Thursday, January 15, 2015

DC News Channel 8 continues with "Free Speech" portion of "New Terror Threat", focusing on Hebdo Cartoon Controversy

Horace Jones hosted a second session of “The New Terror Threat” Thursday night on News Channel 8 in Washington DC (part of WJLA-7), called “Free Speech”. The page for this show is here. It did not appear to be open to the public, as at least one session last fall was.  I had asked WJLA if it wants to have another public forum, which would be a good idea. 
Kristine Frazio reported on the publication of Charlie Hebdo’s magazine, and the decision of some news outlets not to show images of the prophets.   She also reported on a major “bust” in Belgium today, seemingly related to ISIS rather than AQAP, (extensive developing video included) link here

The panel included two men (one from the Newseum) and one Muslim woman.  The woman differentiated between Islam as a religion and Muslims as individual people, who she said are not perfect. There had been street demonstrations in sympathy with Hebdo Wednesday night of last week.
News Channel 8 did present a few of the images for demonstration, but made a proper analogy to “fighting words” like the “n” word or “f” word.  The image is shown in a news context, just as use of those words in quotes is.
The right to coarse and offensive speech was defended, short of “incitement” (or coercion).
Some people in Dubai were interviewed, and their views were pretty centrist and moderate despite Muslim background. 
Anti-Catholicism was mentioned.
Freedom of the press is experienced by only 14% of the world’s population.
Obama and Cameron penned an op-ed, link here
Nick Kosar appeared, and explained how he was imprisoned for 6 days in Iran for one of his editorial cartoons involving a crocodile.  He says he cannot go to either Iraq or Iran. 

You can’t show soccer players in shorts in some countries? Did I hear right?  I remember standing in a bar in Bilbao. Spain and watching a soccer game in spring, 2001. 

On AC360 tonight on CNN, Anderson Cooper interviewed the parents of a young man in legal trouble for supporting ISIS who said her son would never have gotten in trouble if social media did not exist.  She said "leave my kids alone.  They don't understand what they are getting into... They are gullible .. they are vulnerable .. their minds are not developed".  Dr. Phil has often warned us that young adults aren't fully mature until about age 25, although the late-teens I have met in my own circles seem very mature (exposure to mission work in poverty overseas helps people grow up and learn perspective).  This does sound like a free speech issue to me, in parallel with COPA, with which I was involved years ago.  It should have been covered on the WJLA Channel 8 show.  Maybe it will be covered later. Social media deserves a forum on its own.
Picture: View from inside the Newseum, looking toward the Capitol, under renovation, my visit last Saturday. I am a renewing member.   

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