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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Modern censors' motto is 'tolerance for me, but not for thee'

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Beltway Confidential,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,First Amendment,Freedom of Speech,Freedom of Religion,Duck Dynasty,Gay rights

This may come as a shock to many readers, but there was actually a time in America when censorship was common, particularly in the entertainment world.

When, for example, the "Gone With The Wind" script called for Rhett Butler to tell Scarlett O'Hara in the classic movie's closing scene that he didn't "give a damn" what she did, prior approval from the censors was required.

The censors could delete anything that violated the Motion Picture Production Code, which provided a lengthy list of things that could not be said or depicted on the silver screen.

Censors are back

Censorship was roundly criticized and lampooned in the 1960s and 1970s, so much so that it all but disappeared from Hollywood and elsewhere in American popular culture.

But censorship is very much alive and thriving in this country today, only now it is called "Political Correctness." Just ask Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson.

Robertson recently made the mistake of thinking the First Amendment still protects every American's right to speak his mind in public about any issue. Not in the PC world.

You can't say that!

In language not remotely as vulgar or hateful as is commonly heard in contemporary movies, rap songs and elsewhere, Robertson expressed his personal preference for heterosexuality and marital fidelity during an interview with GQ magazine.

His comments were instantly and bitterly condemned by a spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and other enforcers of PC orthodoxy.

The Arts and Entertainment channel promptly suspended Robertson, saying "we are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series 'Duck Dynasty.'"

GLAAD says on its website that it promotes "understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality." Evidently, some are more understood, accepted, and equal than others.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Editorial: Federal judge was right to reject Obama's "secret law" privilege claim.

Gregory Kane: There are worse things than not having a black Santa.

David Freddoso: The real Santa was bigger than the silly debate over his complexion.

Cal Thomas: It's important to strike the right balance between freedom and security.

Op-Eds/Bob McNair: America needs the Fair Tax, not more fiddling around with the tax code.

David M. Drucker: Why Mitch McConnell opposed the budget deal needed to keep the government open.

In other news

The Washington Post: Prosecutors delayed decision on filing charges against Virginia's McDonnell.

The New York Times: Panel urges Obama to curb NSA data-mining.

ABC News: Clinton says she will decide next year on 2016 White House run.

CNN: Diplomatic talks planned on arrest of Indian diplomat in New York.

Time Magazine: Data breach at Target affects 40 million.

Los Angeles Times: North Korean official said to have defected, in South Korea.

Righty Playbook

Hot Air: The new Romney documentary looks really ... good.

National Review Online: The young have been had.

The Weekly Standard: The congressman who says "no."

Bonus must-read

The Federalist: Necessary elitism and the demise of American higher education.

Lefty Playbook

Talking Points Memo: Sen. Rand Paul sees bigger threat in "lying James Clapper" than Snowden.

The American Prospect: Obama's last stand.

Washington Monthly: The high cost of mistreating the federal civil service.

Bonus must-read

New Republic: Richard Florida, Mr. Creative Class is now Mr. Rust Belt.

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