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January 8, 2015 6:38 pm

New York Times Hit With Fresh Double Standards Accusation Over Prophet Muhammed Cartoons

avatar by Ben Cohen

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While the New York Times refused to publish the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed, it did run this anti-Semitic caricature from Iran in 2010. Image: Wikipedia

Media double standards concerning items deemed offensive to Muslims and those deemed offensive to Jews and Christians were graphically on display on Thursday, as the executive editor of the New York Times offered further justification for the paper’s refusal to publish the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed that appeared in Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine attacked by Islamist terrorists in Paris yesterday.

Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported that the paper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, decided against publishing the cartoons “because he had to consider foremost the sensibilities of Times readers, especially its Muslim readers. To many of them, he said, depictions of the prophet Muhammad are sacrilegious; those that are meant to mock even more so. ‘We have a standard that is long held and that serves us well: that there is a line between gratuitous insult and satire. Most of these are gratuitous insult.'”

Among the voices cited by Sullivan in defense of her paper’s position was Glenn Greenwald, the left-wing journalist who is principally known for his collaboration with Edward Snowden, the fugitive spy currently living under the protection of Vladimir Putin’s regime in Moscow. Greenwald, who regularly baits pro-Israel Jews in his columns and social media feeds, declared on Twitter, “When did it become true that to defend someone’s free speech rights, one has to publish & even embrace their ideas? That apply in all cases?”

In an email to POLITICO, Baquet said, “We have a standard that is pretty simple. We don’t run things that are designed to gratuitously offend. That’s what the French cartoons were actually designed to do. That was their purpose, and for that publication it is a fine purpose. But it isn’t ours.” At no point did Baquet address the contention that the publication of the cartoons was a reaction to the self-censorship practiced by Yale University Press, which had planned to publish the cartoons in 2005 before threats of Islamist violence led to a change of heart.

In a further email to POLITICO, Baquet added, “let’s not forget the Muslim family in Brooklyn who read us and is offended by any depiction of what he sees as his prophet (sic.) I don’t give a damn about the head of ISIS but I do care about that family and it is arrogant to ignore them.”

However, as POLITICO pointed out, “in August 2010, the Times published this item about a Holocaust-denying Iranian cartoonist with an image of a cartoon that featured, in the Times’ words, ‘anti-Jewish caricatures.’ Four years earlier, in 2006, the Times published this article about an Iranian exhibition of ‘anti-Jewish art,’ which featured a photograph of three anti-Semitic cartoons, one of which included a swastika.”

POLITICO also noted that in 1999, “the Times ran a report with a photo of Chris Ofili’s ‘The Holy Virgin Mary,’ a 1996 painting of a black Madonna ‘with a clump of elephant dung on one breast and cutouts of genitalia from pornographic magazines in the background.’ Per the report, John Cardinal O’Connor called the show an attack on religion itself. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights said it found Ofili’s painting offensive, too.”

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  • The policy of the N.Y. Times is to sell papers and make as big a profit as possible. Liberal Jews aren’t offended by anti-Jewish Iranian cartoons, so the NYT won’t lose any readers. If the NYT prints anti-Mohamed cartoons, groups like alQaeda or ISIL might try to bomb the NYT or kill its editors and journalists. Hardly worth the risk. Just to note, when the Danish cartoons appeared, no UK paper printed them, yet we still had demonstrations calling for ‘Death to journalists’ and calls for ‘London’s own 9 / 11.’ With terrorists you can’t win!

  • SKMD

    Four Jews went shopping before Shabbat. They are dead because they were Jews. Not because they liked Israel, not because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up as collateral damage, not because they drew offensive cartoons. They are dead because they were Jews shopping for Shabbat. A Muslim murderer knew he would find Jews in a kosher supermarket before Shabbat. Local paper in Buffalo NY didn’t even publish their names. They were Yoav Hattab, 21, who had just returned home from a visit to Israel, Yohan Cohen, 20, who saved a 3-year-old when he fought the terrorist, Philippe Braham, 45, who always wanted to make aliyah and Francois-Michel Saada, 64, who lived for his family’s happiness. As of right now, all of their names are not easily found on the NYT website.

  • Lynne T

    As much as I despise the NYT, running the Iranian cartoon was a reflection on the Iranian regime, not the Holocaust.

    • ududy22

      of course it was. and republishing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons would not have been about the prophet Mohammed but about the crime done in his name.

    • Lenny

      Running the Charlie Hebdo cartoons would have been a reflection on radical Muslims, not on Islam. And the cartoons were not gratuitous, they were quite funny and intelligent. I had never heard of Charlie Hebdo before the massacre, now I’ve become a fan.

    • Jobardu

      The NYT is hypocritically despicable. Running the Iranian cartoons was very much part of their sympathizing with Ahmadinejad and his Holocaust denial. They promoted the invited lecture by him at Columbia University. As Orwell said in his book Animal Farm, “All pigs are created equal, but some pigs are more equal than others”. To that I’ll add “the New York Times is the dirtiest, most hypocritically racist anti-Semitic pig in the barnyard.

  • Jack

    The reality of separation of church and state under the Constitution of the United States and First Amendment guarantees , not the fear of violent opprobrium of those who fail to embrace it’s legitimacy, should be the Times concern.
    That does not mean gratuitous insults are a rational form of debate, but are protected speech and the ‘standard’ that it should represent is the Times owners legal right to exercise even if it is seen as illegitimate.
    Violence compelled or motivated by any faith is unacceptable in any society.
    Reform of Islam and how it should be represented must come from a healthier place inside the faith.
    The Times does a great dis-service to the world by allowing these false pretenses to be legitimized by keeping silent when cynical debate is only allowed from the side of Islam.

    • Jack

      The whole world, most especially Muslims.

  • victoria brandeis





  • Emanuel

    Clowns.”We have a standard that is pretty simple. We don’t run things that are designed to gratuitously offend.Most of these are gratuitous insult.'” What are we? I’m not trying to incite violence but these people deserve a slap. Maybe the last word was implied “designed to gratuitously offend (Muslims)” because they offended EVERYONE else except Muslims anyone can see that. The truth is a crazy Jew may slap you or file a lawsuit and these babies who claim to be journalists think that their literary gifts will be wasted if they are killed by a crazy Islamist(wouldn’t be much of a loss in their case). Greenwald and his cohorts will be exposed soon enough, same with WikiLeaks they are actively trying to discredit Jews, and though they have supposed “secrets” they have nothing beyond illogical lies and misdirected self-loathing. If “journalists” take positions and spread bias they cease to be journalists, I don’t see why we should protect them as such.

  • charlie johnson

    for their personal safety they do not antagonize the ones who settle their complaints with gunfire. the mob or terrorist do not hire attorneys.

  • Zyx

    One word only to define the NYT: a……s
    Charlie Hebdo people died in standing for our freedom and the NYT is kowtowing in front of the worse totalitarism ever. Shame on the NYT.

  • Larry A. Singleton

    Is it some kind of CRIME to have a decent print function???

    • red robin

      publishing photo of Chris Ofili’s ‘The Holy Virgin Mary,’ was decent print function?

  • Larry A. Singleton

    Media Against Jews 11-18-14

    Read Caroline Glick’s The Israeli Solution and The Haj by Leon Uris as a Primer for the Palestinian “right of return” sham.

    A good piece of ammunition for the media and academic propaganda:

    Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future by David Horowitz and Robert Spencer (Booklet)

    Supplemental Article “The First and Last Enemy: Jew Hatred in Islam.” by Bostom (Frontpage Magazine archive)

    Indicting Israel: An in-depth study of New York Times’ coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict by Ricki Hollander and Gilead Ini (Aish)

    Indicting Israel: New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (CAMERA pdf)

    How The New York Times Deflects Attention From Jewish Victims by Jerold S. Auerbach July 11, 2014 (Algemeiner)

    The New York Times Defends Al-Qaeda by Raymond Ibrahim (Gatestone Institute)

    REJECTED! What the NY Times WON’T Run: Counter-Jihad Facts What the NY Times Will Run: Anti-Catholic Smear Ads by Pamella Geller (Atlas Shrugs)

    New York Times Shills for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood by Raymond Ibrahim (Frontpage Magazine)

    Frontpage Magazine Articles Re NY Times

    Doesn’t Israel Fund Hamas? by Francisco Gil-White (Historical and Investigative Research)

    The Big Lie and the Media War Against Israel: From Inversion of the Truth to Inversion of Reality by Joel S. Fishman (Daniel Pipes)

    Repulsive Guardian op-ed justifies Palestinian antisemitism (CiF Watch May 15 2014)http://cifwatch.com/2014/05/15/repulsive-guardian-op-ed-justifies-palestinian-antisemitism/

    BBC refuses to allow Israeli minister to show victims of synagogue jihad attack — had no problem showing Gaza victims

    “The Christian Aid Conference on Peace and Justice in the Holy Land” by Denis MacEoin (Gatestone Institute) (See “Wafa al-Biss”)
    I would STRONGLY urge you to first read the Appendix at the end of the article: “From a letter to an anti-Israel activist, to be published in 2013″

    New Anti-Semitism Tailored for Evangelicals by Christine Williams (Gatestone Institute)
    “For any self-respecting person, the endorsement of terror… at a Christian conference is obscene.” — Kay Wilson, tour guide attacked by Palestinian terrorists.

    The New York Times’ Wretched Anti-Israel Bias Comes in All Too Clear by Clay Waters (MRC NewsBusters)

    Israeli Watchdog NGO Monitor ‘Censored’ by AP and Other Major Outlets (Algemeiner)

  • Lauren Goldman

    The NYT is nothing if not consistent. Preaching hatred of and death to all other religions by muslim imams and publications is all right, but satire or such about their pedophile prophet warrants murder. Way to go NYT.

    Did anyone notice that, though different groups found things which they were offended by, it is only the muslims who are murdering people? Well, didja? This is their base philosophy, and while there are ‘moderate’ muslims, it is telling that they never speak out against the atrocities, or in any way act to prevent them. They simply sit and watch.

  • Mickey Oberman

    The New York Times is the Mister Step and Fetchit of Islam.

    A step downward from its previous position as wrapping paper for fish markets.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    The NYT is Jew hating toilet paper.

  • Quixote

    This cowardice seems to be typical of the Times. Another example is their coverage of New York’s criminalization of satirical “gmail confessions,” where they carefully avoided informing us of the background and parodic content of the “confessions” in question, failing to explain, for example, that the accusation of unethical conduct conveyed in them was originally made by an Israeli journalist, and was never rebutted. For accurate information on the case, we had to turn to a blog which, of course, the Times also didn’t mention. See the documentation at:


    • Quixote

      P.s. needless to say, the comment I posted to the NYTimes page criticizing their “discreet” handling of New York’s criminalization of satire was blocked by their administrator and did not appear.

  • Hasi

    Once again the NYT gets caught in a double bind. What a pitiful face for Ameripcan liberalism!

  • A. Sanders

    The difference is that Jews & Christians dont go around killing journalists just because they have written or illustrated something offensive to them. This si not double standards, this cowardice and hypocrisy on the part the NYT or should it be nyt?