West Virginia local newspaper denounces “book banning” - but then censors quotes from books in MassResistance op-ed submitted in rebuttal.
Newspaper editor defends censoring the quotes!
More absurd hypocrisy and shallow journalism from today’s media. But MassResistance fights back!
(Caution: Graphic language.)
May 24, 2023
Parents across the country struggle against schools and libraries to keep sexually explicit and pornographic books from being made available to children and teens.
But at the same time, left-leaning local newspapers routinely publish inflammatory editorials labeling the parents as “book banners” who are attempting to “violate the First Amendment” and stop children’s “freedom to read.”
These dishonest articles purposefully misrepresent what the books actually are by not including the sickening obscene content. The intent is to portray the parents as ignorant extremists to the rest of the community.
But MassResistance isn’t putting up with that!
Fighting the battle in Wood County, WV
For the last two years, we have been working with pro-family activists in Wood County, WV. They are fighting to remove the obscene children’s books from the county library and schools.
It’s been a tough fight. The librarian has fought hard to keep the books in. Rabid local LGBT groups are pressuring local officials to ignore the complaints. The district attorney refuses to file charges for violating the local obscenity statutes.
Local newspaper attacks parents
Since the pro-family activists were not giving up, the Left dredged up their next tactic.
On May 13, the county’s local newspaper, the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, published a vicious op-ed article attacking the parents titled, “School of Thought: Book banning, censorship solve nothing.” Among other things, it named MassResistance as an organization helping parents “work around the First Amendment to execute their agendas.”
The article was purportedly written by a high school girl. But the talking points came from left-wing organizations pushing obscene books and LGBT indoctrination. Among other things, it includes anti-parent tropes, a false interpretation of the First Amendment, the claim that “a small group of people” are trying to “censor” the entire community, and the idea that it’s up to parents to follow their children around the public library (or school library) to keep them away from porn.
But as usual, the girl’s article does not describe the obscenity that the parents are outraged about. Instead, she talks vaguely about “explicit themes” that might be “uncomfortable reading” for some people. As a result, “sensible” people should rightly question what the fuss is about. The column was infuriatingly dishonest.
Newspaper agrees to print rebuttal article from MassResistance
A local conservative college professor immediately alerted us to this attack on the pro-family parents in town. “We’re at war here,” he told us.
We contacted the newspaper. Since MassResistance is named in the article, the editor agreed to let Arthur Schaper, our national Field Director, submit an op-ed in rebuttal.
Arthur submitted this article, “MassResistance is pushing for Pornography Bans, not Book Bans.” The article focused on five issues.
- To inform the readers, Arthur included specific quotes from some of the obscene materials, including the books Flamer and Gender Queer, as well as mentioning obscene elements in other objectionable materials. These quotes are very powerful in explaining what is really at stake.
- Parents should not have to protect their children from pornography in public libraries and school classrooms.
- No one is banning books from the community. Parents don’t want pornography available to children in public schools and public libraries. Anyone is free to go to Amazon and purchase these materials on their own if they so choose.
- Explicit images and pornography cause long-term damage to children. Sixteen states have declared that pornography is a public health crisis.
- The Supreme Court has determined that removing obscenity is not unconstitutional.
Newspaper prints the MassResistance article – but removes the quotes from the obscene books!
On May 20, the newspaper published Arthur’s op-ed. However, the editor refused to include the quotes from the books, and instead just left a blank space.
Here’s what Arthur’s original article includes:
For example, this obscene passage (one of many) appears in the frequently challenged (and graphic) Gender Queer:
“I can’t wait to have your c*ck in my mouth. I’m going to give you the blow job of your life. Then I want you inside me.”
Here’s a passage from Flamer:
“I recognize that this doesn’t sound very sexy. But this is the reality of butt sex. With a little forethought I will make your sex sexier. This is a dude-dude pairing. It can get tricky.”
That book also depicts boys engaging in a “game” in which they masturbate into bottles, and whoever cannot “come” has to drink the contents of the bottle. Other books direct minors to seek sex with adults and normalize dangerous, destructive behaviors.
Here’s what the newspaper published:
For example, this obscene passage (one of many) appears in the frequently challenged (and graphic) “Gender Queer:”
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Schaper’s original work at this point quotes excerpts from and gives descriptions of passages in both “Gender Queer” and “Flamer,” which have been removed.]
Other books direct minors to seek sex with adults and normalize dangerous, destructive behaviors.
Thus, the newspaper’s readers were still not told exactly what the parents were outraged about.
Editor makes dishonest excuses on why the quotes were removed
Immediately after printing the MassResistance article, the editor, Christina Meyer, published an extremely offensive and accusative “explanation” of why she removed the quotes from the books.
A word for my readers who wonder why I fell into the trap laid by the submitter of a guest op-ed this weekend. The technique of including excerpts from a challenged book with the full knowledge that the editor of a newspaper will need to remove those excerpts – because a newspaper is widely distributed (and an editor has no way of knowing who might pick up and read a newspaper) – is frequently used.
It is meant as a way to "prove" that the chosen excerpts are, indeed, obscene and the books containing them should be removed from libraries, etc. But, of course, no such proof is made.
My belief is that it is not a double standard to remove such excerpts from an item that will be read by thousands of people who choose to read the newspaper this weekend, without prior knowledge of some of its content. To my mind this does not conflict with the belief that the same (or other) material should be available to a person who seeks it out and knows what they are about to read, if they so choose.
That's not mentioning possible copyright issues as well. [MR NOTE: This line was subsequently removed from the web edition.]
Yes, parents who are worried about what their children are consuming should monitor (to the best of their ability) what their children are reading. Parents and kids should have the freedom to have that discussion and make the decision that is best for them.
Christina Myers, editor
This is dishonest and offensive on many levels. First, Myers that she made the ridiculous claim that including the obscene quotes was a “trap” because Arthur allegedly “knew” that the newspaper would remove them. Of course that’s not true.
She said she can’t publish the quotes because “thousands of people will read this without prior knowledge of some of its content.” But that is exactly the point we are making. If it’s fine for minor children to read, why isn’t it fine for the adults in the community to see?
She claimed that there were “possible copyright issues” involved. When we showed her the federal laws regarding that, she was forced to admit she was wrong and actually removed that line from the web version of the article.
And finally she blames the parents for not policing their children because “parents and kids should have the freedom” to consume pornography in the public library.
The frightening part is that this woman actually believes this. Children can be scarred horribly for life by pornography and she has no problem with it. It’s hard for most people to comprehend the perverted mindset of so many people in our schools, libraries, government, corporations, and the media.
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