Jackie and I were horrified, saddened and outraged by the events in France this past week. The key tenent of free speech is that it is not as important to say things that everyone agrees with, but to be able say things that are unpopular and to do so without fear of recrimination. Mort Sahl’s famous line, “Is there anyone here I haven’t offended?” certainly applied to the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. Nothing was sacred for them.
Frankly, Charlie’s approach to satire is not my approach, nor is it an approach I particularly care for. However, I would never want anyone to suppress or shut them down and I would never support anyone wanting to do so.
On the morning of January 7, Islamofascists not only brutally murdered cartoonists whose work they found offensive but also attempted to send a chilling effect to all satirists. This cannot stand. What the terrorists did should unite all cartoonists, from the outrageously irreverent to the pleasingly benign.
(PS: I was on San Diego’s KPBS station discussing cartoons and Charlie Hebdo. You can see it here.)