In one of the comments to my last post, Elizabeth Liddle writes: “If Nick Matzke or any ‘liberal’ lays so much as a match to a children’s library book I shall be the first to protest.”
Yet Liddle refuses to condemn Matzke for his efforts to suppress the publication of the papers from a conference before he had ever seen, much less read, them, which, of course, has the exact same effect as burning the books before they are distributed. She dismisses this as “editorial judgment,” writing:
To call . . . censorship merely “editorial judgement” would indeed be “Orwellian”. But to call the requirement that scientific papers meet a minimum standard of rigor before they are endorsed by a scientific imprint “censorship” is a kind of reverse Orwellianism – renaming something perfectly benign to associate it with something evil.
How could Matzke have known that the papers did not meet a minimum standard of rigor if he had not seen them? The answer is, of course, he could not. His purpose was to suppress the publication of the papers regardless of their merit (or lack thereof). Will you condemn him now Dr. Liddle?
Covering jackbooted thuggery with doublespeak is a sure sign of incipient fascism.
UPDATE: O’Leary puts it far better than I:
Elizabeth Liddle has written, “If Nick Matzke or any ‘liberal’ lays so much as a match to a children’s library book I shall be the first to protest.”
Touching. Heart warming. The typical fellow traveller of idea censors always denies the charge, pointing to some situation that would induce her to protest – except that that situation isn’t happening, and wouldn’t much matter if it did happen. No one harms the cause of ideas or even literacy by buying a children’s book at a garage sale and burning it, to make a statement. Liddle supports the kind of censorship that actually matters and then defends herself by preening about what doesn’t. What surprises me is why she would even bother. She supports censorship of evidence and theory from which she dissents. Period. It’s common enough, and growing more common. In many circles, it is a source of pride.
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