Two years ago, our press broke the Abu Ghraib story and published every photo they could find, despite warnings of the problems it would cause. When the entire Muslim world responded with anger and violence (including such things as Nick Berg's beheading), our press denied any responsibility. It thumped its chest and claimed that it was important for the photos to be released because the public had the right to know and a free press would be irresponsible to succumb to any pressure not to publish. They disavowed any responsibility for the violence, because blame for the violence lay in the pictures, not the people who published them.
Fast forward two years. The entire Muslim world is again inflamed and rioting over published pictures. This time it's 12 cartoons purporting to be non-Muslim artist conceptions of Muhammad. Yet have you noticed it's nearly impossible to find the pictures anywhere in the press? Only a couple papers have printed them, and you have to do some digging on the web to find them. CNN specifically said in its story that it was not publishing the pictures out of "sensitivity to Muslims."
This a HUGE story, and yet we don't get to see the pictures that are causing millions of people to riot and protest. What happened to the public's right to know? What happened to all the righteous blather about Constitutional rights and the free press? Why isn't anyone screaming about this hypocrisy?
The difference is that the press ran the Abu Ghraib pictures knowing that any protest would be voiced by American conservatives. They won't run the Muhammad cartoons because they know protest will come from terrorists who want to kill them.
American soldiers and Marines face IEDs and hostile fire every day and put their lives on the line in firm resolve to defend our principles. And yet the American press cowers down in appeasement at the first sign of risk. It shames me to think that France (5-10% Muslim) has more guts on this issue than the USA (1% Muslim). The country that taught Europe about press freedom and sacrificed its sons to save them from WWI and WWII won't stand by them over 12 cartoons.
By the way, here's a URL to what the mainstream media doesn't have the guts to show you. You'd think it would be newsworthy, because it changes your perspective to see the cartoons.