Subhankar Banerjee went to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge not long ago and took photos. They were published in a book and became the basis for an exhibit at the Smithsonian. But according to last Friday's New York Times, some of the captions in the exhibit were simply unacceptable and had to be modified. You might want to ask very young children and other sensitive individuals to leave the room. OK, here's a caption that was unacceptable:
The refuge has the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen and is so remote and untamed that many peaks, valleys and lakes are still without names
Merciful heavens. I mean, did you ever? Why, that's almost as bad as those Mapplethorpe photos, isn't it? Thank goodness decency prevailed and the caption was changed to
Unnamed Peak, Romanzof Mountains
Oh -- and the exhibit was moved from the Smithsonian's main rotunda to a room on a lower level. And several other captions were deleted, including one from former president Jimmy Carter.
All of this, of course, just happened. It had nothing to do with political pressure, even though Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska said when ANWR drilling was voted down in the Senate, "People who vote against this today are voting against me. I will not forget it."
And, of course, even if this were the result of political pressure, it would not be a case of "political correctness," because Senator Stevens, after all, is a Republican, and everyone knows that political correctness is exclusively the work of those fiendish liberal Democrats.