Free Speech: From the Left, Right, and Center

The Muhammad Cartoon Contest has resulted in a national conversation about the nature of free speech. The usual suspects have emerged, but there have been some unexpected turns as well. I could never have predicted that a right-winger like Bill O’Reilly would condemn Pamela Geller, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the flaming liberal Chris Hayes come out in her defense with no apologies — not a single parenthetical disclaimer to distance himself from her politics. He’s a better person than I am.

In the spirit of my Thanksgiving post last year, I’ve assembled three video-clips about free speech. They’re short (around 5 minutes) and to the point, and I’ve chosen them to show that clear-headed thinking on this subject, while increasingly rare, can be found on all parts of the political spectrum — left, right, and center. That, at least, is encouraging.

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From the left: Bill Maher educates his own tribe.

maher free speech

Click for video


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From the right: Robert Spencer speaks at the Muhammad cartoon event which he co-hosted.

Spencer-Cartoon-050315

Click for video


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From in-between: Sam Harris speaks to the moral failure of publishers who chose not to print the Hebdo cartoons.

Sam_Harris

Click for video

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