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September 25, 2005 - Is censorship flourishing in a country that believes in "Freedom of Speech?"

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Book Wrangler

September 25, 2005

By Bob Patterson


September is traditionally called "banned books month" in the sales promotions of book stores and so, early last week, we started to do some fact finding about the topic of censorship.


As deadline approached, we got a call from a friend who had just had a traumatic day at work. 


We dropped our writing duties and went off to take him out to dinner and listen to his recap of the day's events.  He does – or was doing phone solicitations for donations to various liberal groups.  One of his coworkers had, in the course of a call, after the potential donator had opened up the topic of slaves who work inside the master's house, used the N-word.  A co-worker overheard the solicitor say it, and had led an effort to have the offending employee terminated for using the word, which he maintained only members of his race were permitted to say.  She wasn't entitled to utter that word.  After she was successfully canned, the company scheduled sensitivity training.  In the course of that seminar my buddy was asked for his thoughts on the matter.  Unfortunately he blurted out that he thought that the episode of lynch-mob justice was "bullshit." 


As we had a breakfast for dinner at Rae's Diner in Santa Monica, he used the past tense when talking about the incident and his job.


It sounded to this columnist as if my buddy were well on the road to becoming a bit of anecdotal evidence if conservative talk show host Mike Savage decides to write a sequel to his latest book Liberalism Is A Mental Disorder.


Here are some of the books we found that seem relevant to this week's column's topic:


Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy: A Guide to America's Censorship Wars by Marjorie Heins  ($14.95 paperback New Press)


Speaking Freely: Trials of the First Amendment by Floyd Abrams  ($25.95 Viking Adult)


How Patriotic is the Patriot Act? Freedom Versus Security in the Age of Terrorism by Amitai Etzioni  ($26.00 Routledge)


Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism by Geoffrey R. Stone ( $17.95 paperback W. W. Norton)


Censorship: Opposing Viewpoints edited by Andrea C. Nakaya ($23.70 paperback Greenhaven Press)


The Patriot Act: Opposing Viewpoints edited by Louise I. Gerdes ($23.70 paperback Greenhaven Books)


Taboo Tunes: A History of Banned Bands & Censored Songs by Peter Blecha  ($17.95 paperback Backbeat Books)


Parental Advisory: Music Censorship in America by Eric D. Nuzum  ($15.95 paperback Harper paperbacks)


Shoot the Singer! Music Censorship Today by Marie Korpe (Editor) ($27.50 paperback Zed Books)


Hollywood Nation: Left Coast Lies, Old Media Spin, and the New Media Revolution by James Hirsen ($25.95 Crown Forum)


Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colony's Long Romance With The Left by Ronald Radosh, Allis Radosh  ($25.95  Encounter Books)


Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us) by Mona Charen ($25.95 Sentinel HC)


In Bartlett's you will find one of the George Bernard Shaw quotes that says: "Assassination is the extreme form of censorship." 


Now, if the disk jockey will play Deep In The Heart Of Texas (during WWII it was banned by the BBC) we'll mosey on out of here for this week.  Tune in again next week.  Have a week that would pass inspection by the standards and practices committee.





Copyright 2005 – Robert Patterson

Email the author at worldslaziestjournalist@yahoo.com


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
The inclusion of any text from others is quotation
for the purpose of illustration and commentary,
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