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July 12, 2006

Missed It: Indigo and Free Inquiry

imageVia Sequential comes a link to this article declaring that the Canadian distributor Indigo first blocked the magazine Free Inquiry from appearing on its clients' shelves and then declared it a mistake and deciding to carry the magazine. That magazine had in a previous issue printed four of the famed Danish Cartoons from the Copenhagen newspaper Jyllands-Posten, cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed blamed for riots across Europe, Asia and Africa earlier this year. The distributor had recently decided not to carry the June issue of Harper's because of an Art Spiegelman-penned article delving into those cartoons. While catching and punishing Western Standard for carrying some of the cartoons, Indigo's crack staff failed to notice that Free Inquiry ran some of the cartoons and been carried by Indigo. This was pointed out to them in the wake of the Harper's story. The editors of Free Inquiry suspect that an editorial about Peter Singer could also have been the cause for the since-rescinded move.

Meanwhile, it's worth noting that despite the fears of the distributor, the Harper's issue in question seems to have worked through its full sales cycle without causing massive riots or violence in North America, indicating that either Indigo customers inclined to buy Harper's as opposed to Free Inquiry who were denied an opportunity to buy the issue just happen to be the key players when it comes to image-based rioting and the distributor did a great public service via the smartest surgical strike regarding provocative material in the history of print, or that the distributor's concerns were ridiculous.

This Baltimore paper's editorial indicates how the Danish Cartoons controversy will likely enjoy relevancy in panel discussions and university debates for years to come.
posted 1:03 am PST | Permalink

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