Art with an Agenda  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  Letters
From AJR,   April/May 2006

Art with an Agenda   

I read the article by Rem Rieder about the cartoons published by a Danish news source ("To Publish or Not to Publish," Web Special). While I understand his argument, I believe that he leaves out a very important aspect of the whole event. These cartoons were solicited by a news organization of a certain political side (right-wing) in order to antagonize the Muslim community. That was the basic goal.

Republishing these articles simply furthers their goal. A simple analogy would be if a news organization printed unfounded rumors about a political leader with the goal of discrediting, untruthfully, this person. To reprint these rumors simply furthers the original dishonest goal. It doesn't serve the purpose of informing the public. It serves the purpose of discrediting the individual. In the case of these cartoons, reprinting them simply serves the original purpose of racial stereotyping and offense. It doesn't inform.

Mike Brislen
Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania