>I’m having some trouble with PW editor Sara Nelson’s hand-wringing over the use of King & King by advocates of California’s Proposition 8, which this past Tuesday overturned the right of gay couples to get married in that state. Nelson was upset by a TV ad produced by the Yes on 8 campaign that featured a Massachusetts couple, Robb and Robin Wirthlin, who objected to King & King being read in their kid’s school. (The Wirthlins were in the news here when they filed a lawsuit attempting to stop their school district from using the book.)
>When the Joke’s On You
November 7, 2008 by 12 Comments
Like Nelson, I’m no-on-8 and ok-with-King & King. But while I can buy her assessment of the situation (“a book made of socially liberal intentions is being used to defeat those intentions–against the wishes of its publisher and, perhaps, its creators, who are Dutch and, so far, silent on the matter”) I can’t share in her dismay. If a book can be used to speak to public policy (which King & King surely does), why can’t it be used to protest it? It’s not as if the book is being misrepresented, and it’s certainly not as if anyone needs to secure the blessings of the creators or publisher in order to use a book to make a point.
I think this is what happens when you forget you’ve chosen sides. Republicans were horrified when Tina Fey and Saturday Night Live used Sarah Palin’s own words to make her look foolish, while those of us who were against Palin found it all an example of karma writ hilariously. Freedom of speech and freedom to publish will always include the risk that someone will turn your own words against you.