The faux “anti-PC” bravery of many conservatives is exemplified by a political cartoon that Steyn championed on his site back in May. The cartoon, by illustrator Bosch Fawstin, shows an artist drawing Muhammad. “You can”t draw me!” screams Muhammad. “That’s why I draw you,” answers the cartoonist. I know Bosch. He was an occasional guest at Friends of Abe and at events I threw. I like him, and I entirely agree with the sentiment expressed by that cartoon. But think about what Bosch is saying: It’s important to draw Muhammad specifically because a particular group is saying we can”t. He’s illustrating a principle, that there is value in opposing those who use violence, laws, threats, and intimidation to stifle free expression.
Now, I”m not in any way suggesting that someone should adopt a particular belief simply because they”re told they can”t. I”m saying that by punishing someone because of their views on the Holocaust, by attempting to keep that person from working, by trying to keep that person’s voice out of the public square, the Hollywood conservatives have become the Muhammad in Bosch’s cartoon. And I”m not the only one to notice this hypocrisy. All across the world, the Je suis Charlie chest-beating by conservatives was met with understandable skepticism by people who wondered where these brave “anti-PC” warriors were as Holocaust revisionists and deniers were beaten and imprisoned throughout Europe and Canada. In fact, it’s only because a Holocaust denier named Ernst Zundel fought back that Mark Steyn didn”t have to face a “false news” trial in Canada that could have led to much greater penalties than what the “human rights” tribunals can currently impose (Zundel’s trial led to the “false news” law being struck down by the Canadian Supreme Court).
It’s difficult to take the “I draw Muhammad because you tell me I can”t” machismo seriously when it comes from a group of people who not only were silent in the face of decades of censorship and sanctions against Holocaust revisionists, but (in the case of the L.A. GOP and Friends of Abe) actively participated in it. Personal as my story is, it still provides the best and most direct example of the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the conservatives who seek to promote a bad-boy image as warriors against political correctness, the culture of hurt feelings, and the censorial machinations of the perennially offended. But mine is far from the only story; just ask the Tea Party activist who ran a California Ron Paul “Meetup” group in 2009. She was denounced as a “racist” by local conservative pundits and the California GOP for allowing a cartoon on the group’s page that was considered offensive to Israel. I have a feeling that if the illustrator had said, “I criticize Israel because you tell me I can”t,” it wouldn”t have done much to assuage the anger.
The ass-kickin” bad boys of the right become choirboys with sore asses the moment “offensive” material appears to target Jews (accent on the appears, because there is nothing in my work that is even slightly anti-Jewish). It’s a double standard so blatant, the only people who can”t see it are the ones who”ll be toasting one another for their courage Saturday night.