The book-ban­ners Hol­ly­wood ig­nores

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

Have you ever heard Hol­ly­wood lib­er­als talk about sus­pected Is­lamic ji­hadists the way they talk about sus­pected Repub­li­can “book-ban­ners”? The Septem­ber 11 ter­ror­ist at­tacks didn’t turn celebrity left­ists into hawks. But the minute they started read­ing false ru­mors about Sarah Palin re­strict­ing un­fet­tered ac­cess to “Daddy’s Room­mate” and “Heather Has Two Mommies” in her home­town li­brary, Tin­sel­town’s docile doves be­came mil­i­tant war­mon­gers.

Ac­tor Matt Da­mon, par­rot­ing left-wing In­ter­net lies about Sarah Palin cen­sor­ing nov­els while mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, took a de­fi­ant stand against the “ter­ri­fy­ing pos­si­bil­ity” of a McCain-Palin victory. “We can’t have” book-ban­ning, he in­veighed.

And now we know what keeps fem­i­nist play­wrights like Eve Ensler (“The Vagina Mono­logues“) awake at night. Not Ira­nian nu­clear am­bi­tions or al Qaeda be­head­ing videos. She is haunted by night­mares of Bi­ble-thump­ing, book-burn­ing Sarah Palin. A McCain/Palin ticket “is one of the most danger­ous choices” of her life­time, Ensler seethed in her vi­ral call-toarms e-mail, be­cause “Sarah Palin does not much be­lieve in think­ing,” The ev­i­dence: “From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the li­brary, has a ten­dency to dis­pense with peo­ple who think in­de­pen­dently. She can­not tol­er­ate an en­vi­ron­ment of am­bi­gu­ity and dif­fer­ence.”

Clas­sic pro­jec­tion. Mr. Da­mon, Ms. Ensler and the anti-cen­sor­ship cru­saders are the un­think­ing ones who can’t tol­er­ate in­de­pen­dence, am­bi­gu­ity and dif­fer­ence. The ru­mor­mon­gers con­tinue to spread a bo­gus banned book list at­trib­uted to Mrs. Palin that in­cludes books not even pub­lished at the time she served as mayor. No city records cor­rob­o­rate In­ter­net re­ports that she tried to keep anti-ho­mo­sex­ual books, as gay lob­by­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions have claimed, or any other books off gov­ern­ment-funded li­brary shelves avail­able to chil­dren.

And even if she did in­quire about the process, so what? Reg­u­lat­ing age-ap­pro­pri­ate con­tent is only alarm­ing to the same kind of civil lib­er­ties ex­trem­ists who op­pose rea­son­able fil­ter­ing of sex­u­ally ex­plicit ma­te­rial in pub­lic spa­ces Who is scarier: hockey moms who want to put tax-sub­si­dized books about les­bian cou­ples out of reach of kinder­garten­ers or Hol­ly­weird ide­o­logues who want to en­sure that home­less peo­ple can surf porn web­sites in your neigh­bor­hood li­brary?

If book ban­ning is such a life­and-death is­sue to th­ese celebrity foot sol­diers for free speech, where were they four years ago when John Kerry and his ra­bid min­ions were pres­sur­ing Reg­n­ery Pub­lish­ing to with­draw “Un­fit for Com­mand” from book­stores? Where were they when mem­bers of the Bor­ders Books Em­ployee Union were openly ad­vo­cat­ing sab­o­tag­ing book sales? A mes­sage on the union’s mem­bers-only web­site urged:

“You guys don’t ac­tu­ally HAVE to sell the thing!

“Just ‘care­lessly’ hide the boxes, ‘ac­ci­den­tally’ drop them off pal­lets, ‘for­get’ to stock the ones you have, and then sug­gest a nice Al Franken or Michael Moore book as a sub­sti­tute [. . . ]

“I don’t care if th­ese Ne­an­der­tals (sic) in fancy suits get mad at me, they aren’t reg­u­lar cus­tomers any­way. Other than ‘Left Be­hind’ books, they don’t read. Any­thing you can do to make them feel un­wel­come is only fair. They are the peo­ple push­ing re­tail­ers to cut costs, don’t for­get. And they would cen­sor your speech, your books, your mu­sic in a heart­beat, so give them a taste of it!”

Where were they when left­wing hit­man David Brock of Me­dia Mat­ters for Amer­ica sent a de­mand let­ter to Wal-Mart, Ama­ and Barnes & Noble urg­ing them to pull “Un­fit for Com­mand” from their shelves?

Where were they two years ago when two Demo­crat law­mak­ers, New Jer­sey Assem­bly­women Joan Quigley and Linda Stender, called on mer­chants to ban the sale of Ann Coul­ter’s book, “God­less,” be­cause of her re­marks about anti-Bush 9/11 wid­ows. “No one in New Jer­sey should buy this book and al­low Ann Coul­ter to profit from her hate-mon­ger­ing,” the politi­cians lashed out. “We are ask­ing New Jer­sey re­tail­ers statewide to stand with us and ex­press their out­rage by re­fus­ing to carry or sell copies of Coul­ter’s book. Her hate-filled at­tacks on our 9-11 wid­ows has no place on New Jer­sey book­shelves.”

Where were they in 2005, when a Uni­ver­sity of North Carolina law pro­fes­sor, Eric Muller, called on his blog read­ers to get one of my books banned from a na­tional parks book­store? Where were they when J. Mil­lard Burr and Robert O. Collins’s “Alms for Ji­had” was banned in Bri­tain; Robert Spencer’s “The Truth about Muham­mad” was banned in Pak­istan; and “The Jewel of Mad­ina” was banned, well, ev­ery­where?

And where are they now? Stew­ing in their sa­lons and screen­writ­ing rooms. Con­coct­ing hor­ror sto­ries about ter­ri­fy­ing Chris­tian con­ser­va­tive bo­gey­men who threaten peace, tol­er­ance, in­de­pen­dent thought, am­bi­gu­ity and dif­fer­ence. Pat­ting them­selves and each other on the backs as the valiant pro­tec­tors of dis­sent.

(But only the kind with which they agree, of course. Sh­h­hhh.)

Michelle Malkin is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

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