Book covers, political correctness, and colleges.

Book covers, political correctness, and colleges.

“Help me get this reporter out of here. I need some muscle over here.” – Melissa Click, a professor in mass media [Jonathan Chait in “Can We Take Political Correctness Serious Now?”]

THERE’S BEEN quite a conversation going on about the book cover above. The book is by a progressive male, Doug Henwood, who’s for Bernie Sanders, and against Hillary Clinton. This eruption includes the battle between “Hillarybots” and “Bernie’s Bros,” which seems so very 2008. It’s really about speech in all forms, which is at the center of the 2016 primary season.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that sexism is alive and well. I saw it last night on stage when Donald Trump whined about Carly Fiorina always interrupting. You know, because the men never do.

Rebecca Traister, as well as Michelle Goldberg, have been fighting the 2015 fight, where Bernie’s Bros and Hillarybots collide.

I’m with James Fallows on the cover.

The cover above does what covers are supposed to do. Get your attention. But how it does it has inflamed just about every progressive who’s seen it.

I happen to think the caricature of Clinton is strong, fierce, determined.

“I think there’s a context to the painting that turns it into something pulpy and sexy to me,” she added. “I love it.”Sarah Sole in IBTimes

“Pulpy and sexy,” is exactly right, in my opinion, too, and I support Clinton.

Those who disagree would hate Ms. Sole’s other drawings of Clinton even more.

“Gross,” “disgusting,” “deplorable” and sexist. Those are just a few of the words being hurled at the cover of a forthcoming book by author Doug Henwood, who attacks Hillary Clinton not from the right, but from the left. The Nation’s Joan Walsh, former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett and a slew of Clinton fans howled Thursday at the debut of Henwood’s cover, a jarring image of the former U.S. secretary of state in a red dress, pointing a gun at the viewer with a cold, dead-eyed stare.

“I keep hearing it’s unfair to think that some of the male Clinton haters on the left might have issues with women,” quipped Salon’s Amanda Marcotte with a wink, after seeing the cover.

Art is subjective, so any art depicting Hillary Clinton is doubly so. The cover of my book, The Hillary Effect, which was published four years ago this month, brought a flurry of complaints and email protests, also Facebook rants.

It brings me around to the quote at the top, which was inspired by a teacher at the University of Missouri, which is located in Columbia, Missouri, where I was born, raised, and went to college, though at a liberal arts private school (under scholarship) nearby.

Everyone’s instant outrage is being shared in public 24/7, and it’s gone so far now that a mass media teacher is trying to keep out reporters, trashing the First Amendment.

At the protest on Missouri’s campus yesterday, on a space that is expressly open to free expression, protesters barred journalists from covering the demonstrations. In one scene, protesters surrounded and harassed Tim Tai, a photographer with the student newspaper, chanting, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, journalists have got to go.” [New York Magazine]

Missouri follows Yale, UCLA, and Wesleyan, all higher learning institutions that are systematically being challenged by left-wing political correctness. Ideas of college as “home,” and “safe space” on campus. It’s a burden no institution of competitive higher learning can meet.

For those of you who aren’t aware, the University of Missouri also has one of the most renown schools of journalism in the world.

I have not lived in Missouri for a very long time, so it’s not for me to judge. However, I’d say this happening at the heart center of our nation is like watching open heart surgery with the patient still alive.

It also explains Donald Trump’s candidacy.

Sensitivity training, safe zones and tip toeing around people, keeping the press from reporting the truth, it’s all part of a larger convulsion going on in American culture.

People are whining, but others are talking back. Offending someone isn’t the worst thing you can do if you’re being honest. And artists and writers have to be able to push back boundaries, even if the person they’re targeting has the chance to be the first female president of the United States.