The privilege of offending

Helen Ang

Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

An American writer hurt national sensitivities barely a week after 9/11 when her country was still reeling from the tragedy. In an article in The New Yorker (the magazine hit the stands Sept 17, 2001), Susan Sontag began:

"The disconnect between last Tuesday's monstrous dose of reality and the self-righteous drivel and outright deceptions being peddled by public figures and TV commentators is startling, depressing. The voices licensed to follow the event seem to have joined together in a campaign to infantilise the public."

What sent America into an uproar was her following paragraph:

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