s based on a tacit belief that somehow jihadists have been oppressed, that they’re somehow understandably sensitive to “arrogant” provocations by westerners, which warrants a bit more equivocation than the usual “killing people over art is wrong” western line. How easily the guardians of the sacred, magical newsroom lapse into defending fascism when it comes at them with the right profile.