New York Press is no stranger to bad taste. Remember this?
Pope Benedict XVI has met with First Lady Laura Bush, expressing his hope for "peace and for tolerance, for each of us to treat everyone else with respect." Mrs. Bush said that everyone around the world needs to speak out and say ’Let’s stop the violence.'
In an interview with Vatican Radio broadcast Feb. 9, the first lady said, "The United States finds it repugnant to find that people would depict Mohammed in a disrespectful and ugly way. While free speech is an important value, she told the radio, "many times free speech is offensive. We expect people would give respect to the deeply held religious views of people around the world."
Perhaps the news editors who've knowingly taunted the Muslim world and provoked all this violence, whether or not it was their intent, should think about Mrs. Bush's words and act discreetly instead of throwing more fuel upon the fire just because they can. The desire to push the envelope is journalist ego, negligent of all ethics and responsibility.
This is the perfect time for President Bush (with Karen Hughes at his side) to come out and score political points with the moderates of this nation by actually making a statement of his own - specifically telling American journalists and news editors that freedom is, indeed, a treasure, but it requires a great level of social responsibility. He can't just leave this at Laura's doorstep. All eyes turn to the President at times like these for moral leadership.