A Bit Too Sensitive, Perhaps

From the Associated Press:

The University of Tennessee bookstore has quit selling packages of breath mints that satirize President Barack Obama after a state legislator complained

The box bears a picture of Obama and is labeled "disappoint-mints." Officials pulled the product after Democratic state Rep. Joe Armstrong visited the bookstore and told the manager he found the mints offensive.

Armstrong told The Knoxville News Sentinel that UT uses federal and state funds and should be sensitive to what he called "politically specific products."

The Knoxville legislator says he went to the bookstore after a UT student complained to him about the mints. Bookstore director David Kent said the bookstore previously carried mints that satirized former President George W. Bush and said no offense was intended.

This is the problem (well, one of the problems) with university life: The hypersensitivities of various constituencies -- students and faculty, mainly -- are indulged to an unconscionable degree. The student who lodged the original complaint should have been told to get over himself. That would have prepared him for life outside the cocoon.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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