Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Lies, Librarians, and Moore

In my annual "Banned Books Week" post, I promised more on the American Library Association. Check out this 60 Minutes piece on Michael Moore. Moore claims that his book, Stupid White Men was suppressed by the publisher until a librarian stumbled upon the issue.

How much do you want to bet that the sequence of events is not how you describe it? Do you really think that Moore was a humble reader to a small community group, whose disappointment was overheard by a local librarian?

I am quite certain that Moore told anyone and everyone he met about the dispute with his publisher. And the librarian helped him stir the pot because s/he agreed with Moore politically. And the pressure from other librarians was similarly based on ideology.

A private business, in this case a publisher, has the right to choose what messages it disseminates. The organized campaign by librarians have the publisher release Stupid White Men unedited is not all that different from an organized campaign by parents to have input in what books are chosen for a school curriculum. The only major difference is that the former group does not use tax dollars to disseminate its message.

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