I'm a little behind on the brouhaha in San Antonio with that library director at the University of the Incarnate Word cancelling the print subscription to the New York Times because of its exposure of the Feds monitoring international money transfers. Especially since the subscription has been reinstated.
However, there was a hilarious quote from one of the shocked Incarnate staffers that can't go unmolested:
“The censorship is just unspeakable,” said staffer Jennifer Romo. “There is no reason, no matter what your beliefs, to deny a source of information to students.”
I bet she had a really furious, selfrighteous look when she said that, too.
This is amusing for so many reasons. First, of course, for the assumption that a library not subscribing to something is censorship. I searched the Incarnate Word catalog, and couldn't find People magazine. Are they censoring People? How else are the students to find out the latest celebrity gossip? Tell me that, Miss Missy! Someone should inform Ms. Romo that by that definition her relatively tiny library is censoring about 98% of the material published in the country.
The second sentence may be even more hilarious. No reason to deny a source of information to students? There are plenty of reasons as a matter of fact. Money, or lack thereof, is an important one. There are also other reasons. Incarnate Word doesn't subscribe to Hustler magazine, either. Why not, I wonder? According to Ms. Romo there cannot possibly be a reason. She should recommend a subscription to Hustler immediately!
However, the really funny thing is the bizarre assumption that anyone was denied anything. According to this followup article, the library cancelled the print subscription. How many of those students use the print copy of the NYT? Probably not many, and if at all probably only for the latest issue. The Annoyed Librarian conducted some of the rigorous investigative journalism for which she is so famous, and discovered the little known fact that the latest couple of weeks of the Times is FREE on the Web! I'm sure the enraged staffer would have felt better knowing that.
[I should note before someone else does that not all of the NYT is free on the web. There is of course that "Times Select" thing where they try to get you to pay extra for their always fascinating and completely surprising opinion columns. Whatever the issue, you can be sure that Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, Bob Herbert, and Tom Friedman will have a completely fresh perspective you would never have guessed beforehand. For those poor sods out there who especially miss Bob Herbert, though, I suggest you check out the totally free Automatic Bob Herbert.]
Also, the Annoyed Librarian discovered the Incarnate Word subscribes to Lexis-Nexis, which, as many of you might know, has the NYT in full text for the past 20 years.
Who exactly was being denied what information?