EVERYONE DRAW MUHAMMAD DAY

May 20th is “Everyone Draw Muhammad Day.” (EDMD) The idea started showing up on the internet ,after an implied threat by a radical Islamic website, became public, targeting Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the TV show “South Park.” Recently they had committed “blaspheme” by portraying the prophet Muhammad in their cartoon. To be clear,Trey and Matt did not show an image of Muhammad (which is strictly forbidden in Islamic law). Instead, they portrayed the prophet “disguised” in a bear suit, like a mascot at a sporting event. I have to hand it to them. Sometimes those guys are pure geniuses. The Radical Islamic website didn’t see it that way. They warned the “South Park Producers” that they would probably suffer the same fate as the filmmaker, Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered in 2004.
You probably have heard this story by now, but here are a couple of interesting takes on the whole thing. First, many of the news segments reporting this story include the video clip of the bear – you know the one with Muhammad inside. (Shhh. It’s secretly ironic.)
The second observation is, that in a way, this media story helps us see what each news organization thinks about the subject of free speech. They either understand that this story is important or they don’t. I made a very, very informal survey to see which news media were covering the story and which were not. On April 28 2010, I simple went to each media outlet’s main web page and typed in “Everyone Draw Muhammad Day,” in the search bar. Here are the results along with my analysis. I freely acknowledge ,that my interpretations, more closely resemble me looking at a Rorschach Test then a legitimate analyst, but here it goes anyway.

ABC, CBS, CNN and USA today, returned no results, not even covering the original threat. I guess the issue of free speech is not as important as that story about “American Idol wannabees.” (Those kids are so spunky).

Fox News reported the threat posed by the website. Sure, the idea of fanatical blood thirsty Muslins fit perfectly into their narrative. But Fox made no mention of EDMD. What’s wrong? Does the story of a group of patriots fighting for their constitutional rights only work if those patriots are members of the Tea Party?
The New York Times had an Op-Ed about the threat, including a thorough background history of all the cartoonists killing history. Of course, the New York readers came through in the response commentary with numerous mentions of EDMD. (Radical Muslims are Fuckin’ Jaggoffs!)
NPR intellectually discussed the many facets of the controversy, including EDMD, between sips of what I imagine was a full bodied yet brash pinot noir.
The Washington Post had an article, which actually included the "controversial" EDMD poster. (which showed inanimate objects like a cup of coffee and a box of spaghetti asking “am I Muhammad?”).  I guess they still have one or two crusty old reporter left over from Watergate days who have nothing but contempt for any form of authority.
Lastly the anarchists at MSNBC had 4 reports exclusively on EDMD alone. Those radical liberals, with their crazy “Free Speech” and their “Rock and Roll,” God love ‘em.

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