Iranian Free Expression, Such As It Is
A prominent Iranian newspaper says it is going to hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust to test whether the West will apply the principle of freedom of expression to the Nazi genocide against Jews as it did to the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.
A newspaper in Iran — run by allies of that country’s Jew-hating current president — printing cartoons that might possibly be anti-Jew? Who thought we would ever see that day?
Christ, this is boring already. Speaking in my capacity as Official Spokesman for The West®, I think Iranian newspapers — particularly ones run by pals of the current president of Iran — should go ahead and run any sort of dumbass Holocaust cartoons they want to. Indeed, I celebrate the right of Iranian newspapers to run whatever the hell they want. This is, alas, more than can be said about the Iranian government, whose grip on the press in that country is so total that the 2005 Reporters Without Borders Annual World Press Freedom Index has Iran listed 163rd in a field of 167 (a field in which Denmark, incidentally, ranked number one).
One can hope that when the allies of Iran’s president are enjoying their refreshing little taste of “free expression,” they might consider asking their pal for a little more genuine freedom of the press while they’re at it. But, you know. I’m not exactly holding my breath for that one. Because then the people who run the paper probably wouldn’t remain pals of the president of Iran. And we all know how problematic that can be. But in my capacity as Official Spokesman for The West®, I certainly hope they give it a try.
And of course I certainly hope someone who actually is a spokesman for The West® remembers to ask Iran when it plans to give its newspapers the ability to run actual news, as well as Jew-hating cartoons. Let’s see if that makes it into the Iranian newspapers, particularly the ones owned by the allies of the president. I wouldn’t be holding my breath for that, but I’m already busy not holding my breath for something else. So I invite you not to hold your breath for that in my stead.