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Mass editorial walkout at NYPress over the cartoons

It’s come to this. The alt paper New York Press was doing an issue dedicated to the controversy over the Danish Mohammed cartoons, but the staff was told the cartoons in question could not be printed. The New York Press editors resigned en masse. The now-former Editor in Chief, Harry Siegel:

Having been ordered at the 11th hour to pull the now-infamous Danish cartoons from an issue dedicated to them, the editorial group—consisting of myself, managing editor Tim Marchman, arts editor Jonathan Leaf and one-man city hall bureau Azi Paybarah, chose instead to resign our positions.

We have no desire to be free speech martyrs, but it would have been nakedly hypocritical to avoid the same cartoons we’d criticized others for not running, cartoons that however absurdly have inspired arson, kidnapping and murder and forced cartoonists in at least two continents to go into hiding. Editors have already been forced to leave papers in Jordan and France for having run these cartoons. We have no illusions about the power of the Press (NY Press, we mean), but even on the far margins of the world-historical stage, we are not willing to side with the enemies of the values we hold dear, a free press not least among them.

That took cojones, at a time when corporate journalism is now more an extension of the government’s efforts to quash information, to blunt the free exchange of ideas, and to massage the message for political gain.

Hat tip, Boozhy.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding