Spiked! Chicago Sun-Times Removes Drama Critic's 'Political' Point on Muslim 'Invasion!' From Their Website

The Chicago Sun-Times wanted readers to know it censored the political opinion of one of its drama critics – when critic Hedy Weiss suggested that tougher profiling of Muslims might have prevented the Boston Marathon bombing.

Leftists see “Muslim profiling” as exactly the same as “racial profiling,” despite the race of the Tsarnaev brothers. Via JimRomenesko.com, here was the scrubbed “too political” line that questioned political correctness on fighting terrorist murders:

Those still thinking of the horrific terrorist attacks at the Boston Marathon attacks might well be tempted to ask: What practical alternative to profiling would you suggest?

You can't even ask the Left a question. The play by half-Tunisian/half-Swedish Jonas Hassen Khemiri, which Weiss called “part satire, part agit-prop, part impassioned look at identity politics,” is called “Invasion!” The Sun-Times editor’s note read like this: “Editor’s note: A previous version of this review contained language about racial profiling that may have been perceived as expressing a political opinion. This is an updated version of that review.”

The critic wasn't aggressively edited for her political offense, she was "updated." Weiss elaborated further in an interview with Jim Romenesko:

“One of my goals as a critic is to record my visceral reactions to a live performance. And as every actor will tell you, he or she brings the outside world with them each night to a performance, as does the audience.

“As I mentioned in my review of “Invasion!,” the news reports that were playing on my car radio as I headed to the theater were all about the global terror alert. And that was just one more reminder of all that I’d read about the closed-down investigation of the Tarnaev brothers well in advance of the bombings, and the horrifying photos of the amputee victims of that attack. Whether we like it or not, we are ALL being profiled every time we enter an airport, highrise or crowd of any kind these days — primarily out of a genuine necessity that the playwright, in my opinion, was not addressing honestly. For me to not honestly address that feeling would have been to write a dishonest review.”

Jamil Khoury, the founding artistic director of Silk Road Rising, which put on the play, demanded more than the censorship from editors.  "And while I appreciate her editor making this change, it is woefully insufficient and downright offensive to Sun-Times readers, particularly readers from communities that are, or have been, racially profiled! A more appropriate response from the Chicago Sun-Times would be a formal apology to Chicago’s Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, and South Asian communities, and a disavowal of Hedy’s Islamophobic and anti-Arab views."

Here we are again, starting in the face of this typical Muslim-pandering leftist demand for anything they deem "Islamophobic" to be censored from the newspapers followed by bowing and scraping apologies. Would the Sun-Times edit a drama critic for a "political opinion" if she offended Christians?

Glenn Garvin, a TV critic for The Miami Herald, criticized the decision in the comments section on the Sun-Times website:

The point is not whether Hedy Weiss is right or wrong. It's whether political ideas can be discussed in a review. Art (decent art, anyway) is about ideas, and ideas are usually political -- sometimes broadly, sometimes specifically. It is perfectly appropriate for a critic to join in the debate over those ideas. And they do it all the time, often unnoticed as long as they do so within the mainstream views of journalism. No theater critic, I wager, has ever been disciplined or edited for a sentence like, "'The Crucible' is a withering attack on the evils of McCarthyism."

Ms. Weiss' real crime, I suspect, was to write a sentence that was less than 110 percent loyal to a major sacred cow of political correctiness -- the evil of profiling. If she had endorsed the play's opposition to profiling, she would have been fine, even though that would have been no less a political statement. Her editors are gutless or fools or both.

Can you imagine that lefty Frank Rich being edited for expressing a political opinion when he was the "Butcher of Broadway" at The New York Times? There was no editor’s note when The New York Times puffed Khemiri’s work in 2011, for apparently this is the Mandatory Critical Template from the Left:

IF Caryl Churchill, Franz Kafka and Ali G were to goof around one night and play their music too loud until the Department of Homeland Security came knocking on their door, they might emerge (eventually) the next morning holding something like the script to “Invasion!” In that play — Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s blistering dark comedy, which opens at the Flea Theater on Tuesday — one character’s harmless memories of his Lebanese uncle, Abulkasem, morph into a genre- and language-scrambling fantasia on fear, confusion and the Other.

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