Video Madness

Editorial

Published September 14, 2012, issue of September 21, 2012.
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The video deriding Muslims that allegedly sparked violence in Libya and Egypt probably would get a failing grade in any high school film class. Just watching it for a few minutes is enough — it is crude, mean, amateurish. Why anyone would produce and create such a film, why a Florida pastor would promote it, and why it would incite such deadly reaction are questions that reasonable people cannot answer. Because the answers defy reason.

There’s a lot of content available for free these days that verges on this same combination of ridiculous and offensive. That’s the burden accompanying the freedom of the Internet. Appreciating it is one of the hallmarks of a democratic culture, and one of the sadly distinguishing features missing in societies that have not yet learned to understand the difference between official media and the sprawling, unpredictable mess available in cyberspace.

It is irresponsible for Americans to engage in and amplify such speech, but it can only be countered with more speech — not violence, certainly not murder, as in the case of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and his colleagues. The demands of true freedom have yet to be learned.


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