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Author Topic: Censorship
dantesparadigm
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I'm writing a regular editorial for my high school newspaper. Generally the point of view is conservative, but always in the bounds of rational discussion of issues. I'm always very careful about not crossing the line and becoming an ideologue. However my teacher is a Massachusetts uber-liberal fascist and he keeps hacking up my articles to skew my point and make me sound like a right wing nut job. Furthermore, in the heading to my article he's put more caveats than a Viagra commercial. Besides the gigantic bold editorial label, he's titled my column "Greg's World" and included the statement, "The ideas expressed in Greg's world are his own, and do not reflect the views of the Ranger (name of paper) or the administration." If that wasn't enough, he's taken it upon himself to change the titles to all my articles, ex. I wrote an article I called "The War on Christmas", it was changed to “The soul of America under siege from the Left”, a title sure to incite partisan ire. Am I just being paranoid, or do I need to march strait to Bill O'reilly and get this flower-fondling Kerry lover fired?
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Verily the Younger
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quote:
uber-liberal fascist
Neat trick.

At any rate, I would definitely complain. People with axes to grind have no place heading a school newspaper.

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Shan
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Threaten him with the ACLU.

Barring that, start your own underground rag.

Good luck!

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dantesparadigm
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Yeah, me and the ACLU aren't exactly on the best of terms, but the irony would almost be worth the hypocrisy.
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Tante Shvester
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I would talk to whoever was the head of the department (like his immediate superior), and show the article that you wrote and what was done to it. You can calmly and politely let the department head know that you feel that you are being misrepresented and improperly used. If nothing comes of it, then, by all means stop writing for the school paper. Perhaps you can put your journalistic talents and aspirations to better use by submitting an Op-Ed piece to your local newspaper.

quote:
flower-fondling
Be careful not to let this guy deflower you.
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SteveRogers
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I liked that suggestion to start your own underground newspaper. I'd do that. But it'd be hard as heck to get it popular enough to make printing it worth while.
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dantesparadigm
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It's only a 400-person school; I'm sure I could round up some like-minded folks and do a little good old-fashioned boat rocking. I probably wouldn't take it to a publisher. I never got the point of those gigantic sheets of paper anyway, something about a per-page tariff back in Britain. I could print off a few score pamphlet style issues, get a fan base, and then see where it goes. I love the idea. Plus it'll give me something to replace my complete lack of a social life with.
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Shan
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It's what I did in my high school days when my articles were tampered with . . . *grin*

Be wary, though - I ended up in front of the school board on that one . . . *whistles innocently*

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tern
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quote:
People with axes to grind have no place heading a school newspaper.
Unfortunately, they're usually the ones doing so.
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Chris Bridges
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Why make a paper? Go get some free web space and post your unedited columns there. Let the word go out that you can be found, untampered, online, and see if you can get a better readership.
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Kwea
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But he wants to be a "real" writer, not a internet hack....ahh, I mean, ahh....


[Wink]

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Shan
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Besides, how can you get in trouble (aka - known) by the school population if you don't hand out the paper to students on the spot?

C'mon, guys!

*grins*

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dantesparadigm
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I could easily just post everything online. I have the copies of the originals and everything, but that would sort of kill the point of making that book-burning Nazi suffer. Maybe I should just torch his car, you know, take the high road out.
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Tante Shvester
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Before you judge anyone, you should walk a mile in his shoes.

That way, you'll be a mile away. And you'll have his shoes.

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Rappin' Ronnie Reagan
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quote:
I could easily just post everything online. I have the copies of the originals and everything, but that would sort of kill the point of making that book-burning Nazi suffer. Maybe I should just torch his car, you know, take the high road out.
Or, you know, you could try being a little more mature.
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dantesparadigm
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You're right. Perhaps he doesn't even realize what he's doing. His brain is probably just clouded by liberal propaganda and he thinks he's being fair. I'll just try talking to him about it, and if that doesn't work I'll whip out the Molotov cocktails.
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James Tiberius Kirk
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quote:
"The ideas expressed in Greg's world are his own, and do not reflect the views of the Ranger (name of paper) or the administration."
Sounds standard to me.

--j_k

[edit] Right. Upon reading your last post, I have to wonder if you're just nuts, an old poster who's baiting us, or actually serious.

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Rappin' Ronnie Reagan
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quote:
You're right. Perhaps he doesn't even realize what he's doing. His brain is probably just clouded by liberal propaganda and he thinks he's being fair. I'll just try talking to him about it, and if that doesn't work I'll whip out the Molotov cocktails.
Nope, still not mature.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by dantesparadigm:
You're right. Perhaps he doesn't even realize what he's doing. His brain is probably just clouded by liberal propaganda and he thinks he's being fair. I'll just try talking to him about it, and if that doesn't work I'll whip out the Molotov cocktails.

If this is a fair example of what you write, perhaps his title IS better...
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dantesparadigm
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I'm sorry, it really isn't. I'm just bitter because he's being so partisan about the whole thing. I don't like it when people are so ardently democratic or republican that they evaluate each issue with an agenda: trying to prove their subscribed ideology correct. It’s the enemy of truth and I'm going to set his car on fire.
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quidscribis
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Yeah, still mature. [Roll Eyes]

It's one thing to take issue with the person for, as you put it, mutilating your articles. It's a whole other ballgame to threaten harm or destruction of property.

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JTruant711
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Chances are that if your opinion is one that the community holds, you can get together a petition from the community to get him fired. Otherwise, I would just go ahead and shut my mouth; because chances are that no matter how clever you might be, you probably aren't impressing him or anyone else.

If it makes you feel better, burn the car down, but I wouldn't advise that as being clever or subtle. Though you would definately be on the extreme right. You anarchist. [Smile]

At least you would get an article published if you burned his car down... I'm joking. Seriously. I'm joking......

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aspectre
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"Am I just being paranoid"

Yep. "The ideas expressed in [column/etc title] are his own, and do not reflect the views of the (name of paper [radio/TVstation / etc or its management] ) or the administration" is a standard disclaimer for opinion columnists.
And megalomaniacal if you think your opinion does automaticly represent the view of your school.

"do I need to march strait to Bill O'reilly and get this flower-fondling Kerry lover fired?"

No wonder ya need an editor.

Definitely delusional in thinking that Bill O'Reilly ain't a whacko, in thinking that O'Reilly is that powerful.
And definitely paranoid in thinking that "he's titled my column 'Greg's World' " is an insult. Even O'Reilly had to put in years of work before he had a column/show named after himself.
So essentially you're whinin' cuz your school's newspaper advisor/teacher is so liberal that he not only publishes your column, but gives you the headline.

"me and the ACLU aren't exactly on the best of terms"

Again pointing toward paranoia. The ACLU habitually defends the free speech rights of paranoid&delusional rightwing groups like NAMBLA and nazis from the tyranny of the majority and/or of governmental(ly funded) bodies. So it would defend you, IF ya had a leg to stand on.

"making that book-burning Nazi suffer. Maybe I should just torch his car, you know, take the high road out.
I'll just try talking to him about it, and if that doesn't work I'll whip out the Molotov cocktails.
I'm just bitter because he's being so partisan...I'm going to set his car on fire.
"

The only slightly legitimate complaint ya have is that he changes the titles of your columns. And editors do that all the time.
Basicly, you are so partisan that you are threatening to burn his car for standard editorial practices. Basicly, your desire is to commit nazi-like misdeeds to intimidate your school's newspaper advisor into agreeing that your opinions are your school's opinions.

While there is the right to free speech, terrorist threats such as yours can be interpreted as crossing the line into illegality. Due to school incidents of the recent past, the courts are especially likely to view threats of violence made by students as over the line.

Fortunately for you, the ACLU would probably defend ya in court if ya get canned and/or jailed for making these threats.
However, the courts would probably disagree with the ACLU in this case.

[ November 30, 2005, 10:44 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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Megan
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quote:
and make me sound like a right wing nut job.
After reading this entire thread, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the above (i.e., sounding like a nut job) is something you're likely doing all by yourself.
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Will B
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The ACLU won't help if you try to break liberal censorship; they promote that. FIRE would help. But I'm not sure you have a case. You don't have a legal right to have your opinions un-edited.

You might, however, print out unexpurgated copies of your editorial and hand them out, so people can see what's been done.

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dantesparadigm
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Just to make it quite clear to everyone I was kidding about setting his car on fire, I'm not that upset. My real problem isn't with his changing of the tiles, that was just a pithy example, it's with his skewing of the content and the theme. I'll settle for one of the less extreme solutions to the problem and hopefully we can just move on. Thanks for your input everyone.
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Tante Shvester
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Is it possible for us to read a sample of your work, and what was done to it? It is easier to make a judgement if we have the evidnece before us, and not just the hearsay.
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dantesparadigm
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Here is an excerpt from a column on secularist attacks on religious expression.

BEFORE
The far left wing secularists are determined to push their agenda on everyone else more so than any religious group in America. They use propaganda, backdoor politics, and legislation from the bench to force their belief on an unwilling populace. They’re entirely intolerant of religious expression in any public forum, and they make it quite clear with the ACLU's scathing attacks on Christmas, and the continued persecution of religious students in our nations’ schools.

AFTER
The democrats are determined to force their secularist beliefs on everyone in America. They’re worse than any religious group ever was with their use of propaganda, backdoor politics, and legislation from the bench to force their belief on an unwilling populace. They’re entirely intolerant of religious expression in public and they make it quite clear with the Democrat’s attempt to destroy Christmas and their opposition to religious expression n public schools.

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Uprooted
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Hmmm. Some of it is editing for clearer expression.

But I don't think that substituting "Democrats" for "far left wing secularists" or "ACLU" are valid changes in a column that has been clearly labeled as your opinion. Unless he asked you if you meant "Democrats" and you said yes.

But I'm with the others on changing headlines and qualifiers about "not the views of the administration" being standard form.

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aspectre
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Are you sure of your advisor's politics? Cuz substituting 'Democrats' for 'far left wing secularists' and the 'ACLU' sounds more like the work of an ardent neo"conservative"Republican.

That or your advisor is assuming that an average Massachusetts citizen leans to the extreme left of most NewYorkCity dwellers and WestCoast coastal-city residents.

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TomDavidson
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I'm inclined to agree. His edits actually make your columns MORE partisan and less reasonable. I'd protest.
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Pelegius
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Note: Liberal and Fascist are antonyms.

Thank you.

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ambyr
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quote:
The ACLU won't help if you try to break liberal censorship; they promote that
Oh, nonsense. Just skimming briefly through the ACLU website . . .

September 20, 2005: ACLU of New Jersey joins lawsuit supporting second-grader's right to sing "Awesome God" at a talent show.

November 9, 2004: ACLU of Nevada defends a Mormon student who was suspended after wearing a T-shirt with a religious message to school.

February 21, 2003: ACLU of Massachusetts defends students punished for distributing candy canes with religious messages.

July 11, 2002: ACLU supports right of Iowa students to distribute Christian literature at school.

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Will B
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Macon, GA: The ACLU threatens a billboard owner with lawsuit if he doesn't take down the ad saying "abortion is murder." Billboard owner backs down.

Richmond, VA: The ACLU threatens the State of Virginia with lawsuit if it allows a "Choose Life" license plate. (Virginia allows groups to make license plate designs and buy license plates with those designs. Nature Conservancy; James Madison University; some group with the slogan "Kids First.") The State backs down.

It's pretty amazing that someone would find the ultimate authority on things embarrassing to the ACLU to be . . . the ACLU web site! But such is Internet.

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Kwea
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Actually, he said they might consider supporting him, and that they side with people on both sides of those issues at times...


Which is supported by both of your posts/quotes, isn't it?


Perhaps they decide things not on a partisan basis but on the merits of each specific case.


I know, quaint, isn't it?

[Roll Eyes]

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TL
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That's crazy. You mean the ACLU isn't actually the devil?
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Kwea
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Nope...nor are they an angel.


They back all sorts of unpopular issues on a regular basis, actually.

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TL
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I know a lot of Republicans who would literally fight you for saying that. (That being: the ACLU is not the devil.)
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TL
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dante,

I think the least this dude could do, now that he's running the little line that says that your opinions aren't neccessarily anyone else's opinion, etc -- is let you state your opinion without the editing.

Have you actually talked to him about this? Have you actually said, 'dude, don't mess with my column anymore'?

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dantesparadigm
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I have talked to him about it and he gave me some BS about how he was making it so everyone could understand what I am trying to say. I replied that what you think I am trying to say and what I am trying to say are two very different things and if you don't understand my opinion I’ll try to clarify it but don’t change it to make me sound like a partisan hack. Then he developed a pompous I'm the editor/teacher attitude and it’s my paper and walked away in a huff. Then I told the administration about it and they said that he’s allowed to change the articles and that I shouldn’t make a big deal about it.
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TL
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If that's the case I'd stop writing the columns immediately. Quit the class, or whatever you have to do.

My guess is that your teacher doesn't think you're smart enough to differentiate between shades of gray. He's probably changing all that stuff to "Democrat" because he thinks that's what you really mean, and he's trying to prove some kind of point.

No matter what his reasons are, I can't see how it's productive for you to continue to have your words twisted and your meanings obfuscated.

I'd never allow my name to be put on something if I knew some jackass had edited the substance of my writing.

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TL
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Or maybe your next column should be all about how he edits all your columns to make you sound partisan, and see if he's too chicken to run it.

It might be fun to see how reasonable you can sound while writing stuff he'd be too scared to print, in any form.

That way you can at least still get credit for the class, and if he flunks you or something, *then* you've really got an issue that he's playing politics, considering the fact that you've actually been doing the work.

And it might be a delightful challenge to see if you can stay strictly within the guidelines he gives you while at the same time writing stuff he can't possibly print -- not because of the quality of the writing, but because of his own stupid biases.

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Steev
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quote:
Originally posted by dantesparadigm:
Here is an excerpt from a column on secularist attacks on religious expression.

BEFORE
The far left wing secularists are determined to push their agenda on everyone else more so than any religious group in America....

AFTER
The democrats are determined to force their secularist beliefs on everyone in America....

Wow! I had no idea I was a secularist trying to do such things. I though I was a Christian. If that is what Democrat's stand for than I'm in the wrong party!

This teacher really comes across as having an agenda plain and simple. But if he doesn’t really know what the difference between a “far left-wing secularist” and a Democrat is then it could be just plain ignorance and in that case I would understand his point. He is just trying to simplify a concept to the best of his understanding. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the case. Many times in my life I have found that I was much smarter than the teacher. And, unfortunately, I learned that confronting them directly never amounted to anything productive.

If you started your own paper I wonder how long it would take before the teacher and administration had you expelled. Then you would definitely have a case for the ACLU.

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dantesparadigm
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That's what I'd think upon first impression as well, but he really isn't a dumb guy. I think he's making a calculated decision to ruin any credibility I might have. I've already got some people started on other articles, I will be writing one on censorship, and the anti-Ranger should be out before Christmas. [Wink]
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Orincoro
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I would only presume to caution you Dante, that just because this teacher is a self styled liberal, or as you somewhat blithly stated "an uber-liberal fascist," this does not mean he is one.

What I mean to say is that often times, such as in the case of your teacher, a person is just plain fanatical, doesn't understand the inherent ethical contridictions in hacking up the work of others and lying cheating, or stealing to get what they want, which is simply some small power (in your case the power of a small minded teacher over a strong willed student).

Its quite easy for the demogougs to yell about how they "stand for ______" but often times, they do not even understand their own positions, and simply espouse their views as a way of garnering some kind of acknowledgment. Unfortunately, like many you have been misled by the rhetoric of both the right and left; but specifically by the right to beleive that the "uber-left" (a meaningless term IMO) is somehow fascist (never mind fascism is extreme conservatism).

My point is that the loudest and most extreme voices in politics, insert anyone you see as "extreme," and that person will be willing to abandon all of those views the moment he/she needs to in order to win. For this reason, these "uber" extreme people are, like Kurtz, Hitler, Stalin or a hundred other human tragedies, indescriminately hungry for nothing but the thrill of power.

Its the sadest part of politics, and the one human quality that guarantees we fail when it comes to choosing leaders, to paraphrase Orwell "the party exists for the thrill of power, pure power, if you want a picture of the human condition, imagine a boot stomping on a human face. Forever."

This may seem removed from the situation with your fascist teacher, (what a jerk by the way), but essentially he is nothing but a small time dictator. The nice thing about this is that you are going to grow up to be better than him, and you'll get a nice laugh knowing that just because he's a teacher, doesn't mean he is smarter than you.

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