CRF Blog

When Satire Cuts Both Ways

by Bill Hayes

The New York Times’ Room for Debate lets various knowledgeable contributors discuss news events and other timely issues. One recent debate covered: When Satire Cuts Both Ways.

People worldwide are outraged by the murders at the French satiric magazine Charlie Hebdo by Islamic extremists angered by cartoons it published ridiculing Muhammad. But even some cartoonists have questioned whether satire can be pointlessly offensive.

Even if the most offensive speech deserves protection, is it worth considering its effects? Can writers and artists sometimes be too provocative and outrageous? Should they hold themselves back? [more]