Editorial: Je Suis Charlie, Too

We had hoped not to have to write about the death of journalists twice in as many weeks on these pages, but the hits just keep on coming.

Someone remarked to a B&C staffer that they had heard about the murder of the cartoonists in France, but did not think of them as journalists.

But from Thomas Nast to Garry Trudeau to the slain staffers at the French magazine, political cartoonists have a long, rich history of providing editorial comment and illumination. No one who saw a Herblock cartoon with a stubble-faced Nixon coming out of a sewer could doubt the power of the pen. We’re pretty sure Senators at the time didn’t.

Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons were offensive, and meant to be. And that is the speech most in need of defending in a free society.

The magazine was on the newsstands again this week despite the murders and new threats. B&C has in the past had to scramble to put out certain issues, including during blackouts and 11th-hour equipment failures, but that now seems a cakewalk in comparison.

“Because the pen is always above barbarism... Because freedom is a universal right…Because YOU support us, We, Charlie, Get out your next Wednesday newspaper!” the remaining staffers said on the magazine’s website.

So, as an addendum to last week’s roll call of slain journalists and media workers, in a list we wish we never had to update again, here are the members of the Charlie Hebdo staff, as well as the police trying to protect them from ongoing threats: Frédéric Boisseau, Franck Brinsolaro, Cabu (Jean Cabut), Elsa Cayat, Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier), Philippe Honoré, Bernard Maris, Ahmed Merabet, Mustapha Ourrad, Michel Renaud, Tignous (Bernard Verlhac) and Georges Wolinski.