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Speaking Truth to Power: The Intercept is Defending Boehmermann’s Freedom with Full Consistency

Speaking Truth to Power: The Intercept is Defending Boehmermann’s Freedom with Full Consistency

In the past, I have been heavily critical of The Intercept, and of Glenn Greenwald’s stance on the Charlie Hebdo martyrs. However, I have noticed a pattern developing recently.

First of all, upon the renewal of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie (essentially a glorified hitman contract from God!), The Intercept did not blame Rushdie for ‘provoking’ his critics.

I have searched and searched; and as far as I can tell, there is no victim-blaming towards Rushdie in that publication.

This doesn’t appear to be a one-off, either. More recently, The Intercept has not only taken the consistent anti-censorship stance which it, and certainly Glenn Greenwald in particular, are renowned for supporting.

No, indeed! Rather, The Intercept’ has gone further: in its recent reporting on the Boehmermann affair, the stance of The Intercept is discernibly pro-speech, and not merely anti-censorship. (When I say ‘pro-speech,’ I mean something over and above anti-censorship per se, something transcending a merely legalistic approach. For example, ‘I’m all for freedom of speech, but…’ would be a classic example of anti-censorship which is not consistently pro-speech).

Yes: consider these three excellent, pro-liberty articles from The Intercept:

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/01/german-television-pulls-satire-mocking-turkeys-erdogan/

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/15/germany-repeal-dumb-law-first-using-prosecute-comic-insulting-erdogan/

https://theintercept.com/2016/04/12/germany-charge-comic-insulting-turkeys-president/

I once assumed that The Intercept and its writers, would never manage to get much further than mere anti-censorship.

I was wrong. They are doing the right thing, and they deserve credit; including the editor, Glenn Greenwald.

There is nothing in this world that could bring me to change my own stance on Charlie Hebdo, and to be onesidedly critical of the magazine (short of a severe moral deterioration in the magazine itself!) But I am certainly warming to The Intercept right now, albeit to a very limited degree; I am not willing to be let down my guard, nor to lavish unqualified praise upon them (nor upon any media outlet). However that may be, isn’t it fairly clear to see that they are taking a strongly anti-censorship and pro-speech stance at this current time?

I will be interested to see whether, in future, The Intercept maintains this strongly pro-speech stance, or will slip back into mere anti-censorship. Let’s hope it all goes well!

 

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