Comment of the Day

From a commenter yesterday:

I sent the NZH some feedback as soon as I came across their article…

“To the New Zealand Herald. Your decision not to show the latest Charlie Hebdo cover while simultaneously using the headline “Defiant Charlie’s New Cover” is loathsome.

I note you have since changed the headline and removed the text where you state that you made this decision voluntarily, but the fact remains – you have withheld what will undoubtedly become a satirical statement of historical significance, and in doing so you contradict every facet of the right to immutable freedom of speech upon which you rely for your journalistic license.

Shame on your editorial decision.

Unlike Charlie Hebdo you cede your raison d’être to terrorist criminals and betray one of the most important societal influences that you should be upholding.

Demonstrating to society that freedom of speech can be successfully withheld from its participants via disgusting acts of violence is despicable.”

Well said.

Fairfax, TVNZ and TV3 all showed the cover.

The NZ Herald should rename themselves The Dhimmi Herald.



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  • dgrogan

    Well done, that WOBH commenter.

  • 40something

    NZ Herald is a disgrace with their cowardly weasel words. Man up and show the world what we are made of instead of simpering in a corner. And to think New Zealand led the world in satirical cartoons courtesy of the lion-hearted David Low.
    The pathetic irony.

  • raumatirover

    How in Muhammad’s name is that image offensive?

    • dgrogan

      Interesting question. The Herald even managed to report in their article, quoted comments from a Muslim cleric which stated it was NOT offensive to Muslims. Yet the rag STILL cowered.

      • Kevin

        It’s sheer cowardice not to publish something just because somebody might get offended, especially as in this case there is no rational reason why anyone would be offended. I mean what next? All women being required to cover their faces because they might offend a Muslim? After all it’s exactly the same reasoning as not showing a pic of Mohammed.

    • Kevin

      It’s not. Under Islam it’s forbidden to show images of Mohammed. Whether a Muslim finds images of Mohammed by non-Muslims offensive because it disobeys a Islamic law is up to that Muslim I suppose.

  • Korau

    Some Muslims have their knickers in a knot.

    ‘But Egypt’s state-sponsored Islamic authority, Dar al-Ifta, quickly
    denounced it as “an unjustified provocation against the feelings of 1.5
    billion Muslims”.’

    ‘Tabnak, a conservative online outlet in Iran, an Islamic republic
    notorious for throwing many journalists in jail, stormed that “Charlie
    Hebdo has again insulted the Prophet”.’

    And, the correct response….

    ‘An advance copy of Charlie Hebdo obtained by AFP contained cartoons mocking the two Islamist gunmen who carried out the attack. One has them arriving in paradise and asking, “Where are the 70 virgins?”

    “With the Charlie team, losers,” comes the reply.’

    Looks like the law of unintended consequences is in full swing.

    “French, Italian and Turkish versions will be printed, while translations
    in three other languages — English, Spanish and Arabic — will be
    offered in electronic form, editor-in-chief Gerard Biard told a Paris
    news conference.”

    • ex-JAFA

      Well, Dar al-Ifta, it’s a justifiable response by 5.8 billion sane people.

  • G-Man

    well imagine my surprise when i saw the article in the nz horrid concerning the publishing of the Charlie Hebdo cartoon…so off to the Ed-in_Chief email i went…

    Gutless, that’s the most polite expression I can muster at this point. Your failure to publish the cover of the Charlie Hebdo paper at a time when we as a Western democracy, in a secular society, with freedom of speech at the very core of our values, is fighting this terrorist scourge. What you have done is nothing more than abhorrent. You are demonstrating cowardice in the face of a medieval hate filled so called religion based on the teachings and the book of a mad-man who married a six year old girl and consummated that marriage when she was but nine. With IS
    putting up videos of a young boy executing two men in the name of Islam, and the majority of 1.5 billion Muslims sitting in the shadows and their leaders failing to denounce in the strongest terms possible the atrocities unfolding around the world in the name of this pedophile, you are aiding and abetting their aim. The New Zealand Herald is not the Middle East Herald, grow some testicular fortitude and speak for New Zealand, not appease or cower to a religion that wants to dominate and control who WE are because they are Muslim.

    The one liner ‘the new zealand herald will not be publishing the cartoon’ in the middle of the article is a disgusting way to state your position and yet it does nothing to explain that position to the public, whats the reason? How about you expand a little more rather than give a politicians response, you would not hold back or stand for that sort of response from a politician so how about you take a leaf out of your own book and tell the public that position, nail your colours to the mast.

    I will no longer read or access the New Zealand Herald until you start reporting and editorializing in a manner that reflects the position and values of this country, a country that still believes in freedom of speech. Media outlets are supposed to be the peoples voice, remember Freedom of the Press?, check your bottom drawer you may have left it there…

    • MaryLou

      But have they replaced it with one saying they will?

      Thought not…

      • Uptheante

        Has been updated again and included line back in article that they will not publish it. Possibly confused sub editors today, or most days at that.

        • MaryLou

          Decisions, decisions… do we feel brave, or don’t we? Which is more scary – losing what’s left of our readership and our moral high ground, or upsetting a few people who’d like to do away with free speech?

          I know – let’s flip flop and not make editorial policy at all.

    • Uptheante

      I saw that one line about NZH not publishing cartoon, but then noticed that the article got updated (9:30ish) and that line was removed. Perhaps they now plan on showing it, bit late and but not unusual for them

      • Watcher

        I stated last night that I would not EVER again access the NZ Herald in any form.
        I will now wait for and get my information from courageous media, such as WO.
        I see Stuff at least has the testicular fortitude to publish the cover.

        • Honcho

          Its really not that hard, I haven’t bought print for at least 5 years, and the last time I visited their god aweful site was a while before the election.

      • metalnwood

        They say in that article they will not publish it and go on to list media that wont publish it. The thing is all the places who dont are muslim countries and those that will publish are western countries.. So NZH, are you in a western country or are you in a muslim country?

  • JustanObserver

    Be offended Australia & NZ …
    This can’t end well.

    Islamic leader says Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks a ‘cure’

    “An Islamic politician has described the killing of 10 journalists at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris and two police officers as a ‘cure’.

    Ismail Alwahwah, the leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia, wrote the controversial blog on the group’s website claiming the horrific shootings were a reaction to the “daily humiliation” of Muslims and “insults to their book and prophet”, reports News Corp.”

    “He wrote: ‘It seems some in Australia are arrogantly and irresponsibly heedless of the fact that provoking and insulting a people’s core beliefs is a matter that can only end in acrimony for everyone concerned.”

    • Honcho

      What then of the 4 killed in a kosher supermarket for simply being of jewish faith? Or the female police officer?

      Its time the west recognized this series of attacks as hate crimes, and treating speech like what you have qouted as hate speech.

  • Bryan

    and now the saudi cleric wants to ban making of snowmen they are becoming the laughing stock of the world it’s all about controlling people not faith at all and even egypt wants to jump on the band wagon so may be we need a new slogan
    “your way is not our way so go away”

    • sarahmw

      I saw that too. It also included camels ….what the heck? What’s a snowman ever done to them. Love the slogan Bryan. Why is it that Muslims seem so psychologically damaged and twisted?

      • Bryan

        it’s all about laws and control of people. just like the leaders in Jesus day instead of rejoicing that a man was healed they wanted to tick him off for doing it on the sabbath classing it as work

      • Mick Ie

        If I read the article correctly, another was in support of the snowman ban because it could cause lustful and erotic thoughts. What in the name of God was he imagining he could do with it?!

        • Mikex

          Freeze his willy……..

    • dgrogan

      “Our way, or the highway” might be easier to say and to catch on.

  • Yeah, right, whatever…

    The commenter has nailed it! Well done indeed.

  • Michael

    TV3 News showed it last night – could knock me over with a feather.

    • NotGandalf

      TVNZ as well, seemed to play it pretty straight, showing the image and explain the translation.

  • roxo

    NZ Herald – We will stand up for Free speech – BUT we will only sort of stand a little bit, there we’ve stood, quick get back down.
    Principles – Yeah, Nah not so much!

  • nickle

    What about today’s Emmerson cartoon? I was more disgusted by that………

    • Watcher

      Can someone post it?
      I refuse to visit the Herald.

      • The Whinging Pom

        … but you’re happy for someone else to soil their hands on your behalf? :-)

        • Watcher

          ooh fair comment.

  • Sailor Sam

    How is this a depeiction of Mohammed anyway, just another raghead.
    makes the NZHorrid even more gutless.

  • Bean

    I suspect there are two possible scenarios at the NZH:

    1: There is a female muslim on the staff and she is a ‘lovely lady’ so we don’t want to offend her.

    2: A relatively senior staffer lives next door to some ‘lovely muslims’ and has dinner with them, the kids play together etc so they are desperately avoiding the awkwardness that publishing the pictures will result in. This person knows the ‘lovely muslims’ will not be afraid to bail them up over their decision to publish the images and in the back of their mind they are just a bit afraid of what they could be capable of.

  • Dave_1924

    The Herald published this on the 13th. Another opinion piece defending the murders at Charlie Hebdo as “what did you expect”

  • shykiwibloke

    The corrected headline should read:
    “Herald Rejects Free Speech – Embraces Dirty Politics Instead

  • Isherman

    The same Herald article explains they wont publish the image of the new Charlie Hebdo cover. The cite the following:”The Heralds longstanding policy is not to publish imagery designed to cause offence to religious or ethnic communities”

    My respose is two words, sanctimonious hyporites,.and heres why.

    Thursday December 17 2009 the NZ Herald publish the image of the contoversial billboard outside St Mattews in the city, which was controversial because it did offend many, hence the controversy and the resulting ‘news-worthiness’

    They also published a further image that was found to be offensive by many depicting the Virgin Mary with a prgnancy test kit..

    If the Herald are going to apply this policy, at least try and apply it consistently, you seem to have a consistency with the (ahem) ‘quality’ of your journalism though, dont you, so why not the policy.
    Have a nice day…