Reader response to the Rocky Mountain News' publishing those Danish cartoons. (Via Instapundit)
One of them was "Congratulations on being an equal opportunity offender." That attitude kind of bothers me. The cartoons were part of a news story and should have been published in order for readers to see for themselves what the fuss was about. However, publishing them just to be offensive wasn't the point, I hope.
We aren't given freedom of speech or of the press just for the purpose of flaunting them by being deliberately offensive to others, but because we want to promote an arena for robust debate and discussion.
If our rights become valued for the opportunity to be offensive, I think they become endangered. This where the courts have erred, in my opinion, by refusing to support reasonable limits on obscenity and pornography. We know that sex can become addictive, as can pornography, including fantasies that require ever more lurid details which give the frisson of violating taboos. Sadly, most "adult" content isn't really for adults, but for teenagers of all ages.
It was appropriate to publish the cartoons of Mohammed to allow readers to see what weak tea they were and to understand how overwrought the reaction to them is. I hope that we're adult enough, however, to refuse publishing purely to offend people.