Judith Curry has a post up about the tragedy in Paris. She added a couple of points about the value of freedom of speech, saying those who support the French satirical magazine’s right to publish cartoons that offend some would find it difficult to support Michael Mann’s lawsuit against Mark Steyn (among others) for defamation of character.
On the face of it that’s pretty simple. Charlie Hebdo (the French phrase for Charlie Brown of ‘Peanuts’ fame) is a satirical magazine (think Onion but far more savage). Mark Steyn is a satirical columnist. Freedom of speech for one should imply freedom of speech for the other.
Then all hell breaks loose, both in the comments section of Curry’s blog and on Twitter and even in chalk scrawls on the sidewalk outside! No more chim-chim cheroo for you. Some are accusing Curry of exploiting the tragic deaths of innocents in Paris to continue her evile vendetta against Michael Mann (Heat really was not only a bad movie but an extravagant waste of talent.)
I got into it with three long-time sparring partners, Joshua, Michael and Willard. I sided with Judith Curry–freedom of speech is threatened in both instances and defending the Parisian magazine would imply a defense of Mark Steyn. Joshua, Michael and Willard did not, loading this instance onto the back of long-held grievances, first with Judith and then myself.
As Judith snipped some of their comments, I offered them the chance to bring the conversation over here. We’ll see if they show up. Your opinions on this are also welcome, of course.
Maybe I’ll finally find out who Groundskeeper Willie is and what shirt ripping is all about. I honestly don’t know and Willard has been saying that about me for five years.