Press freedom as important as ever
Most of the world’s rational and intelligent citizenship are today reeling over the reports that 12 people working for the weekly French satire newspaper Charlie Hebdo have been shot and killed by alleged Islamist extremists.
It is a disgusting and sad day for all people who value freedom and freedom of speech and who loath cowardice.
I am personally so angry right now that my usually politically correct self is tempted to pick up the mantle of hatred that is tearing our world apart and go-a-hunting for some Al Qaeda brain baskets. I am hopeful that the French will rise up and do some major damage following this. I am also hopeful that the other sane and rational nations in the world (see also: those who practice tolerance and preach togetherness as opposed to those who practice chickenbleep attacks and preach death to all beyond their own narrow stripes) will take some steps to stop this from happening again, because if it can happen in Paris, it can happen in Canada.
Hatred toward the press is commonplace; and is more accepted now than ever before.
One cannot turn on a television or computer or flip open a magazine or newspaper without seeing or hearing someone ranting about “mainstream media” not doing its job.
The media can’t get anything right, it seems, because the good old days of every story having two or three or seven sides are dead and gone. There is only right and wrong nowadays and because of a litany of errors spewed out on a daily basis due to the insane speed at which stories must be filed in order to beat competition by a nanosecond or be gored to death by editors or producers riding armor-plated rhinoceroses, the media is seeding its own slagging.
There are too many Kens and Barbies nowadays, reciting spoon-fed propaganda and being satisfied with an easy day’s work (which pleases the corporations that hold swords over their shiny, coifed heads) and not enough Cronkites, Roykos, Murrows, Pyles, Sontags, Bradlees, Woodwards, Bernsteins and Thompsons.
There aren’t as many courageous news editors as there once were; grizzled old bastards with Scotch in side desk drawers who would stand up for their reporters and the editorial integrity of their products.
But there are good ones still; quite a few actually.
Journalists who stick to their ethics and principles and adhere to their training are still wildly important to our ever-crazier world. Someone has to try and make some sense out of the insanity and it takes courage to tell rich assholes that they are rich assholes or dangerous swine that they are dangerous swine.
Threats of death and pain are commonplace to journalists who walk the walk while talking the talk and most people who operate on that thin line of truth tend to be fairly fearless. They have thick skin and it deflects the flimsy criticisms of those who are being exposed or illuminated before the public.
It is the media’s lot to hold a large mirror before their society and reflect back its common traits and practices; with some being negative and others positive. Large-scale reflections on those cast-back images tend to improve society’s collective smarts and set off steps toward betterment.
So what is being reflected today? The Muslim world, one hopes, is outraged by this attack but I have yet to see any official word from anywhere, except the excitable yaba yaba yaba of the idiots; Muslim and non-Muslim – the hate spreaders; the haters period.
One could surmise that Paris, France-based Charlie Hebdo was targeted for ‘spreading hatred,’ but that is foolish. All they were doing was holding up the giant mirror. Just because the mirror is reflecting a religion and its too-common quirks doesn’t give anyone the right to behave as these testicle and sanity deprived mind-wipes who use religion as an excuse for being psycho losers with no control of their testosterone.
Christians can be just as depraved as Muslims when it comes to demanding they are the chosen children of a God.
But the last time I checked, Christians weren’t rampaging about the planet blowing people up or shooting them with the hopes of finally getting lucky in the afterlife, because GOD knows they’re virginal losers in this one.
America and its meddlesome ways has brought about much hatred toward the red, white and blue and sometimes it is a hypocritical zealot who insults the Biblical through grand misinterpretation, just as radical Muslims spread shame and hatred toward moderates.
And the big guy who thinks he is better than he is always becomes a target and always has a reckoning; it is the way of life for humans on Earth, dating back to the dawn of the home sapien sapien rise to the top of the food chain.
The media has, in the past decade or more, done a terrible job, especially in America where the Fox News types prefer to cling to political and religious ideology than to the truth and the fact that every story has multiple sides that need to be explained in order for us all to really understand what is going on.
Today, we saw that unarmed people who are determinedly going about their business as journalists in a free society lose their lives in the name of Islam, simply because some assholes don’t have a sense of humour or have ulterior motives disguised and warped by religious fervor.
It isn’t anything new. This behavior is as old as human civilization.
Any journalist worth his or her salt knows they must be on the alert at all times for potential danger and reprisals, but most go through their careers without nary a scratch. And today’s milquetoast mien shared by so many cowed wannabe journalists means large dollops of truth are left off the proverbial table and are not being mirrored to society.
I fear that this time the zeal of Islamist radicalism will result in a great many more innocents being impacted by the reckoning that will roll out from the attack on Charlie Hebdo.
The lines have been drawn in the most literal of senses and some people lost their lives for having the courage and the humanity to dare defy those who threaten at the drop of a hat.
Stand strong my fellow journalists. Keep your heads up and your ethics intact and stick to the truth, because it will set all of us free.
Today, we have a dozen martyrs to love and remember. Today, the truth is more important than ever; the freedoms won for us by our mothers and fathers and grandfathers and great grandfathers are as dear as they have ever been.
Today I stand beside the truth that religion causes more suffering than anything else in our world and there is no single person or cause or nation that is above occasional ribbing when its failings and shortcomings are on display.
Today Islam went too far in what has been the most accepting European nation toward it. Tomorrow, Islam better sort itself out or the alleged few extremists causing all the suffering will force a terrible reckoning because enough is enough.
A motivated Europe, Russia, China, North America and Australia are not something that moderate Islamists want to see. The world could use a collective rallying point and an all out attack on radical Islam will force terrifying suffering on millions who don’t deserve it.
An enlightened world should not allow such a thing. But the needs of the few always outweigh the needs of the many when megalomania lurks in religious skins.
Speaking of threats, megalomania and the media, I would like to close by loudly and obnoxiously stating: “Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter!”