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Censorship '04: Hushing critics by Ellis Henican edited version September 12, 2004 Kitty Kelley's new book contains embarrassing tidbits about Geo

Censorship '04: Hushing critics

by Ellis Henican

edited version

September 12, 2004

Kitty Kelley's new book contains embarrassing tidbits about George W. Bush and his extended family.

Don't bother addressing them! Just pressure the TV networks to cancel the author's interviews!

A new exhibit at Pittsburgh's Andy Warhol Museum includes gripping prison photos from Abu Ghraib.

Don't discuss their meaning or debate the war in Iraq! Get busy trying to cancel the exhibit!

A group of veterans buys TV time to smear John Kerry's service in Vietnam.

Don't answer the smears! Don't smear back! Demand the TV ads be thrown off the air!

The Kelley book, "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty," being released Tuesday by Random House's Doubleday. The contents are embargoed, but some juicy details have begun to leak out, including a claim that W. snorted coke at Camp David when Poppy was president.

The counterattack has already begun, and the usual denials are only part of it. NBC News president Neil Shapiro says he's gotten calls from White House officials seeking to kill Kelley's promotional interviews on "Today," "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and other NBC shows.

I trace the beginning of the recent surge to the decision by CBS last year to dump a TV movie about Ronald Reagan just days before it was scheduled to air.

CBS crumbled not because network executives thought the movie was any worse than the usual dreck of TV movies. The Black Rock suits caved because of pressure from well-organized Reagan idolaters, who insisted he be depicted only as some kind of plaster saint.

You see what happens when the censor wins? They always come back for more.

And so they have.

Demanding movie theaters pull Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." Leaning on a small museum in Pittsburgh. Even trying to keep Kitty Kelley off the air.

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