The Washington Post – “From papyrus to vellum to paper to e-books, two principles of publishing have not changed over the centuries: 1. Churches can’t resist the temptation to condemn books. 2. Nothing boosts book sales like condemnation by a church. Who, after all, would have read Sister Margaret Farley’s “Just Love” if the Vatican hadn’t censured it this week? The Catholic Church delivered the nun’s treatise on Christian sexual ethics from the wilderness of obscurity into the promised land of fame. For any book publicist, such denunciation is an answer to a prayer. On Amazon’s Web site, “Just Love” immediately ascended from No. 142,982 to No. 16.”
Baltimore Sun – “Mary Hastler knew she was about to create a fuss, knew that, unfair as she might find it, people were going to label her the last thing a librarian wants to be called — censor. You don’t refuse to carry the most talked-about series of books in the country without anyone noticing. But as she read E.L. James’ erotic novel, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” on her iPad, Hastler couldn’t reconcile its words with the Harford County Public Library’s policy not to buy pornography. Hastler, the county’s library director, says she has no problem with your run-of-the-mill bodice-ripper. But she felt she was reading a step-by-step guide to bondage, and a poorly written one at that.”
NCAC – “In a joint letter sent today (link to PDF), the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) partnered with the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLUFL) to urge Brevard County Commissioners to reinstate the best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey to the Brevard public library system.
The ACLUFL’s support adds a new salvo as national attention escalates, from coverage via the New York Times and the NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams.”
NYT – “Students using the computers at Camdenton High School here in central Missouri have been able to access the Web sites for Exodus International, as well as People Can Change, antigay organizations that counsel men and women on how to become heterosexual. But the students have not been able to access the Web sites of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.”
Washington Post – “Mike Blasenstein and Michael Dax Iacovone, creators of the one-month-only Museum of Censored Art, have received the John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for intellectual freedom by the American Library Association, one of the most well-known anti-censorship organizations in the country.
The museum was responsible for showcasing the censored film, “A Fire in My Belly,” by gay artist David Wojnarowicz. The video was originally a part of the gay and lesbian art exhibition “Hide/Seek” at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, and contains an 11-second segment that shows ants running on a crucifix.”
AP – “Rupert Murdoch on Tuesday challenged tight controls on media in the Middle East, calling censorship counterproductive and urging Arab leaders to allow their citizens the freedom to unleash their creativity…”In the face of an inconvenient story, it can be tempting to resort to censorship or civil or criminal laws to try to bury it. This is not only a problem here,” Murdoch said. “In the long run, this is counterproductive.”
NYT – “The Chinese government is taking a cautious approach to the dispute with Google, treating the conflict as a business dispute that requires commercial negotiations and not a political matter that could affect relations with the United States.”
NYTimes – “While China’s censorship policies are prompting Google to consider quitting its operations in the country, some technology companies see the restrictions as a golden business opportunity.”
Kentucky.com – “A dispute over books at Montgomery County High School has embroiled parents, teachers, students and others over the past several months, extending to authors and censorship groups at the national level. The continuing ruckus revolves around contemporary, young-adult novels that have been used in conjunction with classical works like The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and the epic poem Beowulf in some sophomore and senior accelerated English classes.
Kentucky.com – “Sharon Cook is either a hero or a villain. She is either due your thanks for doing everything in her power to protect children from obscenity or she is due your disdain for wantonly taking away the constitutional rights of the people of Jessamine County. She never meant to do the latter. She absolutely meant to do the former.”