Sunday, November 27, 2005
Swoon Over His Ciggy
No Smokes For You
KANSAS CITY (AP) - "A recent change in the photo of a well-known children's book illustrator to remove a cigarette from his hand has drawn criticism from a Kansas City bookstore.
Pete Cowdin, owner of Reading Reptile, said he noticed the change about six weeks ago while selling a copy of "Goodnight Moon," a popular classic written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd that was first published in 1947.
The photograph of Hurd published in the book for years showed him with a cigarette in his right hand, but in new copies brought out recently by HarperCollins Publishers, the cigarette has been digitally removed.
Cowdin, surprised by the change, reacted by setting up a Web site, www.goodnightreality.com, to protest what he says is censorship.
"This is one of the best-selling kids books of all time," he said. "There are certain responsibilities and obligations on the part of the publisher as a steward - not just a marketer - to what I consider an archival document. To go in and do something like that is the pinnacle of arrogance."
The company defends the altered photo. Kate Morgan Jackson, editor-in-chief for HarperCollins Children's Books, said the company contends the issue is about smoking.
"One of our responsibilities is to make sure we are publishing" the book "the right way throughout the ages and making it healthy for every generation," she said.
Cowdin includes both versions of the photo on his Web site and ask readers to vote "smoke" or "no smoke."
While saying "everybody agrees" that smoking is bad, Cowdin said changing the photo suggests that Hurd is "attendant to some moral lapse," although the photo was taken decades ago when attitudes about smoking were different."
Doesn't matter WHEN the pic was taken, or how different the attitudes were, it's simply the epitome of nonsense to perform an edit just for the sake of pc'ness.
What's next? Pics of Patton sans the ivory handle revolver because folks today are more afraid of guns? Or better yet, how's about the old shots of FDR with his long-ass cigarette holders? Edit him too?
It's called rewriting history you asswipes, and a form of censorship so vile that if you were told to do so you'd put up as much of fuss as your little selves could muster. Lord almighty but what must it BE like to live in such constant fear of EVERY thing.
Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the link and the picture of the now smokeless illustrator.