Tony Blair

Ridiculing of leaders through satire has a long history

More than a million people — including a camera-friendly rack of world leaders — took to the streets of Paris last weekend to march in support of free expression in the wake of the killing of cartoonists and others at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by Islamist gunmen. But the nature of the paper's cartoons, along with its new cover, which features a depiction of the prophet Muhammad bearing the sign "Je Suis Charlie," has put the art of satire in the cultural crosshairs.

A range of thinkers including novelist Salman Rushdie and comics artist Art Spiegelman have defended the rights of the cartoonists, with some promptly adopting the "Je Suis Charlie"...