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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast

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News
Government
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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast takes an uncensored look at the world of free expression through personal stories and candid conversations.New episodes post every other Thursday.

Read more

So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast takes an uncensored look at the world of free expression through personal stories and candid conversations.New episodes post every other Thursday.

iTunes Ratings

68 Ratings
Average Ratings
63
3
0
0
2

👍🏻

By IPhone 6+ User Houston - Jul 29 2018
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Amazing - such important issues and very thoughtfully explored

Fantastic podcast

By Vino821 - Jan 04 2018
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Fasinating guests and topics.

iTunes Ratings

68 Ratings
Average Ratings
63
3
0
0
2

👍🏻

By IPhone 6+ User Houston - Jul 29 2018
Read more
Amazing - such important issues and very thoughtfully explored

Fantastic podcast

By Vino821 - Jan 04 2018
Read more
Fasinating guests and topics.

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Cover image of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast

So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast takes an uncensored look at the world of free expression through personal stories and candid conversations.New episodes post every other Thursday.

Bret Weinstein, professor in exile

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Former Evergreen State College Professor Bret Weinstein describes himself as a “professor in exile.” The evolutionary biologist left Evergreen last September in the fallout from the controversy surrounding the school’s planned Day of Absence programming.

Weinstein’s objection to the programming led fifty students to disrupt his class and demand his resignation. The backlash became so intense that Evergreen’s chief of police told him she could not protect him from protesters. As a result, he had to hold his biology course in a public park.

On this episode of So to Speak, we speak with Weinstein about his experience and the state of free speech and inquiry in higher education and beyond.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org Call in a question: 215-315-0100

Mar 08 2018

1hr 25mins

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Ken White of ‘Popehat’ Talks Nat Hentoff, Worst Censors of 2016

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Ken White has made a name for himself in First Amendment circles for his particularly astute and often comical commentary on free speech issues for the popular “law, liberty, and leisure” blog ‘Popehat.’

An attorney by day, Ken likes to use his considerable legal chops—he’s a 1994 graduate of Harvard Law School—to take a rhetorical axe to what he sees as facile arguments in favor of censorship.

Ken is our guest on today’s episode of “So to Speak.” We talk with him about his list of the worst censors of 2016 and spend some time remembering the life of a giant in the free speech world, Nat Hentoff, who passed away this past weekend. Ken also explains how he successfully uses the “Popehat Signal” to rally attorneys to provide pro bono assistance to people wrapped up in free speech legal battles.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast

Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Call in a question: 215-315-0100

Jan 12 2017

49mins

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Debating ‘Is there a campus free speech crisis?’ with Sullivan, Haidt, Nossel, Sachs, & Foster

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Is there a campus free speech crisis?

In March, FIRE staff discussed the question. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we put the question to others and feature audio from a live debate that occurred on May 8 in New York City.

New York magazine’s Andrew Sullivan and New York University’s Jonathan Haidt argue, yes, there is a campus free speech crisis.

PEN America’s Suzanne Nossel and Acadia University’s Jeffrey Sachs argue, no, there is not.

Freethink’s Kmele Foster moderates.

The debate took place at The Village Underground and was sponsored by FIRE and the Comedy Cellar as a part of “The Underground Debate Series.”

Who do you think won the debate? Share your thoughts on social media and tag the podcast using @freespeechtalk on Twitter.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast

Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Call in a question: 215-315-0100

May 16 2018

1hr 49mins

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‘The Coddling of the American Mind’

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Tribalism and group polarization are on the rise. So too are rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide. On campuses, professors and students are afraid to speak out. And on social media, outrage mobs rule the day.

How did we get here?

On today’s episode of So to Speak, we are joined by FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff to discuss his new co-authored book with New York University professor Jonathan Haidt, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.”

It’s a social science detective story that seeks to explain “the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines” — and in this discussion, Greg points us toward all the clues.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Sep 04 2018

54mins

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Harvard professor Steven Pinker

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Harvard University professor and FIRE Advisory Council member Steven Pinker is a rockstar academic. He has written 10 books, many of which are bestsellers, including most recently “The Better Angels of our Nature” and “The Sense of Style.”

On this episode of So to Speak, we chat with professor Pinker about free speech, free inquiry, taboo, dangerous ideas, and, of course, his forthcoming book on the Enlightenment: “Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.” Here is the recommended reading list provided by professor Pinker during the podcast:

www.sotospeakpodcast.comFollow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.orgCall in a question: 215-315-0100

Nov 15 2017

40mins

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Former FEC Chairman Bradley Smith

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Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley A. Smith is perhaps best known for opposing many campaign finance regulations on First Amendment grounds. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we talk with the former chairman about how political campaign activity is regulated in America and how this regulation implicates the First Amendment. We also explore some of today’s hot-button campaign finance controversies.

Smith is a professor of law at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. From 2000 until 2005, he served as a FEC commissioner. He was FEC chairman in 2004 and vice chairman in 2003. In 2005, Smith founded the Center for Competitive Politics, now known as the Institute for Free Speech.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Feb 21 2019

1hr 14mins

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How Daryl Davis, a black man, defeats the KKK w/ dialogue

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Daryl Davis, a 58-year-old black man, has a question: “How can you hate me if you don’t even know me?”

For nearly three decades, Davis has been interviewing members of the Ku Klux Klan to find an answer to that question. However, in the course of his research, he found something he didn’t expect to find: friendship.

You see, while Davis was actively learning about the Klan members, they were passively learning about him, seeing that their prejudices were unfounded and becoming his friend. Today, Davis has dozens of Klan robes at his home that were given to him by former Klan members who shed their racist beliefs after meeting him.

On today’s episode of “So To Speak,” we travel to Maryland to meet Davis and explore how open dialogue and debate have shown him a path toward a tolerant, multicultural future.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast

Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Call in a question: 215-315-0100

Mar 09 2017

39mins

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Kevin Williamson’s ‘The Smallest Minority’

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On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, journalist Kevin Williamson joins us to discuss his new book, “The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in the Age of Mob Politics.”

Williamson is the roving correspondent for National Review and co-host of the podcast Mad Dogs & Englishmen.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Sep 16 2019

49mins

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Mustafa Akyol on jailing journalists in Turkey, ‘re-educating’ Uyghurs in China, and cultural conformity in America

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On today’s episode of So to Speak, we sit down with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Mustafa Akyol to discuss threats to freedom of thought and expression around the world, with a particular focus on situations in Turkey and China.

Akyol has been described by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria as “Turkey’s finest political analyst.” Prior to joining Cato, he was a senior fellow at The Freedom Project at Wellesley College, where he learned a thing or two about illiberalism in America. He is also a regular contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.comFollow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Apr 18 2019

58mins

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The ‘heckler’s veto’ strikes Heather Mac Donald

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On April 6, Manhattan Institute Fellow Heather Mac Donald was standing in Claremont McKenna College’s Athenaeum preparing to give a lecture to an empty room.

An empty room was not what Mac Donald expected when she traveled to California from her New York City home to deliver a lecture on her new book, “The War On Cops.” But outside the auditorium, close to 300 people had surrounded the Athenaeum, preventing prospective audience members from entering. They were protesting Mac Donald’s defense of law enforcement policing tactics and her criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Ultimately, the college livestreamed Mac Donald’s talk to those who could not attend in person. But the talk was cut short during the question and answer period after police and administrators determined that it was unsafe for her to remain in the building. The crowd was allegedly out of control, and Mac Donald could hear banging on the windows. Her exit through the kitchen of the Athenaeum into an unmarked Claremont Police Department van was coordinated by walkie-talkie.

Heather Mac Donald is our guest on today’s “extra” edition of “So to Speak.” Mac Donald is the latest speaker on campus to fall victim to the “heckler’s veto.” During our conversation, I ask Mac Donald what she was thinking as she heard the crowd outside banging on the Athenaeum’s windows. I also asked her what it says about the environment for free inquiry on campus that a scholar must escape under police protection through the kitchen of a campus building for presenting nothing more than an argument?

www.sotospeakpodcast.com

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk

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Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Call in a question: 215-315-0100

Apr 17 2017

35mins

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Campus Free Speech Round Table: Fall 2016 Semester in Review

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A precipitous decline in the percentage of schools maintaining severely restrictive speech codes. A proliferation of bias response teams. “Security fee” or “speech tax?” Donald Trump. Milo Yiannopoulos. Penis drawings. These topics and more are covered in our recap of the fall 2016 semester, featuring Foundation for Individual Rights in Education vice presidents Samantha Harris and Will Creeley. Also, we take a listener question.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast

Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Call in a question: 215-315-0100

Dec 29 2016

58mins

Play

‘The Grievance Studies Affair’

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Last fall, three writers and scholars announced they had submitted 20 fake papers to academic journals to test whether  — as they suspected — certain fields of study lacked scientific and academic rigor.

Of the 20 papers they submitted before revealing their hoax, seven were accepted, four published, seven were “still in play,” and six were retired. The result is what’s become known as the “Grievance Studies Affair.” 

But what does their experiment prove, exactly?

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we put this question directly to Jim Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian, who authored the controversial papers.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Aug 08 2019

1hr 23mins

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Campus speech roundup: Art censorship, porn filters, speech restrictions abroad, and litigation victories

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On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by four members of FIRE’s staff to discuss the latest campus free speech news, including two new FIRE initiatives to tackle art censorship and restrictions on free speech and academic freedom abroad.

Participants in this show are:

Nico Perrino, host of So to Speak, director of communications

Will Creeley, senior vice president of legal and public advocacy

Adam Steinbaugh, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program

Marieke Tuthill Beck-Coon, director of litigation

Sarah McLaughlin, senior program officer for legal and public advocacy

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Jan 24 2019

1hr 1min

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Supreme Court review: Kennedy, Kavanaugh, and “weaponizing the First Amendment”

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Supreme Court review: Kennedy, Kavanaugh, and “weaponizing the First Amendment”

On this episode of So to Speak, we discuss President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court and what it might mean for the First Amendment. We also review Anthony Kennedy’s legacy, the free speech cases from this past Supreme Court term, and Justice Elena Kagan’s contention that some of her colleagues are “weaponizing the First Amendment.”

The guests on today’s show are:

Paul Sherman: Senior attorney, Institute for Justice

Bob Corn-Revere: Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine

Walter Olson: Senior fellow, Cato Institute

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.orgCall in a question: 215-315-0100

Jul 11 2018

1hr 27mins

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‘Coddling’ one year later

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One year ago this week, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure” was published.

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we sit down with FIRE President & CEO Greg Lukianoff, who co-authored the book with Jonathan Haidt, to reflect on what’s changed — or hasn’t changed — in the intervening year.

Show notes:

Greg’s book references/recommendations:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Sep 05 2019

46mins

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Former ACLU Executive Director Ira Glasser

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Ira Glasser is one of the most consequential civil liberties figures in American history.

He ran the ACLU as its executive director from 1978 until his retirement in 2001. In the process, he transformed the organization from a small, $4 million nonprofit with offices in a few cities into a household name with an annual budget of $45 million, a $30 million endowment, and staffed offices in every state, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.

This week is the 50th anniversary of when Glasser started with the ACLU on May 1, 1967. In this exclusive, wide-ranging interview, he shares how he went from a part-time math teacher with no law degree to the leader of one of America’s most prominent legal organizations.

His story takes us to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, where in 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball and inspired a generation of civil rights activists, to the offices of Robert Kennedy, where the junior U.S. senator spoke with a young Glasser and convinced him to take a job with the ACLU — a job he initially didn’t want.

In explaining how he got from “here to there,” Glasser puts on a master class in principled free speech advocacy, effective management strategies, and how following your passions can lead you to delightfully unexpected places.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com

Interview transcript: thefire.org/so-to-speak-podcast-transcript-ira-glasser-aclu/

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk

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Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Call in a question: 215-315-0100

May 04 2017

2hr 13mins

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“After Charlottesville” w/ former ACLU President Nadine Strossen

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Nadine Strossen knows the dangers of Nazism. Her father was liberated from the Buchenwald concentration camp one day before he was scheduled to be sterilized. If American soldiers arrived a day later, Strossen would never become the first female president of the ACLU. She wouldn’t even be alive.

After Charlottesville, there has been vigorous debate about the so-called limits of free speech. Should white supremacist and neo-Nazi ideologies enjoy full First Amendment rights? And if so, should civil liberties groups, like the ACLU, defend them?

On today’s episode of So to Speak, Strossen discusses the fallout from Charlottesville and argues forcefully that, yes, even neo-Nazis deserve free speech and assembly rights ― and yes, the ACLU should defend those rights. She believes the best way to preserve a free society is to not compromise the rights guaranteed by a free society. She is authoring a book on this very topic due out next year titled, “HATE: Why we should resist it with free speech, not censorship.”

www.sotospeakpodcast.com

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk

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Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Call in a question: 215-315-0100

Aug 22 2017

1hr 8mins

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Tyler Cowen on the complacent campus

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George Mason University Professor Tyler Cowen has spent the better part of the last 40 years on college campuses. That’s why when he wrote in his new book “The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream” that college campuses are “among the segments of American society where the complacent class exercises its strongest influence,” we wanted to learn more.

On today’s episode of So to Speak, we ask professor Cowen why he believes college campuses are complacent and what impact, if any, this has on recent campus debates about freedom of speech.

Joining host Nico Perrino in quizzing professor Cowen about the implications his thesis has for free speech is FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff, who is also curious about some of professor Cowen’s other areas of expertise — economics and food.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk

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Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Call in a question: 215-315-0100

Jun 15 2017

1hr 3mins

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'True threats' with David L. Hudson Jr.

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There are very few exceptions to the First Amendment, and a “true threat” is one of them.

But defining a true threat isn’t easy. Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court first examined true threats in the 1969 case Watts v. United States, it’s been a messy doctrine. The court didn’t provide a definition of a true threat until many years after Watts, and even then questions still remained.

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we discuss the true threats doctrine with First Amendment scholar and FIRE Legal Fellow David L. Hudson Jr. He is the author of an ABA Journal article about true threats titled “When do rants exceed First Amendment boundaries and become true threats?”

Also, don’t miss Hudson tell the story of many important student free speech court cases as part of our “FIRE Starter” video series. You can watch the short videos on FIRE’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/theFIREorg.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Sep 20 2018

43mins

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Rob Corry, ‘speech code slayer’

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In 1994, law student Rob Corry joined with eight other students to file a legal challenge to a Stanford University speech code. It was the first-ever lawsuit filed under California’s recently-enacted “Leonard Law,” which applies First Amendment protections to private, non-sectarian colleges in the state of California (like Stanford), and which the students argued made Stanford’s restrictions on free speech unlawful.

Winning wasn’t going to be easy: Corry would be representing himself and his co-plaintiffs against one of America’s richest and most powerful research universities.

On Feb. 27, 1995—22 years ago this month—a California state court judge sided with Corry and struck down Stanford’s speech code as an impermissible content-based restriction on expression. The victory earned Corry the title of “speech code slayer" in a campus newspaper.

Today, on “So to Speak,” we talk with Corry of Corry v. Stanford about the seminal lawsuit, how he overcame the challenges of representing himself in court, and why other students should feel emboldened by his victory to challenge their colleges’ speech codes.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com

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Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Call in a question: 215-315-0100

Feb 23 2017

51mins

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John Stuart Mill’s ‘On Liberty’

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On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by professor Dale E. Miller to discuss the life and philosophy of the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, whose 1859 essay “On Liberty” is a classic text — maybe the classic text — defending the principles of free expression.

Miller is a professor and associate dean for research and graduate studies at Old Dominion University. He is the author of J.S. Mill: Moral, Social, and Political Thought.

Show notes: 

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Nov 26 2019

1hr 27mins

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‘The First Amendment in the Trump Era’ w/ Professor Timothy Zick

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On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by William & Mary Law School Professor Timothy Zick to discuss his new book, “The First Amendment in the Trump Era.”

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Nov 14 2019

1hr

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There’s no such thing as free speech, argues Stanley Fish

Oct 31 2019

1hr 11mins

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Who was Hayden C. Covington?

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He brought 45 First Amendment cases to the United States Supreme Court between 1939 and 1955. His success rate before the court was second only to future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He handled as many as 50 major cases a year and is responsible for much of the First Amendment doctrine we take for granted today. Who was this man — and why have most free speech scholars and activists never heard of him?

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we discuss the life and legacy of Hayden C. Covington, who for many years was legal counsel for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We are joined by distinguished First Amendment scholar and recurring So to Speak guest Ronald K.L. Collins. Collins is the author of the Florida International University Law Review article “Thoughts on Hayden C. Covington and the Paucity of Litigation Scholarship.”

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Oct 17 2019

47mins

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20 years of FIRE with co-founder Harvey Silverglate

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In 1999, criminal defense attorney Harvey Silverglate joined with University of Pennsylvania Professor Alan Charles Kors to found the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we connect with Silverglate at his office in Cambridge, Mass. to discuss FIRE’s founding, the origins of his interest in campus civil liberties, and what he sees for his creation’s future.

Join FIRE in celebrating our 20th anniversary in New York City on Oct. 24. The event will feature a keynote address from author Salman Rushdie. Tickets and sponsorships are available at thefire.org/anniversary.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Oct 03 2019

45mins

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Kevin Williamson’s ‘The Smallest Minority’

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On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, journalist Kevin Williamson joins us to discuss his new book, “The Smallest Minority: Independent Thinking in the Age of Mob Politics.”

Williamson is the roving correspondent for National Review and co-host of the podcast Mad Dogs & Englishmen.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Sep 16 2019

49mins

Play

‘Coddling’ one year later

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One year ago this week, “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure” was published.

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we sit down with FIRE President & CEO Greg Lukianoff, who co-authored the book with Jonathan Haidt, to reflect on what’s changed — or hasn’t changed — in the intervening year.

Show notes:

Greg’s book references/recommendations:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Sep 05 2019

46mins

Play

Free speech, privacy, and President Trump’s Twitter account w/ Alex Abdo

Aug 22 2019

47mins

Play

‘The Grievance Studies Affair’

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Last fall, three writers and scholars announced they had submitted 20 fake papers to academic journals to test whether  — as they suspected — certain fields of study lacked scientific and academic rigor.

Of the 20 papers they submitted before revealing their hoax, seven were accepted, four published, seven were “still in play,” and six were retired. The result is what’s become known as the “Grievance Studies Affair.” 

But what does their experiment prove, exactly?

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we put this question directly to Jim Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian, who authored the controversial papers.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Aug 08 2019

1hr 23mins

Play

‘David French-ism’

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National Review senior writer and former FIRE President David French has become an “-ism.” 

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, French joins us to discuss “David French-ism” and “the battle dividing conservatives” over civil liberties.

Also joining us is FIRE’s current President & CEO Greg Lukianoff, author of The New York Times bestseller “The Coddling of the American Mind,” due out in paperback on Aug. 20.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Jul 24 2019

1hr 8mins

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Prof. Samuel Abrams wrote an op-ed encouraging viewpoint diversity. Then came the fallout.

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His office door was vandalized. He was accused of causing “harm” to his “college community.” There was even a demand — supported by dozens of his faculty peers — to review his tenure.Why? Because he wrote an op-ed in The New York Times arguing for more viewpoint diversity at his campus.

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, Sarah Lawrence College professor Samuel Abrams joins us to discuss the response to his op-ed and the future of academic freedom, viewpoint diversity, and the role of faculty in college life.Also joining us is FIRE President & CEO Greg Lukianoff, author of The New York Times bestseller “The Coddling of the American Mind,” due out in paperback edition on Aug. 20.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Jul 11 2019

52mins

Play

Defending libraries with James LaRue

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Community libraries have always been a target for would-be censors — and the past few months are no exception.

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we explore past and present challenges to library content, and the unique role libraries play historically as bastions for free inquiry.

We are joined by James LaRue, an award-winning librarian and the former director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read Foundation

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Jun 27 2019

47mins

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Intellectual property 101

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The Constitution grants Congress the power “[t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

However, figuring out how Congress actually does this can be confusing.

Copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, fair use?

What do they all mean?

Today’s episode of So to Speak is all about simplifying intellectual property law for you — and explaining why free speech advocates should care about it. We are joined by FIRE Program Officer Adam Goldstein, who helps us break it all down.

A video of this interview can be found on FIRE’s YouTube channel.

Podcast transcript.

Adam’s recommended additional reading:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Jun 13 2019

1hr 2mins

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Words, Violence, and Censorship at Williams College

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On today’s episode of So to Speak, we are joined by Williams College Professor of Biology Luana Maroja.

Professor Maroja’s experience growing up under a dictatorship in Brazil led her to become an outspoken advocate for free speech at Williams College and a skeptic of the idea that words are violence.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

May 30 2019

39mins

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Wen Fa of the Pacific Legal Foundation

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On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we are joined by Wen Fa, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation who regularly litigates free speech cases. One of his most high-profile cases was the 2018 Supreme Court case Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky, dealing with a polling-place dress code in Minnesota.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

May 16 2019

37mins

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The fight to publish Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’

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“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.”

So begins Allen Ginsberg’s famous poem “Howl.” You might be familiar with Allen Ginsberg. You might be familiar with the poem. But chances are you don’t know about the efforts in San Francisco in 1957 to censor the poem.

On today’s episode of So to Speak, we discuss those efforts with distinguished First Amendment scholar and recurring So to Speak guest Ronald K.L. Collins. He is the co-author, with David M. Skover, of the new book, “The People v. Ferlinghetti: The Fight to Publish Allen Ginsberg’s HOWL,” which recounts the story behind the publication of “Howl” and the courageous fight against its censorship.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

May 02 2019

1hr 6mins

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Mustafa Akyol on jailing journalists in Turkey, ‘re-educating’ Uyghurs in China, and cultural conformity in America

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On today’s episode of So to Speak, we sit down with Cato Institute Senior Fellow Mustafa Akyol to discuss threats to freedom of thought and expression around the world, with a particular focus on situations in Turkey and China.

Akyol has been described by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria as “Turkey’s finest political analyst.” Prior to joining Cato, he was a senior fellow at The Freedom Project at Wellesley College, where he learned a thing or two about illiberalism in America. He is also a regular contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.

Show notes:

www.sotospeakpodcast.comFollow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Apr 18 2019

58mins

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‘Can free speech be progressive?’

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On today’s episode of So to Speak, we ask the question, “can free speech be progressive?”

Our guest is Louis Michael Seidman. He is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law at Georgetown Law and the author of the much-discussed 2018 Columbia Law Review article “Can Free Speech Be Progressive?

Click here for a transcript of the podcast.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Apr 04 2019

58mins

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Techdirt’s Mike Masnick

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On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we speak with Techdirt.com founder and editor Mike Masnick.

Since founding Techdirt in 1997, Masnick has written nearly 50,000 blog posts for the publication and covered many of tech’s hottest free speech controversies. He even coined the phrase “Streisand Effect.”

In this conversation, we discuss some of the issues Masnick has recently written about for Techdirt, including defamation lawsuits and content moderation. We also ask Mike about the founding of Techdirt, the culture for free speech in Silicon Valley, the fear surrounding new technologies, and, of course, the story behind the Streisand Effect.

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Mar 21 2019

1hr 15mins

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10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2019

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On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, FIRE staffers discuss our 2019 list of the 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech.

Participants in this show are:

  • Nico Perrino, host of So to Speak, director of communications
  • Will Creeley, senior vice president of legal and public advocacy
  • Adam Steinbaugh, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program
  • Sarah McLaughlin, senior program officer for legal and public advocacy

www.sotospeakpodcast.com Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freespeechtalk Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sotospeakpodcast Email us: sotospeak@thefire.org

Mar 07 2019

52mins

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