Somewhere around 1996, my brother’s chess column in The Age was still funny (later he was forced to follow an editorial policy that it should have chess in it). The Australian team’s form was dismal and during the summer cricket season he included the following in his column:
Person calls the MCG.
‘I’d like to talk to Mark Taylor please.’
‘He’s just gone out to bat. Can you call back in 5 minutes?’
Hilarious, right? BUT HE WASN’T ALLOWED TO PRINT IT. His editor said that there was a general directive that it wasn’t permitted to pick on the Australian cricket team.
Just think about that for a moment….a chess column isn’t allowed to have a joke about the Australian cricket team in it because the team’s sensitive about their image.
Then extrapolate and extrapolate some more and consider just how much of what you read in the press must be censored beyond recognition and meaning – I’m assuming that if the heavy hand of censorship strikes in such an insignificant way, it must also be having a huge effect on things that actually matter…
Speaking of things that matter. Cricket? What’s that? We Swiss folk live in ignorant bliss.