Book-banning in a digital age

Last week Amazon deleted copies of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm from some of their customers' Kindles.This has happened before. In June, Amazon deleted some Ayn Rand titles. And it's happened with Harry Potter titles as well. Amazon's defense is pretty believable; they said the copies were pirated and that they were only acting to protect intellectual property. But as Farhad Manjoo at Slate says, "The Orwell incident was too rich with irony to escape … [Read more...]

The ‘F’ word

As right-wing political dominance wanes, politicians, pundits, and activists are waxing nostalgic for progressive policies of yesteryear — shaking loose the mothballs, dusting off the attic cake, looking for the polishing kit. One of these policies is the Fairness Doctrine, which mandated that one broadcast opinion should be balanced by competing views.Though jettisoned in 1985, it was the law for decades, going back clear to 1949. The policy, which was enforced by the Federal Communications C … [Read more...]