'Attaboys' for websites that ran Mohammed cartoons

#JeSuisCharlie floods social media
#JeSuisCharlie floods social media

Many news organizations stayed away from the Charlie Hebdo cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed following this week's attack on the French satirical magazine.

But a number popular news websites eagerly republished the controversial images.

The Daily Beast's executive editor, Noah Shachtman, said his site hasn't drawn any negative reaction for its slideshow of Charlie Hebdo's most "shocking" covers, which included a 2011 image of the prophet.

"All I've heard is attaboys," Shachtman said.

The Huffington Post's Washington bureau chief, Ryan Grim, said he believes the site's massive readership expected to see the cartoons.

"I haven't seen any serious negative reaction, and my sense is our readers were equally unsurprised and gratified that we published them," Grim said. "There was really never any question that we would, but it's still important to make the statement that terror won't chill free speech -- in fact quite the opposite."

charlie hebdo tribute

Gawker editor-in-chief Max Read said the reaction to his site's republication of the Mohammed cartoons has been muted. According to Read, Gawker took far more grief for a memorable 2013 article.

"Unlike our piece publishing the results of a public-records request for the names of New York gun owners, which garnered us almost non-stop threatening phone calls to our tips line, the Charlie Hebdo images have resulted in silence," Read said.

Lachlan Markay of the Washington Free Beacon said his tribute to Charlie Hebdo, which included the magazine's Mohammed cartoons, generated a considerable response.

"I've received more emails on this than on any story I've ever written," Markay said. "With a single exception, they've been entirely positive. One person even offered to send me a check to help with office security and legal expenses. I said I didn't think that would be necessary."

He added, "The one negative reaction I received was actually from a self-described Christian who objected to offensive religious imagery in general."

All four journalists said their publications haven't received any threats for publishing the images.

The depiction of Mohammed is a serious affront to some Muslims that's led to violence in the past.

Two other high-profile outlets, The Washington Post and BBC, declined to comment when asked about the response to their use of the images.


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