Tags: Barack Obama | War on Terrorism | white house | islam | scolding | ari fleischer | obama

Ari Fleischer: White House Anti-Islam Scolding Out of Line

Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 05:19 PM

Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer has come out swinging at suggestions by current spokesman Josh Earnest that there are limits on anti-Islamic speech in the wake of last week's terror attack in Paris.

Fleischer was unimpressed by Earnest's statement that neither he nor President Barack Obama will shy away from weighing in on when free speech has gone too far — if it puts American troops in harm's way.

"If we can reward the people who make the worst most viable vial threats, then we'll reward them. That's what that means," Fleischer said Wednesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"If they can intimate us and therefore put our troops into danger and we're really only talking about one group, radical Islamists, then we'll bend over backwards. That's how I interpret that.

"That statement, particularly in the days after the attack, should've been full stopped.

There is nothing that the people at that magazine did to justify this. Full stop."

Last week, 12 people at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris were executed by masked gunmen with ties to al Qaida. The satirical publication had been under fire for its cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad.

"There could be a different time and place where people talk about how appropriate these cartoons are," Fleischer said.

"We've all seen examples of people who take free speech and go too far with them. There was a case in New York City many years ago where they had absolutely foul mockeries of God, Jesus and of religion at an art exhibit in New York and it raised a lot of heads.

"People can take their liberties and go too far, but you don't talk about it in that context right after 12 were massacred."

At a press briefing on Tuesday, Earnest was asked if the White House still stood by former White House spokeman Jay Carney’s comments about Charlie Hebdo in 2012.

Carney had said: "We are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the Prophet Muhammad. And, obviously, we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this. We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory.”

According to PJ Media, Earnest defended Carney, saying, "What my predecessor also said, in the context of those very same comments, was that the publication of that material did not in any way justify an act of violence. That was true then, it was true last week, and it’s true today....

"At the same time, you know, it would not be the first time that there has been a discussion in this country about the kinds of responsibilities that go along with exercising the right to freedom of speech. And in the scenario, or in the circumstances in which my predecessor was talking about this issue, there was a genuine concern that the publication of some of those materials could put Americans abroad at risk, including American soldiers, at risk, and that is something that the commander in chief takes very seriously."

Earnest added the White House "will not now be shy about expressing a view or taking the steps that are necessary to try to advocate for the safety and security of our men and women in uniform."

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Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer has come out swinging at suggestions by current spokesman Josh Earnest that there are limits on anti-Islamic speech in the wake of last week's terror attack in Paris.
white house, islam, scolding, ari fleischer, obama
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2015-19-14
Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 05:19 PM
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