Chris Rock does a good bit about something that's parralell to this.
*Edited for content*
(After a portion of stand up about Nig*as vs Black People)
"I see some black people looking at me.
'Man. Why you gotta say that? It ain't us, it's the media. It's the media that's distorted our image. Why must you come down on us? It's the media.'
Please, cut the ****ing shi**. OK? When I go out to the money machine tonight, I ain't looking over my back for the media. I'm lookin for nig*as!
Ted Couple ain't never took sh*t from me. Nig*as have. Sh*t, you think I got three guns in my house cuz the media outside? Oh, sh*t! Mike Wallace! Run!"
The point being that the media reporting something does not make it the medias fault. Those content of those cartoons does not change with exposure. Asking the media not to report something because it might have a certain reaction is called censorship.
I'd expect to be beaten up because I would be taking the piss out of a common ground that people have.
Just like I would expect to be beaten up if I went down Portsmouth High street at night shouting Southampton FC are the Best Portsmouth are scum. (or if I had a banner to that effect)
You perhaps would, but you shouldn't be, and certainly if you were attacked, you would hope the police would at least make an effort to catch and prosecute those who attacked you. Ultimately, even if we accept the somewhat silly conclusion that the media was to blame for the protests, Muslims as media-manipulated drones are not much a step up from Muslims as those who want to bully people out of their civil rights, is it?
It's a valid point in a way though, some people have a nigh religious passion for football. I know far more fights break out in clubs where I live over football than religion.