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Are you seriously saying the difference between pleading guilty to treason (technically aiding the enemy under the UCMJ I think) and being convicted of making a false statement/obstruction is a quibble?
If Harvard ever offered Libby a fellowship (I know, don't laugh) and a couple people made a stink/withdrew which caused Harvard to withdraw the offer, I would be ok with it. Those are the types of decisions an institution is supposed to make. It might tell you something about their priorities, but it is unquestionably the institution's right to make those calls.
Does any of that alter your view that the person's speech is protected?
Does any of that alter your view that the person's speech is protected? If not, then yes, it's a quibble, because that is how I'm using it here.
I think it's OK for a college to say that speakers who make their living being provocative and hateful (let's say, Milo Y or Richard Spencer), that cost the college hundreds of thousands of dollars in security should be able to limit those engagements, because that's hundreds of thousands of dollars colleges should be spending on education, not on preventing people from running cars into protesters or students from shouting during the speech or whatever.
That's MY call, I understand yours would be different.
My point is when a conservative speaker is shut down by students, there is a very predictable outcry here, but when powerful conservatives shut a speaker down that they do not like, crickets.
Last week, Whittier College — my alma mater — hosted California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, in a question-and-answer session organized by Ian Calderon, the Majority Leader of the California State Assembly.
They tried to, anyway. The event ended early after pro-Trump hecklers, upset about Becerra’s lawsuit against the Trump administration over DACA, continuously shouted slogans and insults at Becerra and Calderon. A group affiliated with the hecklers later boasted that the speakers were “SHOUTED DOWN BY FED-UP CALIFORNIANS” and that the “meeting became so raucous that it ended about a half hour early.
Unfortunately, Schaper and others weren’t interested in an exchange of views. Instead, they engaged in a “heckler’s veto” — a form of censorship FIRE emphatically condemns.
California AG and Ann C or Milo are now equivalent speakers?
@Zinhead Well, powerful conservatives shut down a speaker they did not like at Whittier College last week. Guess who reported on it.
Moreover, even if Harvard is committed to allowing Manning to speak, the genuflection to pressure invites future pressure whenever there’s a controversial speaker, and it suggests that Harvard will condition future invitations based on its sensitivity to criticism. Behavior that gets rewarded will be repeated. Harvard fellowships are now subject to a litmus test premised upon whoever can gin up enough pressure. Today that test was defined by the intelligence community; tomorrow?
Harvard suggested today — as it has again and again and again — that its public perception and sensitivity to criticism, at least from those who it sees as powerful, is more important than its commitment to open discourse and open inquiry.
@zinhead - Students should not be shutting down speech by an AG, Coulter or Milo, or Richard Spencer, Chelsea Manning or any other controversial figure.
Free-speech principles are relatively easy to apply when the government tries to shut down an individual's expression. But when you simply have two people talking at once, civil libertarians don't necessarily have a clear way to choose between them.
Free speech, for pundits, often is indistinguishable from a call for free speech for pundits. They are saying, in so many words, People like me should be able to talk without interruption from people like you.
Yet, historically as today, it's clear that pundit speech is not the speech most under threat. The civil rights movement was advanced through street protest and occupying business establishments, not primarily through paid speeches on college campuses. And despite all the hue and cry over college protesters, there's little question that, today, the most serious threat to the First Amendment is not protesters, but rather a government that refuses to tolerate protest. After a mass arrest of inaugural protesters in January, prosecutors are threatening 197 of them with large fines and up to 75 years in prison. The Department of Justice, in an unprecedented move, is trying to seize 1.3 million IP addresses of people who logged onto a website to read about Inauguration organizing. This is a direct encroachment on the First Amendment, by a government that wants to silence criticism, dissent, and protest.*