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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Animated Response to New Prison Pics

It was only a matter of time before the news media made a hypocrite of itself (yet again).

After originally publishing the somewhat disturbing pictures from Abu Ghraib, a (relatively) small backlash from the Muslim community ensued and shockwaves were sent through the current administration. Great job – you've made the Bush administration looks like the prisoners – caught with their pants down.

Fast forward (or rewind, depending on perspective) to February 2006 when Danish cartoonists publish *cartoons* (not real pictures mind you, just cartoons) of the prophet Mohammed in some questionable scenarios. An Armageddon of sorts is unleashed by the enraged worldwide Muslim community. In an effort to practice "responsible journalism" (read: censorship), most major US media outlets decide not to publish the cartoons.

While the iron is still hot on this story (undoubtedly from the burning embassies worldwide), shocking new Abu Ghraib pictures are found and promptly published as front page news on major US news web sites.

Is there a double standard here? The US media chooses to practice responsible journalism it seems only when the current administration is not involved. However, whenever there is the remotest chance to skewer the sitting president, ethics be damned. Are religious cartoons really more devastating than visceral images of prisoners in all sorts of supposed torturous situations? It seems the US media believes Americans are not able to make that decision. They choose to let the Muslim community make that choice: cartoon image of religious icon over fellow flesh and blood, suffering human beings any day of the week – "and twice on Sundays".

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