NBC's long-running sketch show Saturday Night Live put the "series of unfortunate events" at last week's memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela in their comedic crosshairs. Cast member Jay Pharoah, portraying American president Barack Obama, lampooned the cell-phone photo Obama took with Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, while fellow cast member Kenan Thompson played the fake sign language interpreter.
Denmark has long been regarded as one of the world's most attractive nations, for citizens and tourists alike. My own visits there, years ago as a student, were delightful. And the Danes have a wonderful history of civic virtue, not least during the Holocaust. As the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum notes in a web site dedicated to "The Rescue of the Jews of Denmark."
Thomas Buch-Andersen, host of the Danish TV show Detektor, mocked President Obama's political rhetoric in a recent episode. "Obama used a metaphor from boxing to explain Denmark's role in the world," says Buch-Andersen, introducing the segment.
Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist who depicted Muhammad as a suicide bomber in 2006, tells AFP that he has been placed on indefinite leave "for security reasons." Just a few months ago, Westergaard was attacked by an axe-wielding Islamist in his own home. Thankfully, in America the media are resolutely standing up to such vicious attacks on free speech.