Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Retreating to form
I've been waiting for the French to cave. Jacques Chirac rarely disappoints on that count, and now he's showing his cowardly colors in responding to the uproar over the Danish political cartoons.
"Anything that can hurt the convictions of another, particularly religious convictions, must be avoided," Chirac said. "Freedom of expression must be exercised in a spirit of responsibility.
"I condemn all manifest provocation that might dangerously fan passions."
So who decides what constitutes "hurtful" expression? Again, there are no caveats in free speech.
Chirac is not the only world leader who misunderstands that concept. Appearing with Jordan's King Abdullah, George W. admonished the press that its freedom comes with "the responsibility to be thoughtful about others."
Just what the media needs: more political correctness.