Chunky David Brooks gets his panties in a twist over the whole South Park Mohammed thing. I can tell you that I agree with him, I would rather live in a world where religious extremists didn’t threaten to kill cartoonists.
But to pretend that this doesn’t happen, in some form, every day on every show on television is absurdly naive, even for an adult Tolkien reader. You’ve heard it before but here’s a partial list of people who lost their jobs for not being sufficiently psyched about Operation Iraqi Freedom: Bill Maher, Ashleigh Banfield, Phil Donahue. NBC wouldn’t rebroadcast the clip of Sinead O’Connor tearing up a picture of the pope. (And her reasons for doing so were so crazy, in retrospect, weren’t they?) I’ll stop now, but I could go on.
When it happens because of right-wing American complaints, it’s called family values or patriotism. When it happens because of Muslim complaints, it’s called censorship.