Publisher Provides Disclaimer With U.S. Constitution, Will Media Notice?

Constitution Disclaimer | NewsBusters.orgCopies of the U.S. Constitution put out by Wilder Publishing and being sold on Amazon.com come with an odd disclaimer on the first page of the pamphlet, in part declaring: "This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today." On Wednesday's America Live on FNC, host Megyn Kelly reported the controversy, will the rest of the media follow? [Click on image for larger view of disclaimer]

In an example of political correctness run amok, the disclaimer goes on to warn parents of the literary material to follow: "Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work." The provocative pamphlet also includes the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation.

On FNC, correspondent Trace Gallagher quoted the publishing company's response to the controversy: "We specialize in classic books and we were receiving complaints about the values depicted in some of the books. We wrote the disclaimer so that we could stop having to point out to our readers that people held different values 100 or 200 years ago. It seems we're dammed if we do and dammed if we don't." Kelly concluded: "You know, it's one thing when you republish 'Lady Chatterley's Lover,' its another when you slap that thing on the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence." Gallagher mocked: "Warning children."

Below is a transcript of the full June 9 FNC report. One wonders when the mainstream media will report on the issue.
2:52PM EST

MEGYN KELLY: Well, a reprint of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence stirring up a heated controversy. The publisher apparently feeling that it's pamphlet, reprinting these documents, needs a warning label about values. Trace Gallagher reports live in our west coast newsroom. Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER: At the end of America Live, we just like to get people riled up, Megyn, we think this will probably do the trick. You know, we started researching this story this morning. We went on to Amazon.com and right next to the title, where it says the U.S. Constitution, somebody typed in 'shame on you for adding this disclaimer.' Amazon.com, by the way, has taken that down.

But if you buy a copy of the U.S. Constitution on Amazon.com, what you will get is a disclaimer that says, and I'm quoting the following here, 'This book is a product of its time, and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today. Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work.'

So, of course, we called the publishing company, it's Wilder Publishing. We called them, we emailed them, and we finally got a response and we have it right here. And the response is the following: 'This is a generic warning that we put on all of our books. It was not our intention to tell people how to interpret the U.S. Constitution. We specialize in classic books and we were receiving complaints about the values depicted in some of the books. We wrote the disclaimer so that we could stop having to point out to our readers that people held different values 100 or 200 years ago.' He ends by saying 'It seems we're dammed if we do and dammed if we don't.'

KELLY: Oh, Warren.

GALLAGHER: That's the response from Wilder. Warren Lapine of Wilder Publishing.

KELLY: You know, it's one thing when you republish 'Lady Chatterley's Lover,' its another when you slap that thing on the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Well-

GALLAGHER: Warning children.
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC