In the essay, "In Praise of Censure,"" Garry Wills, the Henry r. Luce Professor of American Culture and Public Policy at Northwestern University, defines censure, as oppose to censorship. Wills also strives to persuade the reader that censure, the open expression of moral disapproval, can strongly and effectively hold certain ideas up for critical analysis without suppressing them or hindering the rights protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as toleration or censorship does. Wills supports this claim with the use of factual evidence, authorative testimony, and rhetorical questions.
Wills uses factual evidence to back his declarations. In the first paragraph of his essay, Wills strives to introduce examples of censorship against censure to the reader. He does this with accounts of several different instances in which censure has been used. He speaks of feminists joining "reactionaries to denounce pornography."" He narrates of how the rock musician Frank Zappa accused Tipper Gore, the wife of Al Gore, of launching an "conspiracy to exhort- when she asked that sexually explicit materials be labeled with warnings and of how Penthouse magazine charges Terry Rakolta, a house wife who withdrew her support from the sitcom, "Married With Children,"" with " yelling fire in a crowded theater."" Further along in "In Praise of Censure,"" Wills makes an assertion concerning the First Amendment, "Belief in the First Amendment does not pre-empt other beliefs, making one eunuch to the interplay of opinions. It is a distortion to turn You can express any views' into the proposition I don't care what views you express. If liberals keep equating equality with approval, they will be repeatedly forced into weak positions."" To verify his contention, Wills goes to the situation in which an art gallery had cancelled an exhibit of the photographer, Robert Maplethorpe, because the director felt a need to "protect it from censorship- while in actuality, the director just did this so that she would have a better chance to receive funds from government organizations.