Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ben Yagoda: Out of Touch


Here’s a curious column appearing this day in the Philadelphia Inquirer, a bankrupt newspaper:


Writer Ben Yagoda is fighting battles of fifty years ago. I guess it makes the battles fairly winnable. But where are newspaper columns from Ben Yagoda about the disappearance of Molly Norris?

The threat to free speech in America today doesn’t involve obscenity. Indeed, in this rather obscene society, one finds all the obscenity one can want. Four letter words have become regular discourse. The threat to free expression now comes from the advocates of political correctness, a viewpoint which demands that all speech be squelched which can possibly offend the sensibilities of specially-designated groups. In Molly Norris’s case, the religion of Islam, which meanwhile is busily squelching all contrary beliefs wherever it can. (57 Christians including two priests slaughtered in Baghdad Sunday. We fought a bloody war for that?)

We’re living in a world where down is up and up is down. Characters like Ben Yagoda are part of the problem. Look how bravely he defends D.H. Lawrence! 50 or 80 years after the fact when no risk is involved. About Molly Norris, from this defender of liberal principles, nary a word. 

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