Watch: What's the Biggest Threat to Free Speech?


Media peeps, filmmakers, and politicians weigh in at a party for


(via daily dish)

In related news, a recent study found FOX News viewers the most misinformed of all news consumers.

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  1. this is all rightwing garbage.

    Posted by: a | Dec 17, 2010 1:47:58 PM

  2. There were quite a few on here who appeared opposed to the manner in which "the war on terror" was being handled.

    Posted by: Vince in WeHo | Dec 17, 2010 1:54:34 PM

  3. i will take the side of the guy who said apathy was the biggest threat-people not knowing or caring and doing nothing when their rights are being threatened. he was right.

    however, to see andrew breitbart angrily give his views on free speech is just sickening. free speech shouldn't include the right to tell big whopping lies that have the potential to destroy innocent people.

    Posted by: alguien | Dec 17, 2010 2:09:08 PM

  4. net neutrality is a threat to freedom of speech?! which corporation paid you to say that nonsense?

    Posted by: MingPicket | Dec 17, 2010 2:10:35 PM

  5. blah blah blah I'm a libertarian

    I mean, of course, some of what was said in this video was great, but any event featuring a plurality of Fox News contributors is a joke to start with. The gays (self included) won't find any real support with this crowd, nor with the political parties. Any idea as fundamentally controversial as anti-incumbent sex is going to have trouble finding safe harbor.

    Tnx for posting, sure, it's always great to hear different opinions etc. But omg, seriously? Some fundraiser for a half-hearted quote libertarian endquote cause? If you were in attendance I'd understand, but a heavily edited/produced video from a swanky enclave of maybe 30 people doesn't reassure me that the concerns of our community have any chance of being heard.

    And to Ms. McArdle's point about liberty/death, the founding fathers would be appalled at more than the TSA if they saw what became of this country. Hundreds of military bases globally to start, the subordination of Congress to an imperial presidency, and the very concept of 'War's on lower-case words are enough to assure that the country we live in today bears little semblance to the independent confederation with which we began. We also have light bulbs.

    adjective noun preposition object verb adverb! *ruffles feathers, circles bedding and lies down*

    Posted by: R U Serious | Dec 17, 2010 2:10:55 PM

  6. AHHHAHAHA! Breitbart!


    here's the biggest threat to free speech: people confusing opinions with facts and keeping the masses ignorant.

    thank you, Faux News.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 17, 2010 2:12:07 PM

  7. @Alguien,

    Totally with you on that one. I'm all for free speech, but what these FOXholes really want is free spin with zero accountability.

    Posted by: Adrian | Dec 17, 2010 2:14:56 PM

  8. "Free Speech" is a myth.

    Speech is expensive and very controlled.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 17, 2010 2:41:42 PM

  9. The sad thing is that Reason magazine was once a very respectable publication --- it is now party of the right wing corporate machine -- a voice of reason silenced by design.

    Posted by: Tony X | Dec 17, 2010 2:44:37 PM

  10. The greatest threat to free speech is media consolidation.

    Posted by: Dave | Dec 17, 2010 2:59:59 PM

  11. There will always be some censorship, mainly censorship of speech that quite clearly harms people in some unmistakable way. But the first principle of free speech has it that the opinions of those you disagree with must be defended the strongest. It's for this reason that I oppose criminalizing hate speech -- preventing the Westboro Baptist Chuch from protesting at funerals, say. It's a matter of fact that if protests at funerals are banned, that will prevent people from protesting at the funeral of war criminals like Henry Kissinger. (Restrictions on speech almost invariably come back to back those in favor of it.)

    What's the biggest threat to freedom of speech? Not the government. The government has generally kept itself out of speech issues. It's been very good at avoiding outright censorship of sensitive topics. I think public opinion and public pressure is a much greater threat. And public opinion is much less forgiving than law enforced by government. When censorship is practiced by the media or some other institution, like the New Zealand airline which removed a safety video out of fear it would upset gays, is almost always out of a desire to avoid offending members of the public. Censorship is usually voluntary.

    Posted by: Robert | Dec 17, 2010 3:41:35 PM

  12. Sorry to keep banging on about this, but for another example of why public opinion is so dangerous, look at how severely gay literature and media have been suppressed by companies afraid of upsetting Christian conservatives.

    This is changing, thank God, but it shows how rarely the government is directly responsible for suppressing gay art. At least over the past few decades, in any case. We can also look at media suppression of depictions of Muhammad as an example of where censorship was entirely voluntary, and done out of a desire to avoid upsetting devout Muslims.

    Posted by: Robert | Dec 17, 2010 3:49:08 PM

  13. I didn't hear a peep from a lot of the right wing assholes about the recent Smithsonian exhibit let alone the "war on terror."
    Free speech is only important to the right if they agree with what is being said.

    Posted by: Marco | Dec 17, 2010 3:51:45 PM

  14. S. E. Cupp is pretty, but her ignorance is showing when she claims Net Neutrality is a threat to free speech. The nerd in me is tired of conservatives claiming the net neutrality proposal is a "government takeover of the Internet" or will hamper Internet innovation.

    Basically, all net neutrality states is that Internet providers (Comcast, Time Warner, etc) cannot charge one website more than others to deliver their website to home computers. (i.e. Towleroad shouldn't have to pay Comcast any more than Huffington Post does.) Net neutrality means the Internet should be neutral. It has absolutely nothing to do with free speech.

    If anything, it encourages free speech and small businesses. Media conglomerates like Fox News can afford to pay out of the butt for their content to be delivered fast to home computers, but smaller websites/businesses like Towleroad probably wouldn't be able to.

    Sorry to nerd out, but it bugs me to no end when people gleefully spread lies. The Tea Party wrote a memo saying exactly what S. E. Cupp did and people believed them. All of us in the tech community got enraged, knowing that their minions would believe them.

    Posted by: damien | Dec 17, 2010 4:29:17 PM

  15. Talk is cheap.

    Getting people's attention is not.

    The biggest threat to free speech is compromise.

    Posted by: jexer | Dec 17, 2010 8:02:03 PM

  16. Great comment Damien! SE Cupp is not only a stooge, but she's a Tea Party stooge! It isn't that she doesn't understand what net neutrality is, she does, it's that she wants to see it destroyed, so in true right-wing fashion she spreads lies and intentional misinformation in order do it.

    Posted by: Bobo | Dec 17, 2010 8:37:52 PM

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