So a couple of nitwits make a lousy movie about Mohammad. Certain Muslims then use it as a pretext to protest, riot and even attack our embassies in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere around the world, causing the deaths of four Americans. (As is now clear, the attack on the Libyan embassy was an act of planned terrorism.) Our initial diplomatic response from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was essentially that we’re sorry that the movie hurt the feelings of Muslims. Only later and in much more muted tones did we suggest that maybe rioting and killing people was a poor way to review a movie.
Since we are officially apologizing for movies, I think we should really do it. It is time that America publicly and officially apologizes for Pluto Nash (or any other Eddie Murphy movie post-Beverly Hills Cop), Rocky III, IV and V, Gigli, anything starring Adam Sandler, the Expendables 2, Mars Needs Moms, the Scary Movie series and Deuce Bigelow. And we’re really, really sorry for Battleship – The Movie. If anyone ought to riot over a movie, the patrons who sat through that schlock should get first dibs.
Now, had the Muslim movie featured the lead character gulping down a 44-ounce Mountain Dew, New York’s Mayor Bloomberg and the city’s Board of Health would have been the ones instigating a riot.
That the United States government feels the need to officially apologize to Muslims world-wide and again raise the profile Florida Pastor Terry Jones is astounding. Jones apparently has a congregation that consists of about eight adults, a middle school-aged child and a ferret named Wheezie. (Having not actually seen the movie, I don’t know for sure if the ferret has a speaking part.) The White House and the State Department seem intent on giving Jones as much notoriety and blame as they can. Just give him his own realty television show and let’s be done with it.
The Obama foreign policy reset button, at least as it applies to the Middle East, is all about feelings. They don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings unless your last name is Netanyahu. So, Middle East policy is now reduced to that terrible 1974 Morris Albert song “Feelings” (Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!). Yuck! Gag! Choke!!
Now the person primarily responsible for the film (I use the term loosely) has been questioned by the authorities. He had previously served time and may have violated parole. Of course, if he is a criminal, he didn’t just become one on Saturday, he was one before rioters attacked our embassies. If he isn’t one, what’s the deal? If the administration is choosing between attempting to placate Middle East rioters or upholding the Constitution, it may have picked the wrong side. If only the Obama administration were a bad movie, at least we could get up, walk out and demand our money back. (We’d keep the Junior Mints.) Should he get a second term, I think it’ll go straight to video.
Not to be left out, a few MSNBC* commentators, Mike Barnicle included, believe that the creators of the film should be jailed for, well, insulting and inciting Muslims. As accessories to murder, no less. Don’t let that pesky First Amendment get in the way. If making bad movies is a crime, Ben Affleck would be serving a life sentence. Let’s contemplate Mike Barnicle’s point and take it to its logical conclusion by considering a different scenario. Suppose there is a band of rogue editors who have a strong distaste for plagiarism and take offense wherever it is alleged. With hurt feelings and a sense of outrage, these rogue editors begin to riot, injure people and damage property. Wouldn’t this make the alleged plagiarist an accessory to the crime and worthy of jail time? Barnicle may want to rethink this a bit. (Google Mike Barnicle plagiarism.)
Suppose American Christians acted in this manner? After booing God at their convention, Democrats wouldn’t have escaped Charlotte alive. But Americans of all faiths (including those of no faith) don’t act like that. In fact, we generally exhibit rational and sensible behavior – by not watching MSNBC.
*MSNBC’s current brand slogan is Lean Forward. “To lean forward”, MSNBC states, “is to think bigger, listen closer, fight smarter and to act faster.” No, to lean forward is to topple over. Their next brand campaign will be “Hey, look at us! We’re over here! Please pay attention to us!”
Curtice Mang is the author of the new book, The Constitution – I’m Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly. He can be contacted at www.mangwrites.com, where one can also purchase his book; or contact Curtice at mangwrites at cox.net.