Friday, October 05, 2007

Fornicate Muhammad

In a photo accompanying a news item posted on the Drudge Report today, the Colorado State University newspaper editor who urged some form of hostile sex upon the president is seen walking with his attorney.

Interestingly, his attorney is Qusair Mohamedbhai, who, I'll bet, is Muslim. The irony jumping out of this photo is invisible. Nevertheless, it is there.

Imagine this: a student editor at Saudi Arabia's leading university publishes an editorial headlined with the same verb used by the CSU editor, but rather than following that verb with the name of our president, he inserts the name of Islam's founder.

What fate might that mythical editor face?

Moreover, is there any chance this mythical Muslim editor would face the wrath of his university's leadership represented by a Christian attorney?

Do we have to answer?

Would his experience match that of his American counterpart?

Yeah. Sure.

The self-indulgent big-mouthed editor has discovered he has a talent and losing friends and influencing people in ways he hadn't intended. The paper might lose $50,000 in advertising revenue as a result of his published outburst. In addition, the staff has been hit with a 10% pay-cut, and staff reductions might follow.

Okay. Well, that's how we do it here in the US. No violence. No calls for death to the editor. Not much, really. Just a slap on the wrist of the editor and undoubtedly an understanding on his part that he has earned the dislike of his staff because he lacks the intelligence to make his point using the vocabulary of an adult. Of course this incident will follow him forever, thanks to the Internet. It's hard to say if this situation will improve his employment prospects if he chooses a career in journalism, or any other field. But no matter what he does, this event will pop up when a potential employer Google's him.

The edited coverage of the aftermath follows:

CSU newspaper editor keeps job, admonished for profanity
By Erika Gonzalez, Rocky Mountain NewsOriginally published 06:01 a.m., October 5, 2007Updated 06:01 a.m., October 5, 2007

Associated Press
Rocky Mountain Collegian editor David McSwane, left, and his attorney, Qusair Mohamedbhai, walk down the hall after meeting with the Board of Student Communications on Thursday at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

FORT COLLINS — J. David McSwane, the editor who caused an uproar for allowing the F-word to run in Colorado State University's student newspaper, will keep his job, a student-run governing board ruled Thursday night.

Instead of dismissing McSwane from his duties as editor-in-chief of The Rocky Mountain Collegian, CSU's Board of Student Communications decided to admonish him for publishing a profane editorial referring to President Bush.

The punishment was one of the least severe the board could impose. The only lesser penalty was to dismiss the allegations against McSwane.

The decision came after a four-hour, closed-door hearing of the board, which includes three faculty members and six students. CSU College Republicans and others had called for McSwane's firing for publishing the Sept. 21 editorial, which simply read: "Taser this . . . F--- Bush, with the expletive spelled out. The editorial was written in response to an incident at the University of Florida, where a student was shocked with a Taser during a forum featuring U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

The board ruled that by publishing the editorial, McSwane had violated standards it and The Collegian had set, which state that: "Profane and vulgar words are not acceptable for opinion writing."

Although the board said it considered the opinion expressed in the editorial protected by the First Amendment, it also acknowledged the impact the piece has had.

In a letter to McSwane announcing its decision, the board wrote: "The editorial has caused harm to The Collegian, Student Media and the university community. It is our judgment that your decision was unethical and unprofessional."

But the editorial ignited a firestorm of publicity, garnering attention from national news outlets and conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh. The Board of Student Communications received about 300 e-mails and about a dozen letters complaining about the editorial.

Businesses also pulled their advertising in protest - an action that could end up costing The Collegian and other student-run publications $50,000. Collegian staffers have taken a 10 percent pay cut as a result of the fallout and the director of CSU's student media said he is looking at further cost-cutting measures.

The board could have opted to fire, suspend or reprimand McSwane for the editorial.


Blogger ThatDeborahGirl said...

Barbara Ehrenreich may continue to allow you to spam her board until hell and gone but that will not be tolerated at Deb Lite.

You are not welcome at my blog and anything you post there will be deleted.

5:53 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

Deb Lite-weight -- thatdeborahgirl -- you can continue to post on my site. Your contempt is unintended praise.

9:48 AM  
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