I am late in linking to it, but I wanted to reproduce this Armavirumque post in its entirety because I think it is dead on:
The other day we received a Penguin paperback edition of Lewis Lapham’s latest book Gag Rule: On the Supression of Dissent and the Stifling of Democracy. Here is the blurb, in part:
… Never before, Lapham argues, have voices of protest been so locked out of the mainstream conversation, so marginalized and muted by a government that recklessly disregards civil liberties, and by an ever more concentrated and profit-driven media in which the safe and salable sweep all uncomfortable truths from view.
Now in paperback.
By the editor of Harper’s Magazine.
Oh, will the supression ever end?
The martyr syndrome of far too many on the left is in high dungeon these days. Despite the fact that books, articles, blogs, etc. attacking President Bush are a dime a dozen, liberals insist that they are being repressed and silenced. Who says irony is dead.
Lapham’s complaint sounds as if he wants a liberal talk show host to have a weekly audience of 20 million, like Rush Limbaugh. Terribly unfair that none of them do. Censorship, I tell you!
From Publishers Weekly on Gag Rule: “Lapham also levels forceful criticism at our educational system: ‘An inept and insolent bureaucracy armed with badly written textbooks instills in the class the attitudes of passivity, compliance, and boredom.’ This, charges Lapham, results in schools producing citizens who blindly accept the pronouncements of their leaders.” Here, here. Wait, the department of education was founded by progressives, public schools are largely secular and often politicized, and the NEA is controlled by liberals. Is Lapham complaining that liberalism in the schools instills “passivity, compliance, and boredom”? I wonder if he supports teaching intelligent design along with evolution.