Ezra Klein is out of touch. The degree of his lack of contact with reality is seen in his recent editorial/column on the murder of 12 people in France by Islamic terrorists. You thought that this had something to do with Islam. It had to do with a magazine’s publishing of cartoons ridiculing Muhammed. Not so, Klein says. Not even close.
In fact, he argued, using a remarkable analogy, this explanation makes about about as much sense as blaming a rape on the color of the dress the victim was wearing.
Ezra Klein is regarded by liberals as one of their hot shot kids. He is 30 years old. He has been writing for The Washington Post for several years. Here is what he has to say about the assassination of the staff at Charlie Hebdo. It was just one of those things, just one of those crazy things.
Yes, Charlie Hebdo was a magazine that delighted in controversy and provocation. . . .
But this isn’t about Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons, any more than a rape is about what the victim is wearing, or a murder is about where the victim was walking.
What happened today, according to current reports, is that two men went on a killing spree. Their killing spree, like most killing sprees, will have some thin rationale. Even the worst villains believe themselves to be heroes. But in truth, it was unprovoked slaughter. The fault lies with no one but them and their accomplices. Their crime isn’t explained by cartoons or religion. Plenty of people read Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons and managed to avoid responding with mass murder. Plenty of people follow all sorts of religions and somehow get through the day without racking up a body count. The answers to what happened today won’t be found in Charlie Hebdo’s pages. They can only be found in the murderers’ sick minds. . . .
Don’t allow extremists to set the terms of the conversation
But we shouldn’t buy into the bullshit narrative of a few madmen that their murders were a response to some cartoons. We shouldn’t buy into it even if we’re saying that murdering in response to cartoons is always wrong. . . .
Part of Charlie Hebdo’s point was that respecting these taboos strengthens their censorial power. Worse, allowing extremists to set the limits of conversation validates and entrenches the extremists’ premises: that free speech and religion are inherently at odds (they are not), and that there is some civilizational conflict between Islam and the West (there isn’t). . . .
This is a tragedy. It is a crime. It is not a statement, or a controversy.
Let me get this straight. A magazine staff would be in as much danger of madmen breaking in and spaying them with lead if they published defamatory cartoons of Jesus — and as little danger. This has to do with madmen who, statistically speaking, can believe anything, theologically speaking.
No, wait: Charlie Hebdo did run such defamatory cartoons about Jesus. Repeatedly.
I would like to say that Klein is uniquely out of touch. This would be incorrect. Far more out of touch was the editor of Charlie Hebdo. He had been warned to stop running these cartoons. Here was his response in 2013:
“It just so happens I’m more likely to get run over by a bicycle in Paris than get assassinated.”
“It’s not Islam attacking France, it’s one person attacking another person, that’s all.”
Famous last words. For even more of his famous last words, click here.
The following is worth considering. It is on the last moments of the editor’s life.
Charlie Hebdo had long drawn threats for its depictions of Islam, although it also satirized other religions and political figures. The weekly paper had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, and a sketch of Islamic State’s leader was the last tweet sent out by the irreverent newspaper, minutes before the attack. Nothing has been tweeted since.