There is a lot of talk about how the government of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan has fined a TV channel the equivalent of $30,000 for broadcasting a "blasphemous" scene from "The Simpsons" (see: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/03/entertainment-us-turkey-simpsons-blasphe-idUSBRE8B20MG20121203). "Blasphemy"? "Yes indeedy," as Ned Flanders might say. The scene - avert your eyes - actually has the devil asking God for a cup of coffee.
But why the excitement? We've known for quite some time that Erdoğan, one of Obama's best buddies (see: http://www.todayszaman.com/news-269076-obama-names-turkeys-erdogan-among-top-five-international-friends.html), has befriended Hamas and has rubbed shoulders with a variety of other "questionable sorts" (see: http://www.turkeyemergency.com/2011/confirmed-erdogan-and-akp-rubbed-shoulders-with-hezbollah/), while throwing record numbers of journalists in jail (see: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/03/turkeys-jailed-journalists.html).
Judge Obama by the company he keeps? No way. The Reverend Wright, Tony Rezko, Rashid Khalidi and Bill Ayers couldn't make a dent in his sterling reputation.
But why all this noise about "The Simpsons"?
After all, Saudi Arabia executes persons for "blasphemy" (see: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/11/world/asia/malaysia-detains-saudi-over-twitter-posts-on-prophet.html?_r=0), and we all know how Obama feels about the Saudis, as evidenced by his bow to the Saudi king.
[In case you wondered, my travel plans don't include Istanbul, Ankara or Riyadh for the foreseeable future.]