Ken Shepherd complains in a Feb. 11 NewsBusters post that "The Washington Post Style section mounted its latest favorite hobby horse again this morning with yet another article devoted to the controversial 'Hide/Seek' Smithsonian exhibit," but he mounts the MRC's favorite manufactured controversy hobby horse by denouncing the exhibit yet again.
Shepherd does at least acknowledge the MRC's role in manufacturing the controversy over the exhibit by noting that "NewsBusters sister organization CNSNews.com broke the story in late November that sparked the controversy." Shepherd then asserts that a video in the exhibit that the MRC's manufactured outrage caused to be removed was "offensive" -- as if that was an indisuputable fact and a universal view -- but he, like many of his MRC colleagues, do not explain the artist's intent with the video's imagery, which would place it in must eyes in a different light than the one the MRC has labored to paint it.
Shepherd complained that "The decision to remove the video was decried as censorship by liberal critics, a criticism magnified by the Post's Style section coverage of the row," concluding, "Of course, no one disputes the right of artists to free expression. The issue at hand is taxpayer sponsorship of offensive art, particularly art that is offensive to millions of religious Americans."
Well, actually, the MRC is very much attacking the idea of free expression. The MRC has a not-so-hidden anti-gay agenda, and its attack on the Smithsonian exhibit -- a collection of gay-themed portraiture -- is very much an attempt at censorship, something it actually accomplished by forcing the removal of the supposedly "offensive" video. The MRC is less offended by a single video than it is that gay-themed art was allowed to appear in public -- which statements by MRC chief Brent Bozell and other MRC officials have made all too clear. Shepherd should just admit it.
Further, Shepherd falsely claims that the art in question received "taxpayer sponsorship." In fact, the exhibit was assembled using private funds.