Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail, writing for McClatchy Newspapers,
have a good play-by-play on how a poorly made, intentionally offensive video clip went from being pimped by its anti-Muslim zealot creator to a reporter to being the ostensible focal point of the latest round of violence and protest in the Middle East. (Our old friend Terry Jones, the grand standing, Koran burning Florida preacher makes an appearance).
Part of the problem seems to be, culturally, a lack of understanding and appreciation for our First Amendment. The Middle East is full of places where government can and does suppress speech it deems troublesome. When the U.S. doesn’t suppress something here, it probably looks to them like an endorsement on some level. In addition, our exposure to so much garbage because of the First Amendment gives us a sort of strengthened immune system we take for granted. Getting violently angry just because someone said something deliberately obnoxious strikes us a bizarre.