Brandeis prof’s book bowdlerized by publisher


Brandeis politics professor Jytte Klausen’s new book on the 2005 Danish Muhammed cartoon controversy has been selectively censored by its publisher, the Yale University Press. The New York Times reports today that Yale ordered the images of the actual cartoons to be removed from the book.  Entitled The Cartoons That Shook The World, the book was intended to be the definitive account of the incident which caused riots and 200 deaths, as well as a worldwide debate over journalistic ethics. The Yale Press stated that the publishing of the actual cartoons in the context of a book about them “could be interpreted easily as gratuitous.” But even more controversially, Yale removed images of Muhammed other than the cartoons from the book, and furthermore told Prof. Klausen that it would only allow her to read the reasons for the decision if she agreed not to disclose them to anyone.

Personally,  I find the Yale Press’s action utterly unreasonable. Admittedly, I do not know the full reasoning behind the decision, since the Press will not disclose it. But seeing the cartoons is an important part of understanding the controversy about them, and the book will lose much of its value without being able to show its subject. I hope this decision is reversed or Prof. Klausen finds a new publisher.

Yale Press Bans Images of Muhammed in New Book by Jytte Klausen. The New York Times. August 12, 2009.

How Dumb Do They Think We Are?

I’ve been whining about newspapers for quite sometime, so I’m going to continue along that path today.

Here’s the good news: the Shapiro Campus Center now has a newspaper rack! With lots of free real-world newspapers! No longer will we have to rely upon the damnable Justice and Hoot for our information.

Here, however, is the bad news: All the newspapers are the USA Today. I know, right? If Hell exists, its newspaper racks are full of USA Todays. It’s a newspaper that is not only moronic, but proud of being moronic. At least the Wall Street Journal has pretensions. No newspaper has a smaller news-to-useless-infographic ratio than USA Today. Apparently Brandeis thinks we’re all completely stupid, and can’t handle the news unless it is delivered to us in Bright Colors and Big, Bold Headlines.

Here, take a look at the evidence I have captured: Continue reading “How Dumb Do They Think We Are?”