Thursday, February 09, 2006

Frattini: A wellspring of hypocrisy

Per LGF, the EU is considering a media code of conduct in order to avoid having to deal with the annoying problem of people calling for the heads of members of the press when they slight Islam. Reuters duly communicates this bright idea:

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union may try to draw up a media code of conduct to avoid a repeat of the furor caused by the publication across Europe of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, an EU commissioner said on Thursday.
How does this avoid a repeat when many will ignore it? To free speech advocates, this prohibition, and that is what it is, is as offensive to them as pictures of Mohammed are to Muslims.

In an interview with Britain's Daily Telegraph, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said the charter would encourage the media to show "prudence" when covering religion.
So the EU Justice and Security Commissioner suggests continental government design a code of conduct to encourage their media to show prudence when covering Islam? And Prudence? The Jyllands-Posten article was a prudent as you can get within the boundaries of covering a legitimate story.

"The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression," he told the newspaper. "We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right."
Bwahahaha! The press will give the ... message? How about the EU government overlords will give the ... message: We can threaten consequences, too, just as well as you fanatics can. But let's start out with something benign, like a "voluntary", self regulating, code of conduct. But don't ya love a EU Justice and Security Commissioner suggesting the government help the press come up with a self-regulating code? Oh, oh, and don't ya love his choice of "aware of the consequences of exercising the right" rather than 'aware of the responsibilities in exercising the right'?

The cartoons, which first appeared in a Danish newspaper last September before being reprinted across Europe, sparked a wave of protests around the world.
(Hey, Reuters, nice sentence contortion to obfuscate the fact that the reprinting across Europe was in defiance of the Islamists' threats to behead the cartoonists and cause carnage throughout all offedning nations. Che! Oh and by the way, still haven't noticed the reprint of the cartoons in an Egyptian newspaper in October of last year, have ya?)

Newspapers which have published them say they are exercising their right to freedom of speech, while critics say the cartoons are deliberately offensive. Depicting the Prophet Mohammad is prohibited by Islam.

Frattini, a former Italian foreign minister, said millions of Muslims in Europe felt "humiliated" by the cartoons.
(Moral equivalence, constantly regurgitated, never makes it taste better, Reuters. And picking and choosing the crux of arguments, pro and con, is informative only of your judgment, not of the significance of the story.)

His proposed voluntary code would urge the media to respect all religious sensibilities but would not offer privileged status to any one faith.
Now are the details presented in the above just Reuters impression of Frattini's proposal or was there something of note in Frattini's statements which indicated the code would actually be voluntary, that all religious sensibilities would be its domain, and how would this code identify and measure offensiveness so as not to offer development of privileged status. Platitudes don't count, details do.

The code would be drawn up by the European Commission, the EU executive body, and European media outlets, he said. It would not have legal status.
No legal status now, but how about after this useless document is ignored by the many citizens who don't care to volunteer? Does the EU Justice and Security Commissioner have any suggestions for those occasions? (Point deductions for guessing a Frattini cowtow to beheadings. Double point deductions for guessing rendering of the accused to Iran for a fair trial.)

Oh by the way, Frattini, why don't you propose a code of conduct when demonstrating grievance taken by the publication of religiously offensive material. Oh wait, sections of that code already exist. It's called laws against incitement to riot, battery, destruction of property, and murder. A lot of good those did, didn't they.

Update: Well, so I see Frattini has had a change of heart. Did Mohamed Ahmed Sherif tell him that Mulsims are already providing a fairly effective code of conduct which many have volunteered to abide by and Frattini can hold fast to paying lip service to freedom of speech?


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