In the aftermath of the protest in Benghazi that left Ambassador Stevens and three others dead, it seems the media here has gone on a witch hunt. Who is behind the offending movie? Who is Sam Bacile? Where was it filmed? Who bankrolled it?
All these questions and more are being played out in the media with new details emerging every hour. Someone wants to know who is responsible for this outrageous 13+ minutes of anti-Islamic rhetoric. Someone has to be held accountable but what does that really mean?
Trouble is, finding the answers to these questions will likely serve no purposes other than to shame those behind it and to exonerate those not behind it. Collectively, Israel and some Jews around the world have already breathed a sigh of relief that their fingerprints were not on the film—at least, not yet.
Could there be another reason behind getting to the bottom of the who, what, when, why process?
In any witch hunt, and historically as in the early days of Salem, Massachusetts, someone has to be made to pay for the alleged “crimes”. While America has a doctrine of free speech and free press, it also has a sub-doctrine of making people pay for their actions.
The recent Chick-fil-A brouhaha over same-sex marriage is one case that comes readily to mind. There were civic leaders who recognized the CEO’s right to free speech, coupled with their own right—real or not—to restrict CFA’s business in their jurisdictions. Some elements of society accept this as OK.
It sounds eerily similar to the graffiti scribbled on the embassy wall in Cairo the other day:
“If your freedom of speech has no limits, may you accept our freedom of action.”
As long as we stand by freedom of speech, there is no room for a media-fueled witch hunt to uncover those behind the movie. Those answers mean nothing to me and most likely, nothing to you either. So one has to ask the question “Just who is this witch hunt serving?” and “What will anyone do with the answers?”
Along different lines, my wife and I were offered an amniocentesis during her pregnancy. Being firmly pro-life, we agreed that knowing the answers such a test might offer would change nothing for us relative to the continuation of the pregnancy. Therefore, the test—which has its own share of risks—was pointless.
The summary is this: When the answer to the question changes nothing about how the situation is handled, asking the question and going through all that is involved in answering it is most likely pointless.
The media has more important things to focus on but sadly, this is a point that distracts from the poor state of the economy, the lousy job being done in Washington, and the need for REAL change in leadership in this nation.