Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Rocky crumbles

The Rocky Mountain News of Denver, established in 1859, is shutting down as of Friday.

This is very wretched news indeed, for the paper was one of only three major ones in the United States to have run any of the Danish Muhammad cartoons during the international propaganda jihad against them in February 2006. (The other two were the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Austin American-Statesman.) Remarked editor John Temple at the time:

"This whole experience of publishing these cartoons has been enough for me to want to wear a Danish flag pin in solidarity with that country and to regret -- at least during this test of journalism's commitment to free speech -- my membership in the American Society of Newspaper Editors."

However that may have been, at least Temple had the satisfaction of doing the right thing -- of standing in solidarity with his fellow journalists in Denmark, of defending the freedom of the press worldwide, and of pushing back against Islam's odious demands for self-censorship. My own paper, the East Valley Tribune of Mesa, Arizona, faltered in this regard despite my entreaties that it do likewise, prompting my eventual resignation in protest.

Today Temple told his staff, "To me, this is the very sad end of a beautiful thing." Amen to that.

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