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America Turns To Wingnuts For Comfort, Wisdom On Paris Attacks
So it looks like the search for the murderers of 12 people at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo has come to its bloody end , with all the terrorists dead and four hostages killed in an attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris. As usual in these situations (and can we all just pause for a moment and be horrified that we know what's "usual" in a terrorist attack?), a lot of the details are still not yet certain. But while we're still learning the details, it's definitely not too soon to move to the vital important next phase: explaining how the events in Paris fit into American culture-war politics, especially the all-important question of What To Do About All The Muslims.
The all-grown-up, very serious rightwing blogger Erick Erickson has some creative thoughts!
Erickson followed this up with a quickie post about the inevitable reaction to his little witticism, explaining that you can't have it both ways: A lot of people in the media -- delusional people, obviously -- have claimed that the radicals who perpetrated the Charlie Hebdo massacre don't reflect mainstream Islam, or that they
were not actual muslims, or at least were really bad and unfaithful muslims. Further, they told us we should not extrapolate from their behavior that real and faithful muslims would behave in any appreciable way like these guys.
Ah, but people were outraged by Erickson's tweet, which means that the attackers really were Muslims after all, or something. He cites a supportive reply to his tweet that explains, "This should please, not offend, you if it's your position that these people are not real Muslims." So there. Airtight logic, because if they were bad Muslims, no one should mind that Erick Erickson's just generally an asshole. Or maybe if we think that was kind of an assholish tweet, we're just proving that we're terrified of Islam, and it's safer to go after a safe scapegoat. It's good to know who the real victim is here.
Speaking of victims, Catholic League president, sole known member, and eternally persecuted Christian Bill Donohue faithsplained that while there's never an excuse for murder, those God-Haters at Charlie Hebdo totally had it coming:
What happened in Paris cannot be tolerated. BUT neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.
Those who work at this newspaper have a long and disgusting record of going way beyond the mere lampooning of public figures, and this is especially true of their depictions of religious figures. For example, they have shown nuns masturbating and popes wearing condoms. They have also shown Muhammad in pornographic poses [...]
What unites Muslims in their anger against Charlie Hebdo is the vulgar manner in which Muhammad has been portrayed. What they object to is being intentionally insulted over the course of many years. On this aspect, I am in total agreement with them.
And let's all hope that Donohue's name is recalled forever in infamy (if it's recalled at all) for his judgment that Charlie Hebdo publisher and cartoonist Stephane Charbonnier, aka "Charb," was pretty much the instigator of the attack, really:
It is too bad that he didn’t understand the role he played in his tragic death. In 2012, when asked why he insults Muslims, he said, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me.” Had he not been so narcissistic, he may still be alive.
And here's a surprise: Thursday night on Fox News, Donohue, who usually receives the most deferential treatment possible because he is so very persecuted, actually got a dressing-down from Megyn Kelly:
Kelly: I saw you rolling your eyes when I talked about the courage of the satirists who were murdered ... I understand you didn’t like the message. Do you really think they were not courageous in the face of death threats to be publishing what they did?
Donohue: No. I think, first of all, they’re pornographers disguised as satirists. We’re not talking about Mel Brooks. We’re talking about the functional equivalent of Larry Flynt going to print...
Kelly interrupted Donohue to note that Larry Flynt was at the center of the 1988 Supreme Court case that upheld the right to publish nasty vile snark about public figures, even if it hurts feelings, is demonstrably untrue, and leads to a movie with Woody Harrelson wearing a U.S. flag as a diaper. She even quoted conservative superhero William Rehnquist's decision at Donohue:
The political cartoon is a weapon of attack, of scorn and ridicule and satire; it is least effective when it tries to pat some politician on the back. It is usually as welcome as a bee sting, and is always controversial in some quarters.
Donohue was not impressed, noting that while "people have a legal right to insult my religion or somebody else's, they don't have a moral right to do so." So there. Also, Donohue pointed out, the world would be a much nicer place if troublemakers would just shut up and show some restraint, for God's sake:
Self-censorship is the friend of freedom, because if we don’t have self-censorship we’re gonna have individuals interpreting their rights in an extreme fashion.
This freedom stuff: don't want to overdo it.
Donohue also rejected the notion that he was blaming the victims, explaining that "if a woman has been beaten by her husband for twenty years and one day she goes out and blows his brains out," then yes, she's still a murderer and has to face justice, but you have to consider that there is a very real explanation for why she did the crime. And he wants us all to understand that only the "Muslim barbarians" are responsible for the murders in Paris, but we also need to acknowledge "the necessity of restraint on the part of artists" who think that they have the right to be as dirty as they want. And also, Megyn, he challenged, if you're so hot on free expression, why won't Fox News show the worst of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, hmmmmmm?
So Bill Donohue and good taste really win, because cable TV has different standards ad practices from a satirical magazine. Remind us that Megyn Kelly gets a Good Conduct acknowledgment for this one the next time she says something for her Fox audience that's far stupider than we think she actually is.
Donohue was back on his usual beat today, explaining that all of this could have been avoided if everyone involved -- both the Muslim extremists and the terrible French satirists -- had just seen the light and become Catholics like Bill Donohue:
The central problem with Muslim extremists and irresponsible artists is that neither embodies the virtue of restraint. If they did, they would not act as the barbarians and libertines that they are. Catholicism is the answer.
Catholicism teaches that freedom is the right to do what you ought to do. As such, it is always tied to duty, and to individual responsibility. Once that understanding breaks down -- as it has in the West -- trouble follows.
We're going to go out on a limb and insist that only good and happiness can come from people everywhere -- Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists, Buddhists, and Hindus -- coming together to say, "Fuck you, Bill Donohue."
Elsewhere in the Derposphere, Ben Shapiro has been busy pointing out that no one is paying enough attention to the attackers' anti-Semitism, and we are all doomed to suffer under radical Islam because the West is finished or something:
Also, adds Shapiro, Obama is a jerk for talking about community college when Freedom is at risk:
It is a well-known fact that you can only think about one thing at a time. Like how Ben Shapiro couldn't focus on the birth of his baby daughter without informing the world how awful Barack Obama is. the And if Obama had cancelled his community college speech to talk about Paris, he would have been bowing to terrorists, we guess.
Shapiro is also pretty pissed that anyone is worried about anti-Muslim backlash, because did you know that the terrorists were Muslims? And also they targeted Jews? And Islam hates Israel, and it is apparently impossible to oppose both anti-Semitism and irrational hatred of Muslims.
We are wimpy liberals who think nobody deserves to be slaughtered for their religion (and we'd add that religions are stupid, too, since they help encourage murderers to think that God wants them to slaughter people). What fools we are.