Month: January 2015

The price of free expression

This week I made a short visit to San Francisco. I left full (thanks to all the oysters, bread bowls and Ghirardelli chocolates), tired and with a copy of the SF Chronicle in hand. On my plane ride back to Southern California, I read Thursday’s paper cover to cover. One of the opinion pieces addressing the Charlie Hebdo attacks that took place the day before drew me in. The writer mentions that Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical weekly newspaper, had been warned by the government prior to both the recent attack and another of similar caliber in 2011 that some of their content was grounds for widespread criticism. Still, the cartoonists and journalists kept on feverishly. Most of their satires were directed at the perils of Islam. It’s no secret that Charlie Hebdo seriously antagonized the victims of their satire. In fact, “A recent cartoon depicted an extremist fighter bemoaning the ‘still no attacks in France’ and suggesting such a New Year’s resolution would be carried out by the end of January.” — published just days before the January 7 shooting that killed 12 …