Although it may seem old news by now, the cartoon controversy which has raged across the world really hit home with me. I was shocked at the riots, most especially since the cartoons were orginally published in September and all the rage began in January. That seems to hint at some co-ordination behind the rioting, especially the prevalence of Danish flags in remote spots. I wouldn't know where to get a Danish flag here in my town.
But as disturbing as the actual rioting was, I find the near silence of the US press more disturbing. Here is a ready made case to defend freedom of the press, and what happens, no mainstream network or paper publishes the cartoons. CNN went so far as to pixel blurr them, in deference to Muslim sensibilities. This is the same media which has shown the "Piss Christ" and other anti-Catholic images in the past. I didn't like that artwork, but I would never protest the right of the press to display it (though I might urge a little better taste).
I don't think the mainline US journalists really believe in the First Amendment. Sure, they talk about it when it comes to pornography and anti-Christian stuff, but not when it means taking a real stand. At one time most journalists believed that the pen was mightier than the sword, but we may want to revise that to "the crayon is mightier than the sword". It's the cartoonist who took a stand. Check out these that I found via Little Green Footballs.