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Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on February 8, 2006

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Directions

-Read the excerpt below from James Taranto's "Best of the Web" post at opinionjournal.com on Feb. 6th.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

The Boston Globe wades into the Danish cartoon controversy by urging more sensitivity toward Muslims:

Freedom of expression is not the only value at issue in the conflict provoked by a Danish newspaper’s publication of cartoons satirizing Islam’s founding prophet, Mohammed. . . .

The original decision of the Danish paper, Jyllands-Posten, to solicit and publish a dozen cartoons of the Muslim prophet was less a blow against censorship than what The Economist called a schoolboy prank. . . .

Publishing the cartoons reflects an obtuse refusal to accept the profound meaning for a billion Muslims of Islam’s prohibition against any pictorial representation of the prophet. Depicting Mohammed wearing a turban in the form of a bomb with a sputtering fuse is no less hurtful to most Muslims than Nazi caricatures of Jews or Ku Klux Klan caricatures of blacks are to those victims of intolerance.

Blogger Eugene Volokh wondered if the Globe was equally solicitous of the feelings of Christians offended by various government-sponsored artworks in the U.S. It would appear not. Volokh digs up an editorial from 1999 praising a judge who ordered New York City not to withhold funding for a museum that displayed “a painting of a black Virgin Mary spotted with elephant dung,” as well as two editorials from 1990 denouncing then-Sen. Jesse Helms and others who had criticized the National Endowment for the Arts over artworks including Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ.”

These earlier editorials, Volokh writes, make “eminently plausible arguments.” What they do not do is acknowledge that Christians have any reason to find the depictions of Jesus and Mary “hurtful.”…

For the complete post, go to OpinionJournal.com.

Questions

1.  Do you think that all media outlets should support the Danish newspaper that originally printed the cartoons?  Explain your answer.

2.  In your opinion, which of the following best describes the media’s reaction in the excerpt below.  Explain your answer.

  • responsible journalism
  • double-standard
  • preferential treatment of Islam (favoritism)
  • fear of Muslim repraisal
  • none of the above

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1.  and  2.   Opinion questions.  Answers vary.