A thick skin is a necessary prerequisite for every successful politician, at least in democratic societies. Love them or hate them, political satirists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are symbols of the deep-seated respect for freedom of opinion in the United States (as well as Americans’ love of a public roasting). In nondemocratic parts of the world, however, politicians are much less willing to become the butt of the joke.
At least eight journalists and three human rights defenders are serving their terms in the prisons of Azerbaijan, according to a recent Human Rights Watch briefing. That should tell you a lot about the country’s crucially limited freedom of expression.