Tag Archives: Censorship

Two Items from The National Coalition Against Censorship

1) NCAC, Free Speech Groups Criticize M.D. Library’s “Porn” Ban – “The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) united with other freedom of expression organizations again today on behalf of E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey (Vintage), this time in Harford County, Maryland. In a joint letter (below) issued to the county library’s board, NCAC has arrayed co-signers representing publishers, authors, booksellers and journalists from across the nation to urge Harford County to reconsider the thinking behind its generic ban on “porn,” a subjectively and selectively defined category.”

2) NCAC Unites Orgs in Support of “The Family Book” in Erie, I.L. – “Following the ban of Todd Parr’s The Family Book (Little, Brown and Company) in Erie, Illinois, seven organizations have joined with the Kids’ Right to Read Project to oppose the decision. The Kids Right to Read Project is a joint effort of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), In a letter sent to the Erie School Board, NCAC and other free expression defenders criticized the district’s decision to ban the book and other materials endorsed by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). In doing so, the letter says, it acquiesced to religiously-motivated complaints by some parents at the expense of the rest of the community.

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McEntee: Author of bounced book explains its genesis

“Patricia Polacco, whose children’s book In Our Mothers’ House got bounced from a Davis County elementary school library shelf to “behind the counter,” wants to make one thing clear: The book did not belong in the kindergarten-third grade section.

Rather, she says, it should have been on the fourth-grade-and-up shelves, where curious kids might read it and spark a good discussion with their families at the dining room table.”

via The Salt Lake Tribune

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No Censorship in Texas Prison Ban on Some Books

Courthouse News – “Texas corrections facilities did not violate the First Amendment by banning certain books that graphically describe rape, child abuse and race relations in the prison system, the 5th Circuit ruled. Prison Legal News, a nonprofit advocate of inmate rights, filed suit over five books banned by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), under a book-review policy that the parties agree is constitutional. TDCJ has approved about 80,000 of more than 92,000 books sent to its inmates, according to database records.”

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Sister Farley’s revenge: Want to popularize a book? Ban it

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.”

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Harford County librarian comfortable with her decision not to carry “Fifty Shades of Grey”

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.”

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NCAC and ACLU Demand Return of “Fifty Shades”

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.”

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Missouri School District Questioned Over Anti-Gay Web Filter

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.”

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Creators of Museum of Censored Art receive intellectual-freedom award

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.”

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Murdoch to Arabs: censorship is counterproductive

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.”

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China Paints Google Issue as Not Political

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.”

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