YALE OPTS FOR CENSORSHIP
Catalyst October Issue 2009
Yale University has disgraced itself. Even those with no connection to the prestigious Ivy League institution are rightly angry at the hypocrites who run the university. Here’s what happened.
In 2006, a Danish newspaper printed some inoffensive cartoons of Muhammad. None was obscene and none came close to the kind of incredibly disgusting portrayals of Catholicism that the Catholic League has tackled. But some Muslims didn’t like any depiction of their prophet. So they murdered and otherwise plundered innocent people around the globe; one was a nun who was shot in the back.
The western media, which reprints ugly, insulting pictures of Jesus and Our Blessed Mother in newspapers, and shows them on television, decided to bury the cartoons. Quite frankly, they feared for their heads. So they opted for censorship. That was cowardly and duplicitous, but it was nothing compared to what Yale did.
Yale University Press, owned by the school, offered a contract to a female professor from Brandeis University for her book, The Cartoons That Shook the World. But there were some caveats: what a panel of experts told her about the propriety of publishing the actual cartoons in the book had to be kept a secret; and the cartoons themselves would not be reprinted in the book. The author, Jytte Klausen, did not agree to the gag rule but she reluctantly went along with the decision not to reprint the cartoons.
One of the experts who defended the decision to censor the cartoons is Fareed Zaharia, editor of Newsweek International and a host on CNN. To say his credibility as an independent journalist is shot would be an understatement.
How dumb is Yale? Did the savants who run the joint actually think there would be no protest over a decision to publish a book about cartoons sans the cartoons?
It’s not just the panel of advisors at Yale who sold out—the faculty is just as much to blame. Can anyone imagine the reaction if Yale University Press decided not to publish anti-Catholic cartoons? Of course, it would never happen. It’s just Muslims the phonies fear.
Was it really fear that motivated Yale to practice censorship? Maybe. But some are wondering whether it was a subtle form of bribery: it is no secret that elite colleges and universities are getting tons of money from Muslims overseas.
Whatever the reason, we don’t ever want to hear a free speech lecture from Yale officials if they decide to host an anti-Catholic play or exhibition on campus. We know what they’re made of and it’s not a pretty sight.