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2:42pm on Tuesday, 13th January, 2015:

Worth a Thousand Words


The cover of the upcoming issue of Charlie Hebdo has been revealed by the (new) editors in advance of its publication. It shows a bearded man in stereotypical Arab dress holding a sign saying "je suis Charlie". He has a single tear coming from his left eye and a glum mouth. Above his head are the words: "tour ese pardonné".

Hmm, in fact why don't I just show you the picture? Here it is, taken off the CBS News site:

On the breakfast TV news this morning, both in ITV and the BBC, the image was described in full much as I described it. They identified the Arab-dressed guy as the prophet Mohammed, presumably because he looks the same as the characterisation used in previous issues of the magazine. We were told what his sign said and that the words above his head meant "all is forgiven". However, we weren't shown the image.

Why was that?

It wasn't hard for me to find a copy when I looked. Presumably, therefore, the news organisations had some reason for not showing us the image. OK, so what was that reason? Sensitivity? Copyright laws? Anti-racism laws? Spinelessness?

I'm sure they have perfectly legitimate reasons for not showing their TV audience this cover, but they really should have told us what those reasons are, rather than just treating their TV news as if it were radio...

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Copyright © 2015 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).