Wednesday's massacre at the Paris offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo was not just a barbaric act of jihadist violence. It was also a test for the West and for the freedom of speech in the West. It is a test that we all have been failing.
Those of us who have proposed that all Western -- and in particular European -- news outlets should multilaterally publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons have been greeted in return with a terrified and terrifyingly self-conscious silence. The papers and broadcasters do not want to do it. Last time they refused to republish the cartoons, from Denmark's Jyllands Posten, they said it was because the cartoons were from a "right wing" newspaper. This time they refuse to republish cartoons from a "left-wing" newspaper. It does not matter what the politics are -- it is not about the politics, it is about the cartoons. The sooner the press at least has the guts to admit this, the better.
But there has been much worse than the cringing surrender that this refusal denotes. Consider just a couple of even worse examples from the mainstream media's coverage of these barbaric events.