Now that the Obama Administration has abandoned its effort to censor the transcript of Omar Mateen’s 911 call, let’s take a look back at when the president actually condemned censorship of "news reports."
When Attorney General Loretta Lynch declared on Sunday that the Justice Dept. would edit out references to the Islamic State and the name of ISIS’s leader before releasing the transcript of the radical Muslim Mateen’s call to 911 professing his slaughter of innocent Americans, public backlash forced the administration to reverse course the next day and release the full transcript – though the transcript still replaced the word “Allah” with “God.”
And, last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) called for censorship of words like “jihad” and “sharia” when discussing terrorism, while Pres. Obama said he won’t use terms like “radical Islam” because he doesn’t want to offend our terrorist attackers.
But, Pres. Obama sang quite a different tune back in 2014 when the issue was the censorship of a Sony Pictures movie, “The Interview,” in which reporters are recruited to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Obama blasted Sony’s decision to pull the movie to avoid offending North Koreans:
“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States. Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don’t like, or news reports that they don’t like.”
But, Obama didn’t stop there. He went on to say that North Korea’s leader had it coming – and declare that some people “need to be offended”:
“Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.”
But, not radical Islamists, apparently.
The editing of Mateen’s comments brings the administration’s censorship of "news reports they don't like" to at least four this year alone, as editing of two accounts of exchanges with Fox News reporters regarding Iran, and one reference to “Islamist terrorism” by the president of France, have been exposed in recent months.
This time, however, the administration was actually bold enough to announce in advance that it planned to censor words it didn’t like.