For more than a year now, ever since the Mapplethorpe and Serrano affairs plunged the National Endowment for the Arts into the swamp of controversy from which it still shows no signs of retrieving itself, a great many liberal voices have been busily decrying an alleged threat to freedom of creative expression in this country. If we were to take literally what is being said by these liberal voices in the arts, in the media, and in various branches of public life—not to mention the professional arts-lobbying organizations that make a specialty of fear-mongering as a basic fund-raising technique—we would have to believe that something approximating a reign of terror was now imminent—if not already underway—in American cultural life. Yet the odd thing about this alleged reign of terror is that the voices so loudly announcing it encounter absolutely no obstacles to their vociferous and protracted propaganda campaign. On the contrary, ...