tv Panel Discussion on Free Speech CSPAN September 30, 2017 5:32pm-6:31pm EDT
this top-down, cloud computing base internet that google and are creating this is breakdown of the business model of all these companies. europeans are cracking down, the chinese are cracking down. and so these companies no longer have an open future. so the injured has to change. >> host: george gilder. here at freedomfest. thank you for your time. >> guest: thank you so much. i appreciate it. ...
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> okay, guys, we might getg. started. thank you so much for everyone to come to the event. weekly journal of literature, culture based in london with interest in the united states and sponsored by pan-america. tota delight to discuss issue of free speech which never seems to go away. i thought i begin things with literary angle. poet milton, polemic, in it he
said this, give me the liberty to know to utter and argue freely according to liberties. those with otherwise come fault that they found liablists, the fire and the executioner will be the timeliest and most affectual remedy that can follow. godfather that i believe in free expressions but which has been f active ever sense. as we discuss over 50 minutes, free speech is never in practice absolute. the question before us today is how much it should be championed specially in universities and those rights might include the right not to be offended but also the right to live free from abuse and intolerance and
safely. berkeley hosted ben shapiro and had to tighten security.by we are deeply concerned about the impact some speakers may have in individual's sense of safe and belongs. no one should be made to feel threatened because of who they are or what they believe. this week too harvard disinvited chelsea manning. is that evidence that harvard is not a place where ambiguities can be discussed? the dean of chicago sent a letter to incoming freshmen and said this, our commitments to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called trigger warnings, we do not cancel invited speakers because their topic might prove controversial and we do not condone intellectual of safe spaces where individuals with retreat from ideas and perspective over
their own. 152 member it was university signed a letter criticizing fori expressing the opinion. how far should we prioritize the need for safety and security within universities. i was asking students, an event that trigger warning and one member talk about shakespeare. there was a complaint about trigger warnings had not been ht prefaced by trigger warning. and so we do need to find a way how to preserve safe spaces and how important they r. we are going to consider is there risk of safe space to become segregated space. i'm joined by two people hopefully a third who will silently enter, jelanl cobb,
writer in 2015, one of the great jobs, his most recent book is call the substance of hope, hello, and also professor at colombia and michelle goldberg entering a room and as of tomorrow, economists at the new york times, congratulations to her. her first book was called kingdom coming, the rise of christian nationalism and next the means of reproduction, sex power and the future of the world so shoves unafraid for tackling topics and along suzanne nossel, sponsoring this event, senior and hugely important organizations including human rights and amnesty international and serving assistant secretary of state for organization. at the end we will take
questions and observations from you. one thing you'll notice is everyone is using youthful and lovely we are not students. let's start by asking the panel, if i may, do we believe the third principle, free speech significantly under threat or more broadly? >> first good afternoon and thank you for an invitation. i come to visit every so often. i'm happy to be with you today.t and so, sure, i think free speech is under threat.at i don't think it's under threatt in college campuses. i think the preeminent threat t free speech in the country
resides in 1600 pefl avenue. we have seen -- not justi rhetorical, people who might be in left universe, objectively we have not seen a president referring to the media enemy of the people, retro-fitting language in 21st century demagoguic presidency and for us to actually grapple with what that means with daily drip, drip, drip of political assaults against the press is something that we should be concerned with. when we look at the way the conversation about free speech on campuses has helped, very often what i've noticed about
the kind of reaction and movements is that they tend to drape their agendas into virtues of democracy and what i mean by that is saying that you are upholding one principalra democracy but dismantle another principal of it. i think the example that stands out to me most notably the voter suppression -- excuse me, voter integrity commission they have now in which they are allegedly attempting that our votes, that our elections are untainted but having no concern for the number of people who are finding it much more difficult to actually participate in democracy through voting.pa the same thing happens with free speech. when we are looking at the conversation around free speech, it is not, a standing for much more nephew -- set of concernse
in the way that free speech would. it's worth noting that the different spate of neo nazis events and far-right events have been driven as free-speech events and also be noted that we saw lots of people who were in that part of the world, part of the ideological spectrum defending milo -- milo yiannopoulos and those things were being defended under the name of free speech as opposeth substance subsequent issues. >> should he be excluded from making various types of not just stupid but as well as inflammatory comments?
>> well, i think the virginia of democracy is that everybody has the right to be stupid in their own turn and publicly, stupidity is own indictmentment, that notwithstanding i don't think that's what the concern was. when he began making statementnt that is people weree uncomfortable with about child molestation they became something indefensible. they left principle of free speech, milo has the right to talk about things that make usto uncomfortable like child molestation and defend the right to do but the opposite is what has happened. >> do you blame trump for how free speech ideas have been wrongly articulated on campus, do you think we go from the head down as society? >> i think he made it worse. we issued a report last year called campus for all diversity inclusion, free speech at u.s.al universities, documenting these rising tensions and pressures between the drive to make the
campus a more inclusive, equal environment open to all students from all kinds of backgrounds, making sure they really can learn and feel comfortable and accommodated at the university but also arguing that those changes and that necessary evolution of the university should not and must not come at the extense of robustob protections for free speech and academic freedom. it's our view that the two sidet too often talk pass each other. and social change and those who are defending free speech need to come together and come together. so i think -- >> really? >> that's my, i think -- >> do you have an issue? >> racism and sex schism, i think people who are concerned are not going to come together in promulgating -- [applause] >> i don't disagree with you, but you pointed this out.
not all people cloak themselves in the language of free speech come in peace. and i think what has happened especially over the last few months is this, you know, those who are advancing whether it's a racist or a sexist or an anti-gay agenda, calling themselves and claiming the mantel of free speech advocacy at berkeley which is really about a particular political agenda, i think the danger there that we see is a rising generation of students who are becoming alienated from the concept of free speech because a they see it being invoked only to protect ideas and speech on the other side. i think that's a real risk. what we're trying to point out is that free speech is for all of us. you know, you need free speech if you're going to challenge the administration, if you're going to challenge a professor. you fend on those protections in order -- you depend on those protections to insert your views. so we've got to reclaim free speech as a treasured value, you know, not belonging to the right or the left, but to all of us.
that's the angle we come from. >> michelle, do you think this is a new, is it a new problem, a new issue, do you feel? >> these things flare up from time to time, but we're in a specific -- i think the dynamic has become particularly toxic with you have this dynamic, and i don't know how you break out of it, because there is, on the one hand, this generation gap about free speech as a first principle or an absolute value, right? i think that there are a lot of people younger than me who think that safety or inclusion or diversity or tolerance are more important than, you know, letting the nazis march on scoping key, for example, which was the kind of civil lib arertarian -- libertarian tradition that i grew up in. and i wonder if part of the reason some of them think that is because fascism really does seem closer than it ever has before. and so, you know, it was one
thing to make an argument that we should let the nazis march when you couldn't imagine that somebody who's only a couple of steps removed from them would be in the white house. you know, now i think the -- there's a reason that people are much more alarmed about the mainstreaming of these ideas and that people feel such an intense need to kind of hold the line on what is acceptable. because part of what steve bannon and the rest of the right doing very consciously is trying to expand the realm of what can be said in public and decent society, right? that's what he means when he says politics are downstream from culture. but i think we're in a really bad place where for a lot of really alienated young men the site where you can be transgressive, where you can kind of throw off the norms of polite society where you don't have to second guess everything you say, you can be your true self, if they feel like that's the right -- and i think that that's something that, you know,
people like milo yiannopoulos are very good at playing on -- and that kind of, you know, university culture becomes the culture of tiptoeing around things and strictures and watching your words and, you know, i think that inasmuch as the right is able to be the kind of swaggering rule breaker, it's going to, i think it's going to keep attracting a lot of these alienated young men. and then the more they push, the more people, the more kind of response they get from, you know, from the kind of trigger warning left or whatever. the more they feel. again, i don't think it's not right when they say we're the new punk rock, but i think they're getting some kind of -- >> [inaudible] is what you're saying. >> yes. >> if you pander to what they believe a stereotype is, then it does their work for them. you want to hold the line against fascists, do you invite them in and argue them, or do you push them out? seems to me to be one of the
questions here. what would do you think, jelani? >> i think there are a couple of things kind of implicit in this and kind to have other side of michelle's point is that there is the very real -- we know this, that democracy can be undermined democratically. and so to kind of use the kind of threadbare at this point comparison but unfortunately still relevant, we're talking about hitler being elected and not seizing power. so the idea of how we combat these fascist movements, i don't think that we have a full picture of what anti-democracy looks like. we can only conceptualize it, or in some ways we can only conceptualize it as a kind of robust and laissez-faire almost approach to free speech. but someone who has studied the history of race in this country can tell you very easily that
there is a whole anti-democratic tradition in this country that was enhanced by the first amendment. and what i mean by that is simply this: in 1915 when birth of a nation was released, w.e. 3w6789 due boys and the naacp and william monroe trotter, the civil rights leader, all of them wanted this film to not be shown. and within the naacp even, which was a fledgling organization then just a few years old, there was an internal debate saying do we really want censorship? this was not a abstract, academic question. because birth of a nation was directly responsible for the rebirth of the ku klux klan x. this is not a, you know, should i be able to say this, it is directly related to these sources about lynching black people. and saying that when you have a hire hierarchical society, even civil liberties can be deployed in ways that reinforce that hierarchy.
if we wanted to know the history of this country, we would know that. if we were willing to look at the history of this country, that would be apparent to us. and so when we're saying, you know, are you in favor of the first amendment, of course you are. but i also think that are we in favor of everything else that contributes to what we call a healthy democracy. so to answer your point, when they saw charlottesville, the city of charlottesville requested, tried everything they could to prevent that gathering from happening. and they said this is not a matter of free speech, this is a matter of intimidating the public, and these people are really interested in creating a violent atmosphere and so on. and they were knocked down, i think, three times in court. and the aclu defended the right of these far-right groups to organize. and then once they got together, they did exactly what one would have expected, which is that they gathered around a church with a bunch of people inside, and they all had torches. and so anyone, again if we had
an inkling of understanding about how anti-democratic the history of this country has been especially around matters of race, knew this is exactly where something like this would lead. all i'm saying is we should be mindful of an array of threats to democracy, not a singular one. >> i guess the question that follows -- [applause] do you trust young people as a whole on campuses or society as a whole to effectively self-regulate this? sometimes you have to take absolute steps to limit freedoms because you can't trust society to regulate itself. michelle, do you think that's possible with students? should they be free to at least make these judgments themselves? >> that's a good question, and i guess it kind of depends on what sort of judgment you're talking about, right? like, should they be able to keep speakers that they don't like off their campus, should they be able to make certain demands of their professors.
i mean, i'm sympathetic to professors i've spoken to who feel like they have to walk on egg shells in front of their students, who feel worried that they're going to say the wrong thing and be brought up on a title ix complaint, you know? i think, you know, i had a lot of criticisms of laura -- [inaudible] book, but it was still kind of a cos ca-esque thing she had to go through. here's something i don't trust, i don't trust that any kind of speech restrictions that we decide to allow against the right will only be used against the right. i mean, particularly when the left is not in power in this country, you know? and so -- and it's actually true that we've, a lot of the, a lot of the examples of kind of really campus crackdowns on free speech, they don't get as much attention but there's, you know,
a scholar -- you hear about left-wing scholars all the time who either lose their jobs for saying something intemperate about, you know, trump or white people. i mean, basically tucker carlson on fox news, you know, because he doesn't want to write about trump making deals with democrats, this is what he airs, you know? when he's not talking about dirty gypsies, he's talking about, you know, somebody said something at east tennessee, whatever, let's rile up the whole country in response. and so, again, my fear is that once you start temp rising -- them porrizing about free speech, it becomes harder to demand it's an absolute -- >> the idea of safe spaces inherently is difficult for people who want to explore all sorts of ideas, even to reject them, that the unwanted -- and maybe it's a price worth paying, you end up with institutions
where risk is completely removed from the equation. so intellectually, there is a price to pay here. >> i think, you know, some versions of safe space are really just another term for freedom of association is. of course you have the right to get together with a group of people who agree with you on who to vote for or who share your values or love a certain author, whatever might bring you together, you know, with a group of like-minded people for a meal, for a meeting. that's different from declaring a whole campus or even a whole dormitory or dining hall a safe space and saying an alternative set of ideas is unwelcome there. yeah, we have laws that protect people against harassment and threats, and i think that's very important. if people are being targeted, if they're -- [audio difficulty] the environment where they live, they can't learn. that's not a healthy university environment. i think it's the responsibility of the university to protect students against that. you know, but at the same time, you know, being an open space for all ideas. so i think the university can
create the opportunity for safe spaces, students can find those spaces. you should know when you walk into one, you shouldn't fine yourself suddenly sitting at a table and discovering that, you know, because you think a certain way, you know, that's out of bounds. i think that does undercut, you know, the role of the university -- [audio difficulty] difficult, that are challenging. you know, i think jelani's right, that we have to be attentive to some very real dangers, you know, that we haven't seen in our lifetime around marginalization of particular communities, rising authoritarian tendencies. and i think turning a blind eye to that is a big mistake. but at the same time, empowering the university, 'em purring particularly -- empowering particularly this government, empowering social media platforms to police and regulate speech, to draw lines, you know, to decide what is out of bounds i think surrenders our rights and will end up being used in ways, you know, that are the opposite of what, you know, what
we here in this room might be aiming for. >> i'm not so sure, i'm not so sure it's that complicated, quite honestly. because i think we're using safe space in a way that is not common to how i've understood it on college campuses. one, anyone who's been in my classroom, i always say if you know what i actually think at the end of the class, then it means i've failed. [laughter] as a matter of fact, just last week i did my favorite exercise which is that, you know, i had -- and this is in my preponderance-writing class -- in my opinion writing class. by definition, self-selection. so i have them kind of pick a side of a controversial issue whether it's daca or, you know, the confederate monuments or building a border wall, any of these things, and tell them to go for it. you know, at the beginning of class. and they are writing their finest prose and bringing out their best arguments and so on. and then we kind of go through the class, and we talk about,
you know, a whole bunch of other things. and then i say, okay, shred that up and write to opposing argument honestly and sincerely. and you've never seen that much fidgeting and shifting -- [laughter] because it's physically uncomfortable that you have to engage the opposite perspective or the perspective that is 90 degrees askew from -- i mean, i think this is what, you know, the beautiful element, the most beautiful element of universities remains. but this' not what people -- that's not what people -- >> has anybody ever complained about that? >> no. well, they've complained about it being difficult. one person said can i write in favor of the border wall without writing something racist? and i was, like, that's the question. [laughter] i'm not going to tell you, i'm not going to help you here. >> what if they said you're making me espouse a view i don't want to do, that makes me uncomfortable. >> that's exactly the point. it'd be like telling your personal trainer, like, i'm uncomfortable right now. [laughter] >> and would your university back you up?
>> i suspect, for saying i asked you to write an exercise that was difficult? i'd probably be in pretty safe territory. but the other side of it, safe spaces is much more akin to what we think about in terms of workplace culture. it's very clear that, you know, you don't walk into your workplace generally and refer to everybody by four-letter words, you know? because in most workplaces that would be frowned upon. or there are kind of sexist behaviors that we think of or culturally insensitive behaviors or any of these other kinds of things that we know are not appropriate. and we're saying simply, as i have understood it always to be used, is that we want to create a common sense of community around what are acceptable and unacceptable ways of interacting. now, there are people who feel like the inability to marginalize other people is, in
fact, marginalization themselves. people who confuse that with marginalization. and i think this is where this conversation comes from. it's a question of intolerance and intolerance of the intolerant. >> and you said -- [inaudible] michelle and suzanne get in on this, a lot of the criteria -- [inaudible] people have the right to have freedom of expression, they can go off wherever they want to talk and go on social media and blather on, but is the responsibility of the institution not to give them a platform sometimes? do you think there's a straightforward criteria? people espousing a certain view should happily be platformed with no risk of being accused of restricting free speech? >> are you saying is there a criteria or could there be a criteria? >> what would the criteria be? >> oh, i don't -- that seems like it would be a long project, to try to elucidate those criteria. i think right now we don't have strong criteria which is what
makes this whole thing so fraught. like, for example, you know, ben shapiro spoke at berke hi earlier this week -- berkeley earlier this week. i don't like ben shapiro, i don't agree with anything he to be honest they are worth understanding because theyg becs reflect powerful political tendencies in this country but he is treated i think as being inseparable from say a richardps spencer or milo yannopoulos. my lower think you can say he shouldn't be speaking on campuses because he harasses the students. as part of his shtick. >> he came play a part where he's to liberate trying to make. judgments. >> i would think so and i would hope so but no platforming, you know i do worry about its just kind of expansive and expensive
expands and people who have -- people who feel like they have very little power in this world for good reason find a venue for which they can exercise power and are likely to push them as far as they can go because they feel marginalized and they feele victimized and they deserve to have those feelings but trying to make sure that republicans can't speak on your campus isn't necessarily, it might be the only venue you can exercise power but it's not useful for advancing progressive ideas. as somebody who writes a lot you cannot overstate how gleeful the right is whenever one of these incidents breaks out. to them it is just not just thaa they see it as a recruiting tool again like alienated young men
and you can't overstate how deliberate the kind of recruitment of alienated young men on chat boards and videond o games and all this kind of stuff and steve bannon in the book taa talks about this deliberate, this massive network of people t and is possible for political energy if political energy if they could just be channeled in the right direction so i wish they would stop giving them gift wrapped presents.st >> there's an important>> distinction to be drawn. a campus where there is a liberal policy with respect to any student group being able to invite a speaker to campus that the policy. if somebody is invited the university disinvite svetst individual is pretty seriousfica stuff. it's viewpoint specific and they are imposing a set of ideas on the whole campus.
that should be the very rare exception. it's different when you are talking about a commencementcomm speaker and it's the university putting their signature on an individual saying this person is someone we recognize in this way. those decisions need to be made in a very considerate way and it's terribly awkward andor har embarrassing to pretend the state is recognized by calling someone a fellow in the kennedy school with a mark of distinction and honor. how absurd. resending chelsea manning's -- is a good example of when you legitimize these tactics they are not just going to be used against the far right and in aga lot of ways they are more likely to be used against the laughs. one of the i thank biggest threats to free speech on college campus is the attempt to
criminalize -- [applause] but the argument against doing that is that this is a space for free speech even if some part of your belief is that it's people triggering it. >> okay going back to the't lik distinction between things we don't like and things that people have reason to feel threatened by and i think i'm not in favor of anyone who -- that they don't like or disagree with or offend you. i am talking about the blind spot in the ability to recognize the actual legacy of the things we are talking about. we are pretending that we don't know where donald trump came from but there's a genealogy inh this country that nurtures those
thoughts. to reach the pinnacle that they have achieved now on if i could pluck someone like steve bannon and place them as a senior at visor with gorka and miller and whatever reactionary element they have found themselves with this. we know where this comes from. i think that is a different thing. that said anti-suzanne's point you should amplify that 10,000 times. commencement speakers are supposed to be boring. there was a statistic that came out that if people didn'tpeaker remember the commencement speaker at their graduation to which i said exactly. i make a the point specifically because you are endorsing thatew person but you shouldn't go for the person who is like oh you know i created a farm and i give outcrops to hungry children.sp
i don't know all the specifics but it seems to me on the face of the data is what harper did and the same time it came out that they had presented their acceptance of anann african-american woman who was a accepted and the program inroubg history the.or she had a troubling history. she went to prison for killing her own child but they rescinded it because they were afraid of what other people would say. wal >> student said to me it's not the students that worry it's the parents who are often paying the money. universities are frightened of parents. they might say i'm paying $50,000 and i can't believe you are allowing them to come in and speak.
do you think it comes from people outside of the university?ors, >> there is pressure from donorn and media pressure and michelle jones people were free to talk about getting refunded for her participation in the graduatef school but it's the role of the university to stand for theseth larger values recognizing you will be pressured and people don't like it. their job is not to have universal claim -- a claim to be loved. >> they should be like that butu they are not.be s johnny's great lessons will be supported by his university. we made the decision to have chelsea manning and someone rejected and 25 minutes lateran they rescinded it. >> that's absolutely at and it't
something we need to put as much pressure what is left of the right when they make these decisions. they theoreti the problem with chelsea manning is the theoretically they said she could still come and speak but that was an after-the-fact. what they should do is say -->>, she is an important perspective whether you agree or accept what she did or not and no matter your view she is part of theou , discourse and to disinvite her this way made it clear she is not going to be heard. i think it's a real problem especially to do it underde pressure in these circumstances. >> can i make a quick point here? illustrative of how we are completing a lot of things in the conversation which is that the issue about free speech on campus for students who felt ana the faculty member who felt that
free speech was being i guess in some way impaired in responding to an e-mail which suggested maybe you don't wear black face on halloween. >> i read that e-mail too and i think it says more than that. it seemed to, i once went for how -- halloween as the girl with the dash in her cheek. i feel like that would have been provocative. >> that seems to be the conflation that goes on with universities themselves.someone that should be a relatively clear line to draw. >> even if you are saying this there are lots of other things you can do. there's no way i think that you can say that we can't tell the marginal numbers on these
campuses in the first place. explicitly forbidding the students to come and then when there is some really inconsequential number who managed to find their way to the campus the existence of the state we have to tolerate other people marching around in blacko face and call it freedom. >> i think everybody agrees that certain costumes that are wantonly offensive ought to be out of bounds. the question is how direct a prescriptive university should be detailing chapter and verse of different costumes and what was and wasn't appropriate inld the sense that students can make these decisions and make these judgments for themselves. they might get it wrong at the time but you offer looking atat
things through different lenses and learning through other students what those boundaries are and should be. you know i think you could defend the original memo but i also think there's a real case that there's a memo and another counter memo. the counter memo was really to put that responsibility in the hands of the students.rowing these are people who are growing up living in a diverse environment. that's exercise good judgment but it's not something the university should necessarily prescribed to. >> you can figure out this behavior tends to make the blaco student uncomfortable. leave cam [applause]tudent literally there were students leaving the campus because of this. when you go to these institutions that have these problems with retention one of the key things is that students
feel alienated and people of color feel alienated on the campuses. every institution i go to public, private college university midwest west coast, wherever there's a cluster of black students who say i feeld completely alienated in this place and i understand exactly why they feel that way. also the other thing is the consistency of it. september 16, 17th in 6 weeks while the university somewhere where someone will be walking around in black face becausend there has been every year. it's kind of the pattern where it happens again and again and people say it's politically correct.y the final point i will say about this is that i'm not arguing against freedom of speech. i'm saying we have all sorts of
other things that we recognize that we take a kind of completely unregulated approach and they wind up with something we don't intend. the fifth amendment and the property right of due process clause of the fifth amendment as wonderful until people use it as a basis for preventing the emancipation of slaves.m i think we have to be cognizant of that and none of that curtailing things. but these are not absolutes but we are trying to find a balance between competing views. >> we have to trust the people running these institutions to, strike that balance. if anyone wants to ask a question raise your hand and someone with a microphone ie
believe will come and find you. let's go to the person you are the nearest two and then we will work around.from t >> i actually just graduated from the university of virginia and i'm from charlottesville. i have a brother and sister there right now and i've a question about the practicality of bringing this conversation that we are having two people who might not want it to infiltrate their day-to-day lives on a regular basis. basically i've got a lot of friends on one side who don't want to hear anything about free speech verses the argument. they want to live their own lives and they don't really have to worry about the privilege or the problems of other people. then there are a lot of people who feel alienated by the lackck of presence of other african-americans on the campus.
how do you start to have that conversation in a way that doesn't feel like it's attacking either side or alienating eithes side are really starts to bring people together and have them understand the problems that each are facing? >> it helps to have conversations like this. >> i think dialogue between these groups is the essence of how we are going to get past it if we are ever going to get past it. we brought together a group of the top leaders from campus protests with free speech experts to talk face-to-face about why it is people are arguing that free speech protection makes people feel exposed and endangered and why they are advocating the first amendment and things that it can add. we found people when they sit down face-to-face they may not agree perfectly but they can
understand each other. i watched a lecture or glee tha an item inside that room we invited people who disagreed to come to the frontline to ask the questions and there were a lot of challenging questions. there were really streams and i think we need more of that to get away from the showpieces in grandstanding and people coming to parade on campus to hold the mantle of free speech but simply to provoke and instigated the liberally anger without anyal it interesting conversation and give-and-take peering out the other side and learning what is the experience of african-american students on campus and why is it that they are asking for this? a his jelani is right. there is a history to it and if you understand that history you don't look at it as a caricature. this is preposterous and this is vandalizing and students are ending their power to universities.er there is more to it.
lim my feel differently on the whole crisis but that kind of dialogue is essential and leading to new more of getting people into the room together to have it. >> the question is in particular for jelani but also for you. a lot of the time, click to hear what you think about the media narrative around how to define . the person a gets to lay claim to it. i apologize if this was addressed in the first five minutes but when students of color, when women and transstudents are made to leave academia or for example even on line with people close their twitter account because they have gotten so harassed that they can't speak in the public comment anymore that to me is a
big issue and in the corporate media narrative in particular if you only hear generally about ann coulter's free speech is writes being taken away when i asked if be accountable for their speech or not harassing people actively and targeting people with that speech. >> i think as we have beenat saying this kind of conflationdp and these absurd examples. i think you would find peopleke like the situation where she was basically being persecuted because she wrote articles that someone disagreed with. i think also the left is guilty of using the word violence in ways that people say you didn't
speak to me when i saw you today. everything has become violent to the extent that i think some of the left is culpable. we blur those lines a little bii but that said i think we still do have a fair idea of what is threatening or what is harassment. institutions have lots ofin policies around these things and codes of conduct and behavior. i don't think it's that hard to see it. what we have done is go off-topic briefly and what we have done in the subject the same thing we have done with the 2016 election which is that people have embraced a demagogic approach to life and therefore imperils lots of other elements
tied to democracy itself but it has to be one of unlimited empathy to say i'm sorry that you feel bad. what was it the that caused you to destroy democracy and let me help you move on from there. >> i think that it's not covered fairly and responsibly. there's a fair amount of targeting of left-wing presenters and left-wings. movements and what we are used to as specific narratives as fragile snowflakes can't stand right-wing provocateur and like i said i do think that his real and even when it is inflated and even when it's kind of loan upnn
past the underlying fact i don't think you can underestimate howt hurtful that is to the other side. like i said i've covered trump for a long time. i've been to his rallies and i've never heard somebody talk about nafta but people always spoke about being angry about political correctness and angry that they couldn't just say what they wanted anymore. part of it was the couldn't cavalierly talk about it and they really resented that. inasmuch as there's a feeling that liberals want to exert this kind of control over people even where that perception is exaggerated to create such a powerful counterreaction data gets worse trying to do what you can. >> hopefully today we have managed to have the narrative. let's thank our guests. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] >> this is what churchill faced when he came into power in those awful days in the 1940s. practically from his first day in office he begged franklin roosevelt for help to stave off hitler. the president was very aware of the isolationist mood of the country and even though he really wanted to help britain he was very -- he did want to get involved in get involved and he could help it. besides both people in washington including him for pretty much convinced that britain would be easily defeated. how could it possibly survive
millennials and we talked about the generation at the time. there's never been any problem and you know i think a number of things happened there. first of all i want say one regret about the book is i didn't give credit to the thousands who once she got the nomination went on to support her. i think i was at the time there was so much hate coming from the busters that they occupied my consciousness that there's a whole other, it's quite large contingent of bernie supporters. who realized a choice between hillary clinton though it may not have been their first choice and trump no contest. then there were the one to
thought they were too evil and said she was the lesser of two evils so i wish i would have given more credit to those women and men. but i think what happens in this book is an interesting thing because the guardian, some of you might have read it was from the bernie chapter and there's only one chapter in the book that's about ernie. you would think so from the guardian's viewpoint the book would have bernie sanders. the headline of the article was the way the headlines was the destruction of hillary clinton sanders and millennial feminist which right away makes it seem as though my argument is that millennials feminists -- which is not my argument. at all.
i have some beefs with bernie and the way he presented his campaign but when the comes to the millennials we are describing a generation gap. >> what do you see in that generation gap that would lead them not to support hillary clinton is as their first choice? >> that's a great question and for some people it certainly was grounded in policy differences however it's very difficult to sort out what were well rounded policy differences to what has been turned into brands you know so there are a number of issues that ernie supporters had with hillary's positions but what happens to the problems in hillary's positions is -- everyone has soft spots.
they were turned by bernie and two hallmarks of her establishment status and the sign that she was not true progressive. a lot of people i think, a lot of people responded to that branding. who wants to be on the side of the establishment? you want to be on the side of the progressive and her being branded in that way would make them recoil from her. her style. as you mentioned hillary has, she has a very tidy, i don't know exactly how to describe it. her hair is rarely a mess.
it neatly coiffed and she wears, have you ever seen her in a pair of jeans? i don't think so. again someone who looks very put together in composed about her and those things if i can venture into my -- that part of my persona of those things translate. they translate into conservative and i think they translate for a lot of younger people in a way, it did for me because i had seen her evolution and i knew what was behind it. mind you there were plenty of times when i wanted to mess her hair up. i wanted to change her outfit for her but to me they weren't meaningful. it was playful on my part.