Welcome to the party, pal: The miseducation of the Cardinal Columns, thanks to the Fond du Lac School Board

(One of the biggest things I tell student journalists is that they have to write for the audience, not for themselves. Unfortunately, when you get into a story after a while, you start wondering if you’re writing for yourself and your audience is just too polite to tell you to shut up. If that’s the case here, tell me. I have the sense that shutting up is just too easy and it gives in to the basest desire of administrators who are playing the “armadillo defense:” Hunker down, take the hits and eventually everyone goes away because they get tired of trying to break you. I don’t tire easily. – Doc)

Five things I learned about censorship, thanks to the school board meeting coverage this week:

1) People who enjoy their First Amendment rights are really just a few loud assholes:

School board member Eric Everson said he wasn’t surprised by the widespread attention the article has received in the media.

“This type of thing garners big news because you have a very active and involved minority of people who are very sensitive to the word ‘censorship’,” Everson said.

In other words, if it were any other topic, people wouldn’t be in such a kerfuffle.

News flash #1: Have you SEEN people get irate over gun laws, voter laws, taxes, unions or anything else? Given that the room was packed with what media estimate at more than 70 people, I’m guessing this isn’t just the “active and involved minority” of folks who have taken an interest. This has gotten coverage throughout the state, via newspapers, TV, radio and websites. It’s been in Chicago, D.C., San Franciscoand more. It was on national sites like HuffPo and Jezebel. I get the sense that people haven’t been all up in the business of the Fond du Lac school board for anything else like this in quite some time.

News flash #2: You can’t marginalize an issue by referring to it as being the work of a few noisy busybodies when all evidence points to the contrary.