It is not enough to be critical of Geller—she is wrong to deliberately insult Muslims—it is important to be consistent. The New York Times is anything but. It condemns her for being anti-Muslim but defends Charlie Hebdo because it offends everyone equally. This is as nonsensical as it is inconsistent.
On April 29, Luz, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist, pledged not to draw any more anti-Muslim cartoons. Yet that same day the magazine put one of his anti-Catholic cartoons on the cover: it took the occasion of a recent failed attempt by radical Muslims to bomb a Catholic church as grist to ridicule Catholics. Also, the publication recently fired an anti-Semite; no anti-Catholic has ever lost his job.
To show how sensitive the Times is to Muslims, in 2006 it ran a long article on the Danish cartoons. Out of respect—or was it fear?—it never printed any of them. Yet in the same piece it reproduced the obscene portrait of Our Blessed Mother that was shown at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1999; it was adorned with elephant dung and pornographic pictures.
The Times went bonkers when I had the gall to exercise my free speech rights by objecting to a Smithsonian exhibition that featured a vile video: it depicted ants crawling all over Jesus on the Cross. Similarly, the paper has long defended “Piss Christ” as art. Never has it objected to anti-Catholic portrayals the way it lashes out at anti-Muslim fare. In fact, the paper is also less sensitive to Jews than it is Muslims: it never went as ballistic against the neo-Nazis who were slated to march in Skokie, Illinois in 1978 as it is now with Geller’s stunt.
The biggest anti-Catholic bigots in the nation are Bill Maher and Dan Savage, and the Times loves them both. In fact, Maher is its poster boy: it regularly prints a full-page picture of him promoting the paper. So much for its principled protestations against bigotry.
Contact Margaret Sullivan, the public editor: email@example.com