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J Hopkins is an American playwright, novelist, and political satirist. He moved to Germany in 2004. He publishes a self-titled blog on Substack and is the editor of Consent Factory Publishing. CJ’s most recent book, “The Rise of the New Normal Reich,” draws a parallel between Nazi Germany and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In August 2022, i…
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Michael Malice is a self-described “anarchist without adjectives” and is the author of several books, including most recently “The White Pill: A Tale of Good and Evil.” He is also the host of the podcast, “YOUR WELCOME,” and the subject of the biographical comic book, “Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story.” Michael joins us today to explain why h…
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Jeff Kosseff is an associate professor of cybersecurity law in the United States Naval Academy’s Cyber Science Department. He is the author of four books including his most recent, “Liar in a Crowded Theater: Freedom of Speech in a World of Misinformation.” He has also written books about anonymous speech and Section 230 of the Communications Decen…
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Bill Courtney is an American football coach, entrepreneur, author, and the subject of the academy award winning 2011 documentary “Undefeated,” which tells the story of Courtney leading a high school football team in an economically depressed area of Memphis, Tenn. to the playoffs. Courtney is the host of the An Army of Normal Folks podcast, in whic…
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We’re joined today by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Robert Corn-Revere, and Ronnie London to discuss the history and verdict of the Backpage trial. Backpage.com was an online classified advertising service founded in 2004. As a chief competitor to Craigslist, Backpage allowed users to post ads to categories such as personals, automotive, rentals, jobs and…
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Nico and FIRE President & CEO Greg Lukianoff appeared on an X Space to discuss the fallout from the recent congressional hearing on anti-Semitism involving Harvard President Claudine Gay, MIT President Sally Kornbluth, and former Penn President Liz Magill, who resigned last week following backlash over her testimony. Timestamps 0:00- Introduction 1…
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We’re joined by First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza and British journalist Brendan O’Neill to discuss the state of free speech in the United States and Europe. Randazza is a First Amendment attorney and the managing partner at Randazza Legal Group. He has represented controversial figures throughout his career, including Alex Jones, Mike Cernovi…
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The FIRE team gets together to discuss the October 7 attacks in Israel and the resulting censorship on college campuses in the United States. FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff, Director of Campus Rights Advocacy Alex Morey, and General Counsel Ronnie London join host Nico Perrino for the conversation. ** We will conduct a listener survey starti…
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The Supreme Court handed down some big First Amendment victories last term. What lies ahead for the Court in the upcoming term? FIRE Chief Counsel Robert Corn-Revere and FIRE General Counsel Ronnie London join the show to discuss important First Amendment cases that will be heard during the Court’s 2023-24 session. Timestamps: 0:00 - Introduction 1…
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President, CEO, and general counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Kristen Waggoner, joins us for a discussion on freedom of speech and religious liberty. ADF has played various roles in 74 U.S. Supreme Court victories and since 2011, has won cases before the Court 15 times. According to its website, “ADF is the world's largest legal organizati…
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Writer and academic Yascha Mounk argues that a new set of ideas about race, gender, and sexual orientation have overtaken society, giving rise to a rigid focus on identity in our national debate. In his new book, “The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time,” Yascha seeks to take these ideas seriously, understand their origin, dissect…
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FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff and FIRE General Counsel Ronnie London join the show to preview Greg’s new co-authored book on cancel culture and to discuss recent free speech cases and headlines: Transcript: https://www.thefire.org/research-learn/so-speak-podcast-transcript-dont-tread-me-misgendering-cancel-culture-and-three “The Canceling o…
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Harvey Silverglate is a criminal defense and civil liberties attorney. He is also the co-founder of FIRE. On today’s show, Harvey defends the work of criminal defense attorneys, explaining why even guilty people must have the right to a robust legal defense. He also shares stories from his life, from growing up in Brooklyn to defending Vietnam War …
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High school debate is considered an ideal extracurricular activity for aspiring lawyers, politicians, or anyone seeking to learn the tools of effective communication and persuasion. But a slew of recent reports argue that high school debate is being captured by political ideology, rendering certain arguments off-limits, some debate topics undebatab…
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We review the Supreme Court’s free speech cases during the 2022-23 term and speculate on what’s in store for the next term. FIRE Vice President of Litigation Darpana Sheth guest hosts and is joined by FIRE Chief Counsel Robert Corn-Revere and FIRE General Counsel Ronnie London. This episode was recorded before a virtual live audience on July 20. Wa…
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In the last episode of the “So to Speak” podcast, we traced the dramatic story of free speech in the United States from colonial America to the abolitionists' campaign to abolish slavery. In this week’s episode, we pick up where we left off and explore the complicated history and legacy of civil liberties during the American Civil War. Professor an…
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Last Constitution Day, we traced the origins of free speech in the United States from colonial America to the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791. In this episode, we jump forward to the antebellum period, where abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass, John Quincy Adams, William Lloyd Garrison, and Angelina Grimké clashed with pro-slavery a…
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Nico knows very little about punk rock. On today’s show, Reason magazine’s Nick Gillespie and FIRE Vice President of Communications Matt Harwood do their best to explain to Nico why he and other free speech advocates should care about punk rock. Transcript: https://www.thefire.org/research-learn/so-speak-podcast-transcript-why-should-we-care-about-…
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Winning in the court of public opinion is hard. On today’s show, Ewing School founder Bob Ewing shares communications strategies that anyone — including free speech advocates — can use to win in the marketplace of ideas. Prior to founding the Ewing School, Bob was director of communications for the Institute for Justice and pioneered a communicatio…
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On April 18, Fox News agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million to settle a defamation lawsuit stemming from allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The historic settlement came just before the trial was set to begin in a case many saw as having significant First Amendment implications. In this exclusive conversatio…
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Rocking their tuxedos in preparation for the 2023 FIRE gala in New York City, Host Nico Perrino speaks with rapper and free speech advocate Killer Mike about his journey toward learning the value of free expression. They also discuss the importance of free speech in American history, the value of engaging and arguing with those who disagree with us…
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Does music censorship still happen in America? Is “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll” dead? Is transgression in art and culture celebrated anymore (or was it ever)? From Beyonce and Taylor Swift to Ozzy Osbourne and Robin Thicke, SPIN magazine founder Bob Guccione Jr. and Reason magazine Editor at Large Nick Gillespie join a lively discussion of our cu…
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What’s going on in Florida? Host Nico Perrino and his FIRE colleagues break down the latest efforts to censor speech in the Sunshine State. Show notes: Transcript “VICTORY: After FIRE lawsuit, court halts enforcement of key provisions of the Stop WOKE Act limiting how Florida professors can teach about race, sex” “Thought the ‘Stop WOKE Act’ was ba…
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UPDATE: Just as this podcast was to be published, Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez sent a 10-page memorandum to the law school community outlining a path forward for the school, including updating school policies to prevent future speaker disruptions and mandatory student free speech training. She also announced that Associate Dean Tirien St…
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Ilya Shapiro joins the show to discuss the fireworks in the Fox/Dominion defamation lawsuit, his recent speaking appearance at the University of Denver, and his “cancel culture nightmare” at Georgetown University. Shapiro is a senior fellow and director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute. He previously (and briefly) served as exec…
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The seminal 1964 Supreme Court decision in New York Times v. Sullivan limited the ability of public officials to silence their critics by successfully suing them for defamation. Sullivan made “American public officials more accountable, the American media more watchful, and the American people better informed,” said William Rehnquist, the late Chie…
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FIRE’s Will Creeley and Aaron Terr join the show to discuss Phoenix, Arizona’s unconstitutional “clean zone” for Super Bowl LVII, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s effort to get public school students to volunteer for her re-election campaign, recent polling on how much people really know about the First Amendment (sadly, not much), and Indiegogo, Kic…
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What does the rise of artificial intelligence mean for the future of free speech and the First Amendment? Who is liable for what AI produces? Can you own a copyright for works produced by AI? Does AI itself violate intellectual property rights when it uses others’ information to generate content? What about that Morgan Freeman “deep fake”? And is C…
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A faculty member at Hamline University lost her job. Twelve staffers at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were murdered. And Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed. All of them offended certain people’s religious sensitivities. On today’s show, we are joined by Amna Khalid and Michael Moynihan to discuss the risks and costs of teaching, ta…
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Do Ann Coulter’s words equal “violence”? Does Emerson College care more about not offending the Chinese Communist Party than protecting student free speech rights? And are faculty political litmus tests back in vogue? FIRE’s Alex Morey and Zach Greenberg join the show to discuss the latest in campus censorship. Please support this show by donating …
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Hot on the heels of oral argument in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, FIRE’s Ronnie London and David Hudson join the show to discuss the case, as well as other high profile free speech cases at the Supreme Court this year. Show notes: Transcript Watch the video of the podcast conversation 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis Shurtleff v. City of Boston Kennedy v.…
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FIRE’s new Director of Public Advocacy Aaron Terr and the Cato Institute’s Will Duffield join the show to discuss a slew of recent free speech news. California gets it right on rap lyrics but wrong on coronavirus misinformation. One Texas school district repeatedly ventures into book banning. LeBron James spreads “hate speech” misinformation. Is go…
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FIRE’s Will Creeley and Aaron Terr join the show to discuss a slew of recent free speech news: What do we make of Elon Musk buying Twitter? Is PayPal fining its users $2,500 for promoting “misinformation”? Is New York trying to destroy Twitch? And do public employees in Charlottesville, Va., need to shut their mouths to keep their jobs? Also, how’s…
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Do books need a special editor who reads for offensive content? And who gets to decide what’s offensive anyway? This week we are joined by authors Kat Rosenfield and Vesper Stamper to discuss censorial trends in book publishing, including the rise of so-called “sensitivity readers” and the sometimes successful campaigns to get books canceled before…
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Does the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protect a private social media company’s right to moderate content on its platform?A new ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit says it does not, and that a Texas law preventing viewpoint discrimination on social media platforms is constitutional.The issue is likely bou…
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“Should academic journals appoint themselves social justice gatekeepers?”That is the question journalist and author Jonathan Rauch asks in responding to new ethics guidance from the academic journal Nature Human Behaviour. The journal introduces the guidance by ominously noting that “although academic freedom is fundamental, it is not unbounded.” I…
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This Saturday, Sept. 17, is Constitution Day. It was on this day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed America’s Constitution. And while the First Amendment was not ratified until 1791, discussions over the role of free speech and expression in a democratic society were alive long before then. Pepperdine University professo…
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What can Charles Darwin teach us about dissent? What do the professional basketball careers of Wilt Chamberlain and Rick Barry tell us about conventional wisdom?On today’s show, George Mason University Professor Todd Kashdan helps us understand the value of principled dissent: what it is, how to do it, and the pitfalls to avoid. He is the author of…
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Last week, a would-be assassin attacked Salman Rushdie, author of “The Satanic Verses,” in an apparent attempt to carry out the infamous fatwa placed on Rushdie’s life. Fortunately, Rushdie survived the attack. Vice News Tonight correspondent and “The Fifth Column” podcast co-host Michael Moynihan joins the show to discuss what happened, what it me…
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When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion in the United States, many people expected states to pass laws restricting access to abortion services. Perhaps less expected was that some lawmakers now seek to pass laws restricting — and criminalizing — speech about abortion services. FIRE Legal Di…
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Substack — the popular newsletter and publishing service — has made a name for itself by swimming against the current: As many technology companies devise new ways to censor or moderate content on their platforms, Substack made free speech one of its core values and, in doing so, has attracted bloggers and journalists from across the political spec…
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Last month, the U.S. Department of Education proposed new Title IX regulations that, if implemented, would gut essential free speech and due process rights for college students facing sexual misconduct allegations on campus. Joining us to analyze the regulations and their impact are FIRE’s executive director and author of the book “Twisting Title I…
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“Every advance gay people have made in this country has been the result of the exercise of free expression,” argues writer James Kirchick, author of the New York Times bestseller, “Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington.” Transcript: https://www.thefire.org/so-to-speak-podcast-transcript-the-first-amendment-created-gay-america/ www.sotos…
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Today, the Foundation for Individual Rights *in Education* becomes the Foundation for Individual Rights *and Expression*. America’s leading defender of free speech, due process, and academic freedom in higher education announced it is taking its free speech mission beyond college campuses with a $75 million expansion initiative. FIRE President & CE…
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In this week’s episode of So to Speak, we focus on some of the notable cases of music censorship in America, the formation of the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), and the lasting effects of the PMRC’s efforts on the music industry. Author Eric Nuzum joins us to discuss his 2001 book, “Parental Advisory: Music Censorship in America.” Nuzum illu…
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Twitter is going to become 8chan. At least, that’s what a recent episode of the popular radio program “On the Media” suggests will happen if Elon Musk successfully buys Twitter. Musk promised to bring greater free speech protections to the social media platform. But where Musk sees an opportunity for more freedom, some see the potential for too muc…
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Did you know Hugh Hefner holds the Guinness World Record for owning the largest personal scrapbook collection in the world?When he was not building the global Playboy empire, he spent his Saturdays compiling more than 3,000 scrapbooks, chronicling free speech and press issues during his lifetime. Stuart N. Brotman, professor at the University of Te…
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Does Disney have free speech rights? And did Florida violate the First Amendment when it punished the company for its political activism? Elon Musk is buying Twitter. What should free speech advocates make of that? Recurring guest and famed First Amendment scholar Robert Corn-Revere is here to break it all down for us. He’s a partner at the law fir…
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What is academic freedom? And who polices its boundaries? Our guests on today’s show argue that the popular conception of academic freedom has become too closely connected with the concept of free speech. Penn State Professor Michael Bérubé and Portland State Professor Jennifer Ruth are the authors of “It’s Not Free Speech: Race, Democracy, and the…
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Konstantin Eggert, a native Muscovite, has reported on Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. He started his reporting career in Moscow in 1990. From 1998-2009, he was senior correspondent, then editor-in-chief, of the BBC Russian Service Moscow bureau. Later he worked for ExxonMobil Russia and Russian media outlets, Kommersant and TV Rain. Now…
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