Charlie Hebdo hypocrisy: offensive speech demands scrutiny, not censorship

“We also believe that with free speech comes great responsibility not to gratuitously offend. But that responsibility belongs to the individual, not the government, and the consequences for breaching it should be social, not governmental. Yet we see an ominous trend toward government restrictions on speech in the very places speech freedoms were born.”

The Attack on Charlie Hebdo

“France, it will be said in the next days, has failed, in a profound way, when it comes to making sense of its own diversity. What will be strongly debated is the nature of that failure, and what its opposite might look like. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, will, inevitably, offer one set of answers, with her characteristic, glossy coat on her much uglier injunctions that often add up to the same thing. Who in France, and in other countries, whose policies and commitment to a free press were, again, targeted in the attack on Charlie Hebdo, is going to come forward with other, better answers? This is a dangerous moment for France, both in the frighteningly immediate sense—there are armed terrorists loose in the capital—and because the decisions that a nation makes at a time of terror are not always the best ones, for anybody.”