The mythical figure of the war correspondent has a special place in the history of American journalism. The images are indelibly etched in memory: Edward R. Murrow broadcasting live while Nazi planes showered London with bombs; Ernie Pyle telling the personal stories of life in the trenches and ultimately paying for those stories with his life; and in today’s war with the jihadists, Michael Yon’s amazing reports from Afghanistan. This kind of fearless reporting made for journalist-heroes: courageous men and women that all Americans could admire.
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Contrast Murrow, Pyle, et al with the cowards populating today’s mainstream media outlets. Everyone in the media today – whether new or old – is a war correspondent, in fact if not in name. The war is here, around the globe and most of all within our borders, courtesy of bullies and thugs who have spent the better part of thirteen centuries killing non-believers and trying to force a backward, hateful ideology cloaked in the robes of religion upon the world. Yet, though this war includes not only body counts, but ultimately threatens the existence of the free press itself, the mainstream media meekly cowers as the foundations of free speech and a free society are worn away by Islamic gangsters.
The MSM’s reluctance to identify Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hassan and the Christmas day “panty-bomber” for what they professed themselves to be — holy-warriors employing the tactic of terrorism in combat with an enemy they have pledged to destroy — is representative of such cowardice. Comedy Central’s censorship of last night’s South Park episode out of fear is another symptom of the disease.
An exchange between Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane and comedian Penn Jillette on Larry King Live last night is sadly representative of the contrast between the mainstream media’s hands-off policy towards Islam and the courage that Trey Parker and Matt Stone displayed. For McFarlane, poking a bit of fun at Islam (and he’s more than willing to poke fun at Christians) boils down to the purely selfish question of “was the joke worth it?” In McFarlane’s world, you don’t take the risk of insulting an enemy sworn to kill and subjugate you because, hell, there’s plenty other groups to insult who will do nothing more than write an angry letter or two.
In response, Jillette proceeded to skewer McFarlane in a two sentence takedown:
I think you cheapen Matt and Trey’s morality, strength and courage when you say ‘is the joke worth it?’ Because the question is: what is morally right?
It is about morality and it’s telling that it takes a cartoon to do what the MSM won’t: expose the hypocrisy, bigotry and thuggery of the jihadists in our midst. Parker and Stone have taken irreverent, off-color and insulting shots at every major religion in the world and, while Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus might have been outraged by a particular South Park episode, its creators never had to fear for the lives. Only a joke about Islam could provoke that reaction and while we should deplore Comedy Central’s cowardice, we should salute and admire Parker and Stone. Somewhere, Murrow and Pyle are smiling, perhaps not because they get the jokes on South Park, but because they recognize the courage of a fellow war correspondent when they see it.