‘Gratuitously Offensive’



Kevin O’Sullivan, top second from left in beige coat, at the ceremony for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris, organised by the National Union of Journalists in Dublin Castle on Saturday. Above: Charlie Hebdo’s latest cover


“The paper took the view that publication of the cartoons was likely to be seen by Muslims as gratuitously offensive and would not contribute significantly to advancing or clarifying the debate on the freedom of the press.”

“The “right to offend”, an essential corollary of the right to freedom of expression, could be defended and upheld, as it should be, the paper holds, by other means than causing further offence to the overwhelming majority of a community which deplored the threats to Jyllands Posten [the Danish paper which published depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in 2006] and the attack on Charlie Hebdo.”

“The Irish Times unequivocally and unapologetically defends the right of Charlie Hebdo to publish, and regards the attack on the magazine as an outrageous attack on the freedom of press. The paper welcomes the French government’s commitment to help the magazine financially and expresses its solidarity with the brave band of journalists who are determined to keep the title afloat.”

Irish Times editor Kevin O’Sullivan on why his paper will not reprint Charlie Hebdo’s Muhammad cartoons or the magazine’s new cover.

The Irish Times and the cartoons (Kevin O’Sullivan, Irish Times)

Previously: Désolé

Publish And Be Damned

‘Sauce For The Catholic Goose Is Not Sauce For The Islamic Gander’

Pic: Newstalk

Sponsored Link

63 thoughts on “‘Gratuitously Offensive’

    1. RealCorkLanger

      Is it?Seems to be the opposite of that, however I had never heard of it until last week so I dont know either way.

      It actually seems to be anti right wing

      1. Healy Rae's love child.

        One of Charlie’s jokes involves a cartoon of raped teenage Boko Harum victims saying how happy they are because they will soon be able to get children’s benefit from the French State. It regularly makes fun of African people for being lazy, feckless scroungers.

        1. RealCorkLanger

          Well that description isnt particularly pleasant, but is that not part of their whole thing to take the piss out of everything?

          And would that kinda of joke not be to take the piss out of the stereotypical view that the far right spread about people from certain countries etc?

          1. Healy Rae's love child.

            Isn’t pleasant? Understatement of the year. Girls kidnapped, raped and force to bear children, and Charlie sees fit to print a joke about it. If Charlie was so open to satire, it would put up a cartoon lampooning the Charlie workers who got shot to death. But they’re not going to do that.

          2. RealCorkLanger

            Fair point, will be interesting to see what they will print over time in relation to the attacks alright

            Though you could argue (I’m just thinking out loud here so take it easy) the reason for the crude nature of the cartoon you described was to shock to encourage debate/discussion/awareness of the issue. Like, the attack happened in Paris(which was of course shocking and horrible) where 18 people were murdered had blanket international coverage across all forms of media, and Boko Haram killed 2000 people and its small news that is barely reported in comparison.

          1. Healy Rae's love child.

            Yes, we’ve all seen that very sophisticated defence of the Charlie Boko Haram rape joke. But that’s all it is, a word game. Every human rights organisation in France protested about that cover when it came out. But now ‘Saint Charlie’ can’t be criticised for blatant racism, misogeny, etc.

      1. Healy Rae's love child.

        Yes it is. It regularly makes fun of people who have been raped, people who are asylum seekers, people who aren’t white. It’s a racist rag.

          1. Healy Rae's love child.

            When it makes fun of whites, it makes fun of them on their own terms. When it makes fun of non-whites it generally involves a racist stereotype. It doesn’t seem to think that non-whites can be made fun of in any way that doesn’t appeal to racist stereotypes.

          2. Rep

            From its wiki: Irreverent and stridently non-conformist in tone, the publication describes itself as strongly anti-racist[4] and left-wing, publishing articles on the extreme right, religion (Catholicism, Islam, Judaism), politics, culture, etc. According to its former editor Stéphane Charbonnier (“Charb”), the magazine’s editorial viewpoint reflects “all components of left wing pluralism, and even abstainers”.

      2. RealCorkLanger

        Ya,just looking at the wiki page(I know its wiki but still) they definitely are not right wing, seeing as they took signatures to try and get the Front National lads banned

        Healy Rae’s love child. – pointless troll or terrible comedian? Only time will tell

        1. Bejayziz

          Is it just me or is Flying the anti censorship and freedom of expression flag and then trying to get the National Front banned a tad contradictory….it’s definitely not a right wing magazine, the opposite in fact, I think some people on here are failing to understand that some cultures and people might have a different sense of humour to their own culture or person

          1. RealCorkLanger

            Suppose it would in fairness, though(taking this from wiki) it seems they sought to have them banned for different reasons:

            “On 26 April 1996, François Cavanna, Stéphane Charbonnier and Philippe Val filed 173,704 signatures, obtained in 8 months, with the aim of banning the political party Front National, since it would have contravened the articles 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.[11]”

      1. Chris


        This is the biggest news story of the week. A satirical magazine that had a number of staff murdered for drawing cartoons by extremists prints its new edition. You don’t think the cartoon cover is suitable to be reprinted?
        The papers were happy to post images of a French policeman being shot in the street like a dog, but this cartoon is a step too far??
        They are cowards and you can take your IDIOTIC comments elsewhere

  1. munkifisht

    Well then print the cartoons. Extremist’s (and that is all they are, extremists. They are not Muslims, despite calling themselves that) want everyone who doesn’t agree with them dead. If all publications literally took a page from Charlie Hebdo’s book and published the images there would be no difference in the eyes of these monsters as to what the West is to them..

    1. brown dogg

      . . . despite calling themselves that? ah . . ? they are muslims . . . religion of peas an’awl

  2. Fergus the magic postman

    Speaking of offensive, is that somebody with a selfie stick on the bottom right of the top picture?

  3. JimmytheHead

    Supporting them while not supporting them, classic fence sitting as usual from the I.T. Wouldnt want to offend any imaginary sky ghosts now would we? 10 hail marys just in case!

    1. Paolo

      Broadsheet censored me not 5 minutes ago. Presumably because I said Mohammed was a misogynist. The good folks at Broadsheet should be proud of themselves.

    2. Bobby

      “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”

      Nothing really wrong with that ideology.

          1. sickofallthisbs

            I think 16/7 – she committed suicide when she was in her early twenties as he had become very possessive over her.

  4. ahjayzis

    The Guardian published, on the basis that the front cover of Charlie Hebdo, this week of ALL weeks, had undeniable ‘news-value’.

    The IT have just refused to publish actual, real news, on the basis it might upset a faith group. There’s no justification for it, they’re either cowards or so deferential to faith of any kind that they cannot be trusted to report on any religious affairs.

  5. Soundings

    Is Kevin O’Sullivan in the newspaper business? Seriously? With such laboured, unclear, comma-ed drivel as this?

    “The “right to offend”, an essential corollary of the right to freedom of expression, could be defended and upheld, as it should be, the paper holds, by other means than causing further offence to the overwhelming majority of a community which deplored the threats to Jyllands Posten and the attack on Charlie Hebdo.”

  6. shitferbrains

    Not afraid to print Laura Marlowe and her leap into print to try and humanise the extremists.

  7. Willie Banjo

    Freedom to publish also includes the option to not publish. Freedom means being unrestrained by religeous idealogy or groupthink…

    You’ve made me defend the Irish Times, I hope you’re happy.

    1. Paolo

      So they are embracing their freedom to be silenced.

      The Irish people have a right to see evidence that their so called free press is not cowed by religious fanatics.

  8. Drogg

    The Irish Times is a rag full of self opinionated w******s with no journalistic integrity. I wouldn’t expect any less from them.

  9. Mloc

    They didn’t mind printing a picture of the police officer on the ground, begging for his life… it was in no way offensive of course.

  10. Spaghetti Hoop

    The IT can determine what and what not to publish – fair enough. I just don’t get why they’re announcing all this from some sort of a self-built moral pedestal as if the nation relied upon them for guidance or something.

  11. Sidewinder

    Still haven’t spoken to a single Muslim who has a problem with this cartoon and many of my colleagues are Muslim and have been discussing this over the last week. Haven’t seen any on social media either. Literally not a one and I follow shed loads of very outspoken Muslims on Twitter.

  12. rob

    How come they paid for fat Paddy Smyth to go to Paris with Kevin O’Sullivan? Surely the money that cost would be better spent investing in decent journalism?

  13. James Russell

    This confirms what I already knew, the real victims of this attack were Muslims and Islam, these cartoons are dangerously racist and need to be banned.

  14. Manta Rae

    Whilst I agree with Mr O’Sullivan here over the gratuitously offensive nature of the caricature, it seems the delusional IT – along with other sections of Ireland’s media – is more than happy to ignore the bloody obvious..

    Namely, Ireland’s backward blasphemy laws would prevent publication of the type of sordid cartoons Charlie Hebdo enjoys publishing under the pretence of free speech anyway.

    So why make a big deal about it?

    Could it be that by ignoring this country’s medieval obsession with all things religious (pregnant women dying because they’re refused life-saving terminations anyone?) our meeja types can still get their collective knickers in a twist about Islam without sounding like a bunch of shame-faced hypocrites…

    Just a thought…

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Link