No middle ground

Precedents in the media

by John Negroponte ’60

The Yale Press's decision is not without precedent, and it is noteworthy that, at the time of the initial crisis over the cartoons in 2005–06, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Boston Globe declined to print these images as well, along with almost every leading newspaper in the United States. These media outlets no more wished to incite violence by publishing the cartoons than did the Yale Press, and they too reached the conclusion that the context in which they would have published them—as part of objective news coverage—did not make a difference. 

John Negroponte ’60 has served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, Director of National Intelligence, and Ambassador to Iraq. He is on the faculty of the Grand Strategy seminar at Yale and is a lecturer at the university in international affairs.