American "anti-Jihad" blogs are celebrating the news, led by Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs, who calls it "a roadblock on the road to Eurabia."
Yesterday I got an e-mail from CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, blasting Williams for calling Allah a "monkey god," based on stories from TPM and Media Matters that linked to Williams's blog. And this raises a question that comes up more and more as I cover this stuff. If Williams says, explicitly, that he want to say controversial things to get more attention, are liberal web sites and CAIR aiding him by writing about the controversial things he says? Because he's been doing this for a year, and his punishment has been multiple media embeds on the Tea Party Express, frequent guest spots on cable TV, money flowing into the group's PAC for House and Senate candidate -- basically, all good things. At some point you have to ask whether liberals are being played for suckers by reporting on every "outrage" from a low-profile figure who wants to outrage them.
"Which is worth keeping in mind come May 20 and every day after. Because the cause of free expression, just like the misguided, pathetic, and ultimately-doomed-to-fail attempts to shut it down, is a long, hard slog that begins again every day the sun rises."
This comes not from a penny ante blogger but from a former State Department staffer, former member of the United States Institute of Peace (holding a recess appointment after being filibustered by Democrats), and former adviser to Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign. Just wow.
Graham also accepts the premise that his experience was in line with a mounting persecution of Christians. "It's coming," he says. "I think when you preach that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the light, I think we're going to see, one day, people will say this is hate speech."
Sarah Palin has, in her inimitable way, moved the Army's decision to disinvite Franklin Graham from a Pentagon National Day of Prayer Service into Conservative Outrage of the Day territory.