2013/11/13

Censor this? No, keep the press free

I just received a call to join a censorship campaign against Richard Cohen: Group Calls for the Washington Post to Fire Columnist Richard Cohen Over Remarks on Interracial Marriage

Outrage After Washington Post Columnist “Represses Gag Reflex” Discussing NYC Mayor de Blasio’s Interracial Marriage

Seems like some people get outraged awfully easily. Maybe they should just take a deep breath and learn to read. The sentences that caused the outrage I quote below.
  
Richard Cohen: Christie’s tea party problem - The Washington Post: "…People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all."

My response:

 (1) I don't see how de Blasio, Chirlane or anybody else could take offense; Cohen is not saying he gagged, but describing what he imagines (correctly, I fear) to be the reaction of "People with conventional [sic] views". Well, conventions are different in different places. Not the views of New Yorkers, obviously; they voted for him.
(2) And even if a columnist offends me, I'm not going to demand to shut him up, but rather to have an opportunity to reply. I'm with Voltaire on this principle.