Walter Mencken 10 a.m., Oct. 20
Hillary Clinton stands up for offensive art.
It is with great fear and trepidation that I post anything about the whole Innocence of Muslims nightmare, because it's very easy to be misunderstood when speaking about these matters.
But Innocence of Muslims is a movie, and this is a movie blog, and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton did comment on its production, saying, ""I know it's hard for some people to understand why the United States cannot or does not just prevent these kinds of reprehensible videos from ever seeing the light of day...Even if it were possible, our country does have a long tradition of free expression, which is enshrined in our constitution and our law. And we do not stop individual citizens from expressing their views no matter how distasteful they may be."
That put me in mind of The People vs. Larry Flynt, the biopic of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and his unlikely rise toward becoming an icon of free speech. I think it's worth remembering that the thing that landed him in the Supreme Court was not a particularly lurid photo spread, but a fake Campari ad that mocked a prominent religious figure.
(Now Jerry Falwell is obviously not The Prophet Muhammad. But the ad does seem to fit Secretary of State Clinton's description of having "a deeply cynical purpose, to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage.")
Remember this speech?
Posted without comment.