Bill Clinton Speaks Against Freedom of the Press, Media Yawn

According to the Daily Times of Pakistan (hat tip to the American Thinker), former President Bill Clinton stated to reporters in Islamabad last Friday that the publishers responsible for the Muslim cartoons that have started riots around the world should be convicted. Yet, despite this call by a former president to limit the freedom of the press, America’s media have paid virtually no attention to Clinton’s declarations.

As reported by the Daily Times: “Talking to reporters after meeting Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in Islamabad, Clinton said he disagreed with the caricatures and that the publication was against religious and ethical norms.”

In addition:

“He said the people’s religious convictions should be respected at all costs and the media should be disallowed to play with the religious sentiments of other faiths. He said the media could criticise any issue including governments and people, but nobody had the right to play with the sentiments of other faiths.”

Hmmm. So, according to Clinton, the press don’t have “the right to play with the sentiments of other faiths.” Yet, according to Google news and LexisNexis searches, few if any major American media outlets bothered to report this event.

For those that are interested, BBC Worldwide Monitoring transcribed a Pakistani television report of Clinton’s statements:

“I strongly disagree with both the creation and publication of cartoons that were considered blasphemous to devout Muslims around the world because they depicted the Prophet. And I thought it was a mistake. I had no objection to Muslims throughout the world demonstrating their convictions in a peaceful way. But I thought it was also a great opportunity, which I fear has been squandered, to build bridges, because I can tell you that most people in the United States deeply respect Islam - it is the fastest growing religion in America - as do most people in Europe, and most people in Denmark. We live in societies where people are free to say the wrong things as well as the right things, but I would not be surprised if the person who drew those cartoons and the newspaper publisher who decided to print them did not even know that it was considered by Muslims to be blasphemous to have any kind of personal depiction of the Prophet.”

With that in mind, given the outrage concerning Vice President Cheney’s delay to inform the press of his hunting accident, and the lack of attention paid to former President Clinton’s statements in Islamabad, it appears that the media are only concerned with their freedom when a Republican is trying to limit it.

Noel Sheppard's picture