The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, January 17, 2004
 

Speech at Arctic temperature in Salem - where else?


If ever George Bush were minded to make full use of his War Power - suspend habeas corpus, ignore the Supreme Court, and so forth - his Ministry of Truth could do worse than take a squint at this piece in the Salem News for ideas for euphemisms to soften the blow for citizens with sensitive souls.

The Salem High School has, it seems, a bunch of feisty young newshounds, who have heard of prior restraint and are not above getting in touch with the ACLU when their copy is made subject to the administration's approval. The adviser for the school rag - The Witches' Brew - Pamela Herbert, has resigned from the role:
"I love my job at (Salem High School) and do not want to be accused of insubordination which, as (Superintendent Herbert) Levine clearly stated, would result in my termination," the adviser, Pamela Hebert, wrote to the school principal in a letter obtained by The Salem News. "I am too nervous to take the risk of continuing with the school newspaper."

Insubordination, might be discarded by the Ministry copytasters as being a little too reminiscent of uniforms - and jackboots.

Levine, though, gives excellent copy:
administrative oversight is not censorship
and
the school has a responsibility to ensure the newspaper's quality
and
to teach students the principles of good journalism.
and
It's whether or not something is balanced, whether or not something is well-researched
and
kids need to be directed and led in order to understand that there is a tremendous responsibility that goes with publishing a newspaper.

Not much adaptation needed by Ministry apparatchiks there, I fancy!

Unlike the wretched Herbert, Assistant Principal Sam Scuderi - the person now responsible for reviewing the Brew - is most definitely with the program. One would struggle, it seems, to get the proverbial tram-ticket between his position and Superintendent Levine's. How long, one wonders, will so helpful a Sam remain a mere Assistant?

He says
he would be looking for "grammatical things to begin with, but also just making sure things are factual..."
and
making sure the right representation is happening...

Now, really - anyone who'd argue with that would surely be downright...un-American. Now, wouldn't he?


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