11:32 AM, May 15, 2015 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
This week, I've been reading Kirsten Powers' new book The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech. And it's fantastic.
Powers is a liberal Democrat-she cut her teeth in the Clinton administration-but I've been a fan of hers for years because she's a truly brave writer. She calls it like she sees it with no regard for the cost she'll incur from her own side. For instance, she was the only mainstream writer to fixate on the horrors of Kermit Gosnell's infanticide mill and she forced the rest of the media to finally grapple with the story. Because while the bien pensant media could ignore conservatives who were on the Gosnell case, they couldn't ignore a liberal who was ringing the alarm.
That was incredibly brave. Liberal journalists like to pat themselves on the back for their bravery all the time-as if a writer for the New York Times is going to do anything but help themselves by coming out for "transgender rights" or whatever the elite fad of the day is.
In 2013, Powers did something really brave: She came out as a Christian in the pages of Christianity Today. And not only did she cop to being down with Jesus, she wrote a beautiful, magisterial essay about her conversion that's easily one of my favorite pieces of witness, ever. I can't recommend it enough.
Now Powers has written a powerful book taking progressives to task for their campaign against free speech and classical liberal values. You can get a taste of it here and here.
I can't overstate how important it is to have Powers' voice defending classical liberalism. Because she's smart, she's fearless, and she can't be dismissed out of hand by the progressive mandarins.
And if her new book creates space for other liberals to rally against the illiberalism which now dominates progressive politics, then Powers will have made an enormous contribution to the public good.
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:25 PM, May 8, 2015 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on the week that was in Washington, London, and around the world.
May 18, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 34 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
It's been a full week since The Scrapbook inveighed against the assault on free speech, so we have a new parade of horribles to shake our head at. The precipitating event this time was the killing of two armed assailants at an event in Garland, Texas, that was displaying Muhammad cartoons. It should go without saying that free speech means supporting the right of people you don’t like to say things you don’t like.
6:01 PM, May 7, 2015 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
The Philadelphia Inquirer has a smart op-ed about the Garland attack by former federal prosecutor George Parry. He points out the left’s agonized reaction to Garland—We’re for free speech! But these people using free speech are horrible and hateful!
10:59 AM, Apr 13, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
On Friday, I wrote a short blog post about cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who in the process of receiving a George Polk journalism award, said the murdered cartoonists at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo "wandered into the realm of hate speech" and that "free speech......
Do university administrators really support ISIS?9:29 AM, Mar 31, 2015 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
It was a story perfectly designed for the new journalism model of “outrage clicks.”
Mar 30, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 28 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
If you harbor any doubts that “conservative” is an all-purpose epithet in the press, then Simon Denyer, the Washington Post’s China bureau chief, will happily erase those doubts. Writing last week about threats to freedom of speech and scholarly inquiry in the former British colony of Hong Kong (“In Hong Kong, fears of Chinese restrictions on academic freedom grow,” March 15), he made it clear where the problem lies: It’s the People’s Republic of China “and its conserv-ative backers in Hong Kong” who want to censor speech and shut down academic freedom.
What good have Holocaust-denial bans done? Jan 26, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 19 • By SAM SCHULMAN
France’s momentary appearance on the world stage as a champion of free expression, after the execution of the beloved Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, made for a break in her relentless culture of repression of free speech, which she shares with most of Europe.
The long arm of al Qaeda. Jan 19, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 18 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The jihadists responsible for the most successful terrorist attack in France in decades hunted down cartoonists. They did not target a significant historical landmark, such as the Eiffel Tower, or any well-known French politicians. They did not seek to maximize civilian casualties in a suicide bombing, a trademark of previous attacks. Instead, they methodically killed Stéphane Charbonnier, the editorial director of Charlie Hebdo, and other members of the French magazine’s staff. This was deliberate.
Jan 19, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 18 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
After the recent massacre by Islamic terrorists at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, people around the world took to social media to declare “Je suis Charlie,” or “I am Charlie.” Solidarity is a nice sentiment, and journalists in particular are fond of uttering self-soothing words about their commitment to free speech at times like this. But “Je suis Charlie” is just another lie that the media tell themselves.
2:10 PM, Jan 7, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
In the wake of today's massacre in Paris, there has already been a lot of preening about journalistic bravery. Much of it has come from people who, it can be shown, don't have the guts to work in Charlie Hebdo's newsroom. Preening about free speech may be reassuring at times like this, but what we need are apologies from those who haven't done enough to defend free speech, as well as a real desire to hold those journalists and politicians who have undermined free speech accountable. As a smart academic on Twitter put it, "Today, as journalists 'bravely' voice support for Charlie Hebdo, ask them for their piece calling on Yale to publish the Muhammad cartoons."
11:33 AM, Sep 30, 2014 • By CLAUDIA ANDERSON
The Factual Feminist warns that a “little army of junior assistant deans and harassment apparatchiks are quietly repealing the free speech protections of the First Amendment.”
Jun 30, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 40 • By TERRY EASTLAND
The other day a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that a First Amendment challenge to an Ohio law should be heard in the lower courts. While the decision may have seemed a minor one, it represents an important advance for freedom of speech.
The question that the Court answered in the affirmative, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing, was whether Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life advocacy organization, has standing to challenge an Ohio statute that prohibits false statements made during a political campaign.