15 Apr 2006

Cartoon Jihad Strikes Down Nashville Blogger

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Nashville, Tennessee’s Bill Hobbs, the Volunteer State’s second best known conservative blogger, lost his job at Belmont University for publishing a cartoon featuring Mohammed, alluding to the Danish cartoons which have created an international uproar.

In February, no doubt at the time Islamic mobs were setting fire to embassies over those cartoons, about the same time I got mad and put up a link to Gustave Doré’s illustration of Mohammed in Hell (see Danish cartoons button in the right column), Bill Hobbs decided to follow Jyllands-Posten’s example and invited readers to “Exercise your right to free expression by drawing cartoons of Islam’s ‘Prophet Mohammed,’ before the West gives in to Islamist intimidation and fear of Islamist violence and makes it illegal to do so.” He provided an inspirational tongue-in-cheek example: a stick figure Mohammed holding a bomb, deliberately captioned in childish letters: “Mohammed Blows.”

Hobbs had a vulnerability, however. He was prominently involved in supporting Republican State Senator Jim Bryson‘s gubernatorial capaign, and had created a Bryson for Governor blog. Democrat blogger Mike Kopp saw a way to bash Bryson by going after Hobbs, so last Wednesday, he posted this:

I’ve know Hobbs for many years and while we never see eye to eye on the issues, I’ve generally found him to be fairly reasonable to deal with.

But Hobbs has shown me a darker side to his mind with his insensitive, moronic site.

I have no quarrel with a person’s right to free speech, but as a Christian I believe this kind of expression goes against all the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament.

This prompts me to want to ask candidate “man of faith” Jim Bryson if he condones this kind of distasteful insensitivity to people of other faiths; and it also prompts me to want to contact Bob Fisher, the president of Belmont University, to inquire if he too believes this kind of expression is in line with the University’s mission to promote and uphold Christian values.

If Jim Bryson wants to continue to use Hobbs and his blog followers to spread his message, so be it. But if he does, he better be prepared to deal with the political consequences.

And, you know how it works, if a city has colleges, it has commies, and free alternative leftwing weekly papers aimed at young people, featuring the good restaurant and music scene reviews. The Nashville Scene (naturally) has one of those loudmouth leftie political columnists, a jerk named John Spragins, who two days ago decided to pile on, too, climbing atop his portable pulpit, and advising readers loudly that he was holier than Hobbs:

First, let’s sort some things out. For starters, Hobbs has the right to free speech, and Kopp has the right to hold him accountable for that speech. (For that matter, so do Belmont, Bryson and the Nashville Scene.) Hobbs’ stated point—that the media shouldn’t be intimidated into self-censorship by angry mobs of Muslims—is fairly non-controversial. Even those who chose not to publish the original cartoons would agree that violence is an illegitimate means of political expression.

But by deliberately desecrating Islam’s central figure—“the ‘Prophet Mohammed’ ” as Hobbs sneered, using quote marks for sardonic emphasis—he attacked an entire religion, not a group of fanatics who pervert the religion’s teachings. Then he drew him as a bearded stick figure holding a bomb and said he “blows.” It seems bearded Muslim terrorists are the new big-nosed, money-grubbing Jews. The more things change….

Clearly, not much that’s really interesting happens in Nashville, Tennessee.

Roger A. knows all the principals and seems shocked and awed by the job the lefties did on Bill Hobbs.

HJ mourns.

Glenn Reynolds sounds disgusted.

Michelle Malkin thinks the whole thing is “Horrible.”

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UPDATE

Riehl World View looks at John Spraggins, and finds he is not exactly Mr. Clean on the decorum and civiity front himself. Riehl also identifies exactly where Mike Kopp is coming from:

It should be noted that the individual who first posted on the cartoon in a negative manner, the post that Spragens linked, Mike Kopp, apparently owns the domain for an individual once encouraged to run in the same race as the candidate Hobbs was working for. Quite a coincidence, that. Kopp is a former Gore press secretary and has a long history of work for the Democrat Party.

But first, I’d like to point out that harwellforgovernor.com was registered on September 23, 2005, by Mike Kopp of Nashville, and the domain is reserved for one year from that date. According to a Google search,…

The moral, folks, is that leftist democrat hypocrisy works like a charm on cowardly and conformist university administrators.

Gaius Arbo thinks plain envy was at work here.
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FURTHER UPDATE

Knoxville News Sentinel’s Michael Silence observes that Mike Kopp is being kept busy deleting comments to his blog.

JB comments on Mike Kopp’s “I did it for the children!” post last Friday:

On Friday afternoon, after news had broke that Hobbs would be resigning from Belmont, Kopp broke his silence on the controversial events of the day (note the number of deleted comments):

As I pulled into my multi-racial, multi-cultural subdivision in West Nashville, I drove past a small group of children whom I know to be members of several Muslim neighborhood families playing in a yard up the street from my home. One of the children, a young girl, waved at me and smiled. In an instant it became clear to me why I had written as I did about the blog Mohammed Cartoons.

I called the Tennessean reporter to tell her that had I not pointed out the insensitivity of the blog, I would have had trouble facing my neighbors; the children and their parents who walk our sidewalks each day and call out in friendship at every opportunity. “Shame on me,” I told the reporter, “if I hadn’t taken a stand on this matter.”

Geez, what a hack! Kopp found an offensive cartoon that had never been publicized or viewed, took it out of context and ensured that it was published in the Nashville Scene for anyone to see and has the audacity to claim he “did it for the children!” Any reasonable person can see Kopp’s handiwork for exactly what it is. It was a political hit job designed to hurt Jim Bryson and put a popular conservative blogger in his place.

Phil Bredesen should be mindful of the kind of people he pays to represent his campaign and the tactics they use. Mike Kopp’s disgraceful smear has solidified the support of many Republicans – who were on the fence about Bredesen – behind the candidacy of Jim Bryson. Thanks Kopp.

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FOLLOW-UP

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megapotamus

“seems bearded Muslim terrorists are the new big-nosed, money-grubbing Jews.”

Shwuh? Ahem, the Shylock figure alluded to is a racist fiction and always has been. Does that mean that big-nosed money grubbing Jews don’t exist? Certainly not, rather that the application of same is an unfair attack on an entire race. The Mohammed with a bomb figure is, sadly, taken from today’s headlines. With Iran declaring it will release a wave of 40,000 belt-bombers into the world can anyone say this is an unjust characterization? This is before we even get into the question of double standards. I wonder how outraged Mr. Spragins was at PissChrist. Not very, I’ll guess.



Mike

I’m a right-winger who lives in Nashville and is a Belmont grad. Belmont is a BAPTIST institution, and in four years I never had politics mentioned by my professors. It simply isn’t a liberal institution, much less commie.

I also read the Scene every week. It does lean left, but you know that going in. And it’s really not all that bad politically compared to most other alt-weeklies, with some good movie and music reviews to boot.



Richard R

My daughter is about to graduate from high school. She’s a National merit scholar, a dozen AP’s, well over 4.0 GPA and 99th percentile achievement tests.

She’s also a private pilot, an accomplished fencer, operatic soprano and a licensed real estate agent. She thought it would be fun to take the test, so she studied over Christmas.

Her college fund can easily pay for any school in the US. She won’t need any financial aid.

As we went over the colleges and universities she was interested in, there were several dimensions. How is it’s overall national reputation. How is it’s reputation in prelaw/poli sci/business/econ?

Does it discriminate against people based on their race, national origin or sex?

Michigan was out of the running on that one.

And, most importantly, does it tolerate, host, encourage or allow terrorist sympathizers on campus?

Yale and UC Irvine fell out there. Looks like Belmont wouldn’t have made the cut, either.



Bill

Is Mr. Hobbs surviving financially? Should concerned conservatives take up a collection? It’s all well and nice to champion someone’s right to free speech, but if His standing up for our rights has cost him his livelihood, perhaps we need to put our contributions where our mouths are.



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Brian

I actually think that the Mohammed Blows cartoon is the best I have seen by far. It says exactly what I feel in a lot of ways. It speaks to the fact that all these innocent youth are blowing themselves up in the name of Mohammed, and that millions of people are fighting and restricting free speech because of a religious obsession probably/possibly misinterpreting a person that was not supposed to be an icon, in any case. In the common vernacular, Mohammed, not the person, but the symbol and the islamic fanaticism that the symbol engenders, blows. It says more than anything I have seen in a while. I am sorry he had to lose his job over it. Hopefully, he will find better things to do…



dmp

Phil Bredesen needs to be more than just mindful of the kind of people he pays to represent his campaign and the tactics they use. He is one of the dirtiest politicians in the country. He is in cahoots with Toyota in their move from California to Tennessee. The timing of the move is AFTER the election in June,2006. He is getting big bucks from the state for making this move happen. Coincidence – I think not. I have a cousin who works for Toyota so I know the scoop.

a concerned U.S citizen
************



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