1/20/15 Free Speech

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Hello.  I’m Mark Hyman.

People have been talking about free speech ever since the Paris terror attacks. 

Nearly everyone has gotten it wrong.

Generally, the topic of free speech addresses whether there are government restrictions on speech. That wasn’t the case with French magazine Charlie Hebdo.  There were no French government prohibitions on what could be published. It was all about intolerance.

The Muslim extremists in Paris took intolerance to new heights with their obscene carnage. Their violence was an attempt to destroy freedom of expression.  It failed.

Of course, there’s intolerance in our country as well. Sometimes it masquerades as political correctness. Many of America’s media giants self-censor when it comes to Islam.  But have fewer qualms when it comes to other religions.  Especially Christianity and Judaism.

Recently, the New York Times refused to publish a photo of a historical statue of Muhammad. It was fearful of offending Muslims.

[However, in 2010 the “paper of record” had no such reservations about publishing a cartoon by an Iranian Holocaust-denier.  Nor did it harbor any reticence from publishing anti-Jewish art – complete with swastika – in 2006.]

The New York Daily News published a photo of a Charlie Hebdo cartoon that blurred the image of Muhammad.  But left untouched the image of a big-nosed rabbi.

The Associated Press announced it would not publish cartoons deemed offensive to Muslims.  But it sold a notorious photo of a crucifix in a jar of urine.

The problem isn’t freedom of speech.  It’s the cancer of intolerance.   Masquerading as political correctness.

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