Let's Not Glorify Pamela Geller
Kathleen Parker: She isn't celebrating free speech, she's abusing it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2015 12:31 PM CDT
Pamela Geller is interviewed by the AP May 7 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – Pamela Geller, the provocateur who organized the Muhammad cartoon contest that led to claims of the first ISIS attack on US soil, would have us believe that she's a stout defender of free speech. How sad the Founding Fathers must be, writes Kathleen Parker at the Washington Post. After all, that cartoon contest was just a pointless, unoriginal "taunt," she writes. We've seen it before, "and each time, the result is the same. You haul out a picture of Muhammad; 'they' haul out a fatwa. Cat puts out cheese; mouse gets eaten. What does one expect?" Shouldn't a debate about free speech aspire to something a little more noble, or, just maybe, "something less likely to lead to violence?"

Obviously, we have to defend the principle of free speech, even it's from the KKK, neo-Nazis, or people who draw religious cartoons without a speck of understanding about satire. Still, "we needn’t embrace or celebrate people like Geller, who try to provoke a confrontation," writes Parker. Let her stage her next circus, but the rest of us can look the other way. "Not since Westboro Baptist Church’s 'God Hates Fags' message and Florida pastor Terry Jones burning the Koran has the principle of free speech been so sullied and abused." Click for Parker's full column.