Thursday, April 27, 2017

Liberals Show Contempt for Free Speech in Silencing Ann Coulter

By now many if not most people have heard that "conservative" columnist Ann Coulter's planned speech at the University of California at Berkeley has been cancelled.  Liberals on and off the campus acted to shut down the speech.  Fox News now reports on the latest development, support from a prominent actor:
Rob Schneider attacked UC Berkeley for cancelling conservative commentator Ann Coulter's speech, saying the university should "add burning
Ann Coulter
books to the curriculum." 
"UC Berkeley, after you done eliminating speech you don't like & words you don’t like what’s next?" the comedian wrote on Twitter adding, "Maybe add burning books to the curriculum." 
The outspoken star also tweeted, "Freedom of thought, speech, conscience & informed consent to medical risk taking. There's no greater calling for Americans in the 21st Century." 
Earlier this month, a bloody brawl broke out in downtown Berkeley at a pro-Trump protest that featured speeches by members of the white nationalist right. They clashed with a group of Trump critics who called themselves anti-fascists. 
In February, violent protesters forced the cancellation of a speech by right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos, who like Coulter was invited by campus Republicans.
I am no fan of Coulter.  I find her to be utterly repulsive, an ideological faud who has hijacked the "conservative" label to promote ideas that are full of hate and not at all conservative.   It is people like her, and President Trump, who are destroying the once great conservative movement that convinced me to become a Republican.

Nonetheless, college campuses should be venues where the open exchange of ideas is welcomed, even when those ideas are an anathema to many who study and work at the school.  One of the most unfortunate trends in recent years is the increasing lack of tolerance for free speech by people on the left, particular at our colleges and universities.  If you want to read a great book on the subject, written by a liberal Democrat no less, pick up The Silencing by Kirsten Powers.


Anonymous said...

Stellar column, Mr. Ogden. If we need any more proof that liberalism is a mental disorder, the current rage of the extremist idealogue left in shutting down free speech is it.

How ironic it is the socialist fascist marxist Democrats (but I triple repeat myself) who just eight short years ago thrilled to refusing to work with the minority party because "I won" [and "We won"], and who, less than a year ago charged a "danger to our republic" anyone who would not accept the 2016 vote outcome now howl and work to shut up anyone daring to disagree with them.

George Orwell said, "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." Truth is the New Hate Speech.

sjudge said...

The way lawyers test an argument is to put it up against someone espousing the best possible argument as to why it's rubbish, not by refusing to hear it. I grew up watching Firing Line and while I usually disagreed with Buckley, disagreement was useless without an opposing argument.

Anonymous said...

Coulter was unwilling to change date/venue to accommodate the myriad security concerns her appearance would cause.

This wasn't a free speech issue: it was a cost of providing protection issue.

Anonymous said...

I agree that free speech shouldn't be squelched anyplace in this country, and if that were all there was to this story about Coulter, then I'd say "period--end of story". But, that's not all there is to this story. Coulter touts herself as a "pot stirrer"- because it gets her attention and free publicity for her new book: "In Trump We Trust". Yes, she is equating Trump to God. And, she claims some Republican group invited her to speak at Berkeley, one of the last places on earth where her firebrand, insulting speech would be welcomed. I think this was all contrived. Trouble was bound to happen, along with the inevitable publicity, and that was the plan all along--free publicity. In my view, this is just like shouting "Fire" in a crowded auditorium or scheduling a Nazi group to give a speech saying that the Holocaust was a hoax by staging a demonstration in front of a synagogue on Rosh Hashana. There is more than free speech at play here--and that is intentionally inciting violence for an ulterior motive, which is not protected by the Constitution. I agree it is a thin line.

Anonymous said...

This absolutely was a free speech issue and not at all a cost of providing protection issue. To allege otherwise is a willing suspension of the truth of what actually occurred. It is also a weak attempt to change the subject.

Anonymous said...


Ann Coulter has had myriad places to speak (as she has amply demonstrated on myriad occasions). She is not "silenced" because it's too expensive to provide protection -- which she obviously needs -- for her to speak at her preferred place and time on the UC Berkeley campus.

Methinks, as the other anonymous noted, that being turned away was part of her publicity game plan.

She wasn't willing to negotiate with the administration on either time or place, so it's no surprise she was accorded no venue there.

That she has nothing worthwhile to say is a whole 'nother topic.

Anonymous said...

Come on Paul and his idiotic readers, Freedom of Speech protects from the government not from people that don't want to hear your bullshit.

Anonymous said...

What about all the conservatives wanting to get Colbert fired? Hypocrites.