Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Lonesome Rhodes strikes again!

If the name in the title is unfamiliar, you should rent Elia Kazan's "A Face in the Crowd," starring a young Andy Griffith as a slick, ruthless radio personality from Arkansas. There's been no better portrait of Bill Clinton, despite the fact it was made when our former president was still a fat little boy.

Now the great equivacator has come out against satire, blasting a Danish cartoon that targets radical Islamists: "None of us are totally free of stereotypes about people of different races, different ethnic groups, and different religions ... there was this appalling example in northern Europe, in Denmark ... these totally outrageous cartoons against Islam."

Hey, Lonesome, it ain't stereotype when it's true. You know, like that old stereotype about racist and illiterate Southerners? Plenty of satire about that, and with good reason. Such attitudes deserved, at the very least, lampooning.

If Clinton were being consistent (which would be a first), he'd have to join the chorus that called for the head of Salman Rushdie. Or is he just offended by satire in cartoon form? Certainly he doesn't agree with this Jordanian newspaper, which wrote:

"Nobody has the right to ask us to respect "freedom of expression" when the
matter concerns our Prophet and the Prophet of all humanity, and the essence of
our religious belief. They cannot cry "democracy and human rights" when the
matters concerns us, us alone, while they ignore democracy and human rights when someone talks about the Jews, their religion and beliefs, or what is called the Holocaust."

I'll let ideological soulmate Andrew Sullivan handle this one: "Er, yes, we do have a right to ask Muslims in the West to respect freedom of expression, especially about religion. It's called Western civilization. Maybe not in Jordan. But in the free world, blasphemy is not a crime. In the free world, you are also free to be an anti-Semite."

Hell, he's on a roll. As for our 42nd president: "How many times has Clinton decried Islamist intolerance of Jews, gays, women and freedom of speech? Has he raised his voice to condemn the hanging of gay teenagers in Iran? Not that I've noticed."

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