No middle ground

“De facto veto power”

by Gideon Rose

Whether from extreme sensitivity to the feelings of certain communities of readers or from more practical motives such as fear of controversy and retribution, the Yale Press has apparently decided to neuter itself. Tacitly conceding the obvious substantive case in favor of including the illustrations, the Press states that it has chosen not to do so solely “because there existed a substantial likelihood of violence that might take the lives of innocent victims.” This gives de facto veto power over the Press's core editorial decision-making to unspecified anonymous parties notable solely for their fanaticism and violence.

We all know that leaders of large institutions with diverse interests sometimes feel the need to compromise their principles and accept unseemly tradeoffs in order to keep the peace and make life easier. But this compromise is particularly egregious because it betrays the institution's central reason for being.  

Gideon Rose ’85, former associate director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council, is the managing editor of Foreign Affairs.


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