Media agenda? What media agenda?

September 13, 2007

Remember that ad attacking General Petraeus placed in the New York Times a couple of days ago? Well, it seems they got the "friends and family" discount:

The New York Times dramatically slashed its normal
rates for a full-page advertisement for’s ad questioning the
integrity of Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.

Headlined "Cooking the Books for the White House," the ad which ran
in Monday’s Times says Petraeus is "a military man constantly at war
with the facts" and concluded – even before he testified before
Congress – that "General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray

According to Abbe Serphos, director of public relations
for the Times, "the open rate for an ad of that size and type is

A spokesman for confirmed to The Post
that the liberal activist group had paid only $65,000 for the ad – a
reduction of more than $116,000 from the stated rate.

How kind of the Times. No doubt this was all done in the name of unbiased reporting as a service by the Paper of Record. I’m sure they were operating solely out of a desire to see all the smears relevant information brought before the American public. In fact, I’m sure that if the Club for Growth wanted to run a juvenile, insulting ad attacking Hillary Clinton or John Edwards, the Times would fall all over itself to give them the same discount.

Nope. No agenda to see here folks. Move along.

(hat tip: Blue Crab Boulevard)

LINKS: More at Captain’s Quarters.

UPDATE: Rudy Giuliani has demanded equal treatment from the Times to respond to MoveOn’s ad. This should be entertaining.

Religion of tolerance, except if you try to quit

September 13, 2007

Freedom of religion means not only the right to practice your religion without being persecuted, but also the right to practice no religion at all. It also includes the right to change one’s faith, abandoning one for another. Western nations have long recognized that freedom of religion is crucial to a free society.

But not Islam. In Islam, the penalty for apostasy –leaving Islam– is death. Ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose brilliant autobiography details her journey from Somalia to Holland and from Islam to apostasy. For daring to criticize Islam and Muhammad, she’s in fear for her life and under constant guard. Ask Abdur Rahman, the Afghan convert to Christianity. He barely escaped a death sentence.

Now a group of former Muslims agitating for religious freedom in Holland is once again at the center of a storm, as its leader is forced to go into hiding because of death threats:

A group of young Muslim apostates launches a campaign today, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America, to make it easier to renounce Islam.

The provocative move reflects a growing rift between traditionalists and a younger generation raised on a diet of Dutch tolerance.

The Committee for Ex-Muslims promises to campaign for freedom of religion but has already upset the Islamic and political Establishments for stirring tensions among the million-strong Muslim community in the Netherlands.

Ehsan Jami, the committee’s founder, who rejected Islam after the attack on the twin towers in 2001, has become the most talked-about public figure in the Netherlands. He has been forced into hiding after a series of death threats and a recent attack.

The threats are taken seriously after the murder in 2002 of Pim Fortuyn, an antiimmigration politician, and in 2004 of Theo Van Gogh, an antiIslam film-maker.

I’d take issue with the characterizations in that last paragraph: Fortuyn was not anti-immigrant per se, but deeply concerned about admitting large numbers of people who were and are resisting assimilation and who cling to beliefs irreconcilably hostile to the core tenets of Western civilization. Van Gogh was not anti-Islam so much as he was a professional gadfly who helped Hirsi Ali make a short film criticizing the treatment of women in Islam. For exercising his right to freedom of expression, he was murdered.

Regardless, the Times article highlights one of the great questions facing Europe: Will Europeans rise to defend the rights of the individual and the achievements of the Enlightenment, or will they agree to submit to Islam and benighted Sharia law? Will Europeans defend the right of Mr. Jami choose his own stance regarding Islam, or will they keep wearing their multiculturalist blinders, hiding behind a false tolerance in order to pretend the problem does not exist?

Much more than on guns or tanks, it is on questions like these that the outcome of the Long War hangs.

(hat tip: LGF)