BBC Event: Free to Speak

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Floyd Abrams, visiting professor in first amendment law at Columbia University, John Walsh, libel lawyer on Wall Street, Catharine MacKinnon, lawyer, academic and anti-pornography campaigner, and Judith Miller, former New York Times journalist, debate the extent of free speech in America.


Floyd Abrams, Catharine MacKinnon, Judith Miller and John Walsh

Comments [5]

Marc Naimark from Paris, France

Just started listening to this... and ready to turn it off as soon as I heard that JUDITH MILLER was the "expert" on free speech in the press... let alone her BS on the "responsibility" of journalists to do know harm. And after doing her bit to send Americans soldiers to Iraq, what gall to compare her prison stint to service there. Sheeez!

Jan. 09 2008 06:54 AM
Jeremy from Manhattan

I was frankly apauled that Judith Miller was invited to participate as a panelist on a free speech forum. It's true that she refused to divulge a source and was jailed as a result, but her motives have been questioned widely, as were her journalistic ethics. Since she left the New York Times, she has written several OpEd columns defending the New York City Police Department's tactics leading up to and during the 2004 Republican Convension when over a thousand demonstrators were unlawfully detained (their free speech rights denied) and the department actively and unlawfully spied on a wide variety of groups participating in the demonstrations, including several groups that clearly posed not threat to the public (such as a satirical street theater group and an art school graduate using his thesis project โ€” a bicycle that displayed anti-war messages โ€” as a form of protest during the demonstrations). I can think of so many possible panelists who would have brought more to the discussion, such as Nat Hentoff or Nadine Strossen to name two that easily came to mind. Perhaps, in the future, more time will be spent when organizing these types of events.

Jan. 01 2008 05:32 PM
barbara from manhattan

to my way of thinking 9/11 did not change the world fundamentally, unless we let it. the money spent on making people "feel safe" really just makes everyone feel frightened and the money spent would actually make people safer if it was used to provide health care and housing instead of taking pictures of us, and scanning us. people's lives are really being cut short by the lack of minimum health and housing,,,, to say nothing of domestic violence. i don't want to minimize the horror of 3000 people being killed in 9/11, but the cumulative loss of years from inadequate basic housing & nutrition would make these losses pale.

we have not standing up to fear... we are letting our country and city be dominated by it & in exchange opening ourselves to tyranny.

Jan. 01 2008 01:42 PM
D Jamie Prince from manhattan

It seems to me that "blogging" is steeped in the American Tradition - many of our founding fathers wrote under pseudonyms - Alexander Hamilton used "Camillus." And the journalist of the time, such as Benjamin Bache the publisher of the Aurora published many outrageous and inflammatory stories. Rather than try to limit or legislate blogging or any other form of free speech, we need to focus on educating our children to distinguish fact from fiction. Clearly, even Adams and Jefferson would agree on that point.

Jan. 01 2008 11:07 AM
Laura from Nyack, NY

I want to thank Catherine MacKinnon for reminding me so clearly why I refuse to identify as a feminist.

Jan. 01 2008 10:51 AM

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