LIONEL PODCAST: The United States of the Easily Offended

The choke pear or pear of anguish is the modern name for a type of instrument displayed in museums, consisting of a metal body (usually pear-shaped) divided into spoon-like segments that could be spread apart by turning a screw. The museum descriptions and some recent sources assert that the devices were used either as a gag, to prevent people from speaking, or internally (let that marinate in your head for a while) as an instrument of unspeakable torture. Today, censorship from thought vigilantes has replaced this instrument.

It’s not the opinion but who says it. First, conventional geriatric, Jurassic, ossified and fossilized news media better realize that there’s a news explosion. And if you want to stick to the Cronkite model and that Berlin Wall of news versus commentary approach, you’re toast. Besides it’s not that commentary is verboten in news, it’s what and which commentary. To wit, if a reporter opines that a shooting was the result of yet another failure in gun laws or mindlessly trumpets bogus war data as the New York Times did anent Iraq, no sweat, no problem. It’s farcical to think that either a rhyme or reason exists to explain these rules.

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