Outrage over Troubled Waters censorship

Eric Hansen

I am outraged after having just read Molly Priesmeyer’s Sept. 15 Twin Cities Daily Planet article, and the follow-up article from Sept. 17, both of which uncover the details behind censorship of a film describing effects of agricultural on the Mississippi River that was to be shown at the University of Minnesota.
As a 1991 alumnus of the University, I hate to see how far the University will now go to kowtow to big business, and to engage in Orwellian newspeak, as in using language designed to diminish the range of thought. Using the guise of protecting the public from the scientific facts reported in the film, University administrators have unilaterally decided to pull the film’s release. Their reasoning? The facts reported suffer from somehow lacking in rigor, or being un-scientific.
The administrators’ ruse regarding a need to fact-check disregards and disrespects the intelligence of state citizens, faculty and students alike.
How often can this type of manipulation, dressed up as protection, be used with a straight face, when it is easily linked to a threat perceived by those holding the purse strings and the power to influence policy makers? How stupid do they think we are?
I urge all students and faculty to contact the Board of Regents and tell them to reject this censorship. When this type of censorship can so easily take place at the premier education institution in Minnesota, we take one more step toward living without dignity and toward lack of informed choice. This sickens me.
Eric Hansen, University alumnus