WH Declines ‘Absolute Support’ for the Right to Satirical Mockery

Monday during the White House press briefing, in defending his predecessor Jay Carney for questioning in the judgment of Charlie Hebdo publishing anti-Islamic cartoons in 2012, White House press secretary Josh Earnest refused to say there is an absolute right to freedom of expression when it comes to satirical mockery.

After Earnest said the safety of individuals needs to be considered, CBS’s Major Garrett asked, “Taking steps to protect American service personnel is different than raising questions about the judgment  of satirical expression, be it to mock Islam or Christianity or Judaism or any thing else. Where do you draw the line? Do you not have absolute support for the satirical mockery of any institution on this planet?”

Earnest said “There is nothing that the individuals at that satirical magazine did that justified in any way the kind of violence we saw in Paris last week. No. That is the most important principle that is at stake here. At the same time, it would not be the first time their was a discussion in this country about the responsibilities that go along with exercising the right to freedom of speech.”

“This president as commander-in-chief believes strongly in his responsibility that he has to advocate for our men and woman in uniform particularity if its going to make them safer. And the president takes very seriously his responsibility as commander-in-chief to do that. And that is something we are continue to do in the future. Those are the absolutes,” he added.

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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