Here are some more centrist views on this incident. F5 is a local alternative news paper, from Wichita, with a heavy emphasis on culture.
The lessons of Charlie Hebdo
by Mike Marlett
By that, (I am Charlie Hebdo) I mean that until terrorists broke into the French newspaper's offices and killed 10 of its staffers and two policemen outside, I'd never heard of it. And, honestly, it routinely publishes way more offensive things than anything I'd normally publish. I'm not literally Charlie Hebdo, but only Charlie Hebdo is literally Charlie Hebdo. But I get what it's doing.
I am Larry Flynt, too.
And by that I don't mean that I have and publish large volumes of photographs of naked people in scandalous situations. I mean that I stand up for saying whatever needs to be said, no matter what anyone thinks about it.
And by "stand up for," I don't mean that Larry Flynt literally does, because he was paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in 1978. Years later, white supremacist and serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin claimed that he shot Flynt after he took offense to an interracial sex seen in Flynt's Hustler magazine. In 1988, Flynt won a landmark Supreme Court case against evangelical TV preacher Jerry Falwell after Flynt's magazine had created a faux ad claiming that Falwell lost his virginity to his own mother in an outhouse.
Flynt not only did not want his shooter executed, and he claimed that he and Falwell eventually became friends: "I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling."
Charlie Hebdo is crass and offensive. It says stuff I'd never say. But I say stuff it would never say. That's OK.
There are two large streams of conversation going on about the Charlie Hebdo shootings that seem to be going on in our nation — indeed, the world — right now. Strangely, they are not left-vs.-right distinctions. There is one line of conversation denouncing the attackers and another denouncing the victims.
Neither are 100 percent wrong or right.
Yes, the attacks were carried out by Muslims. Yes, the newspaper was offensive. Neither of those facts say much about Muslims or newspapers.
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Also mentioned in the above article is an editorial in the New York Times, "I Am Not Charlie Hebdo," written by It has some serious points. He makes a distinction between the “adult table” of talking news heads (pundits) as himself vs. satirists and extremists:
“The people who read Le Monde or the establishment organs are at the adults’ table. The jesters, the holy fools and people like Ann Coulter and Bill Maher are at the kids’ table.”
If I have to choose—I think I will go to the “kid’s table.” -សតិវ អតុ