Saturday, August 16, 2008

Salman Rushdie Protests Random House Censorship - San Francisco Chronicle Buries the Story

I clicked on “Google News” to scan the headlines, and this caught my eye: GOP plans shot down over oil, The San Francisco Chronicle, August 16, 2008. Wow! I thought. It sure didn’t take long for Nancy Pelosi to renege on her statement that she would allow debate on offshore drilling.

However, on further inspection I found what Google News featured as a news article was actually only a very opinionated, fact-free Letter to the Editor. In a way I can understand the Google News confusion. The San Francisco Chronicle news articles and editorials usually are very opinionated and fact-free.

Aisha, Mohammad says he has a big surprise for you tonight!

When real news is afoot, The Chronicle has no appreciation for its relative worth, and we find abominations like their placement on page E-3 (the Entertainment section) of Salman Rushdie’s complaint about Random House pulling an historical novel about the prophet Muhammad and his child bride Aisha because of speculation that it would anger Muslims.

Damn it! Everything angers Muslims! Since when have American publishers, writers, and journalists based their actions on avoiding offending Christians, Jews, Hindus, Whites, Blacks, misogynists, racists, and etc.? Actually, if the misogynist and racists are Muslims, which many are, are publishers, writers, and journalists do go out of their way to avoid making them angry.

Why have violent, ignorant savages been given power over the thoughtful and educated of the world? Once the irrational fear of Hitler and his Brown Shirts that brought the Nazis to power in a cultured and refined nation, one with a proud tradition of great literature and music.

What Random House has done is a book burning without the messy need of inciting a howling mod and lighting a fire. They have allowed a book to be banned by illiterates.

In America we proudly (but erroneously) quote Voltaire: "I disagree with what you have to say but will fight to the death to protect your right to say it."

But then we amend our courageous stance: “However, even if I agree with you, if it might annoy an illiterate Muslim ten thousand miles away, I’m out of here!”

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