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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast

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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast
Ep. 162 “Parental Advisory” and music censorship with Eric Nuzum 

May 26, 2022

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.

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 illustrates examples of music censorship ranging from the Reconstruction era, when Southerners were prevented from publicly singing pro-Confederate ballads, to 1967, when the network that aired televised live performances by The Doors and The Rolling Stones asked the bands to alter their lyrics. Nuzum also discusses the PMRC’s “Filthy Fifteen”; Senate hearings featuring John Denver, Frank Zappa, and Dee Snider; post-9/11 radio censorship; and more recent controversies involving the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials.

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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast
Ep. 161 What did ‘On the Media’ get wrong about free speech … again? 

May 09, 2022

This is the second time we have addressed bad free speech arguments from “On the Media.” The first time was last September, when this same group responded to the episode, “Constitutionally Speaking.”

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 much freedom. On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, Matt Taibbi, Nadine Strossen, and Amna Khalid discuss what “On the Media” got wrong and what they got really wrong in their episode “Ghost in the Machine.” (No, “On the Media,” Twitter will not become a platform for child pornography.)

This is the second time we have addressed bad free speech arguments from “On the Media.” The first time was last September, when this same group responded to the episode, “Constitutionally Speaking.”

Matt Taibbi is the author of four New York Times bestselling books. He writes a popular Substack newsletter, TK News.

Nadine Strossen is a professor of law, emerita at New York Law School and served for 17 years as the president of the ACLU.

Amna Khalid is an associate professor of history at Carleton College and the host of a new podcast called “Banished.”

Transcript:
https://www.thefire.org/so-to-speak-podcast-transcript-what-on-the-media-got-wrong-about-free-speech-again/

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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast
Ep. 160 Hugh Hefner, free speech scrapbooker 

May 05, 2022

Stuart N. Brotman, professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was granted exclusive access to Hefner’s scrapbooks. On today’s episode, he talks about what he found and about his new book, “The First Amendment Lives On: Conversations Commemorating Hugh M. Hefner's Legacy of Enduring Free Speech and Free Press Values.”

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 Tennessee, Knoxville, was granted exclusive access to Hefner’s scrapbooks. On today’s episode, he talks about what he found and about his new book, “The First Amendment Lives On: Conversations Commemorating Hugh M. Hefner's Legacy of Enduring Free Speech and Free Press Values.”

Show notes:

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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast
Ep. 159 Disney and Elon Musk 

Apr 26, 2022

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?

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 firm Davis Wright-Tremaine, a member of FIRE’s Advisory Council, and the author of “The Mind of the Censor and the Eye of the Beholder: The First Amendment and the Censor’s Dilemma.”

Show notes:

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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast
Ep. 158 What is academic freedom? 

Apr 21, 2022

What is academic freedom? And who polices its boundaries?

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 Future of Academic Freedom.”

Show notes:

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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast
Ep. 157 Former BBC bureau chief Konstantin Eggert and what you need to know about censorship in Russia 

Apr 11, 2022

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. 

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, living in Lithuania, Eggert is a vocal critic of the Putin regime and has more than a few thoughts on censorship in Russia: specifically, how it compares to Soviet censorship, the decline of independent media in the country, Russian history, and the war in Ukraine.

Eggert currently works for a German broadcaster, Deutsche Welle.

Show notes:

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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast
Ep. 156 What Russians don’t know about the war in Ukraine ​ 

Mar 24, 2022

​​The Russian government has purged independent media, banned protests, and shut down social media access. So, do Russians know the truth about the war in Ukraine?

​​The Russian government has purged independent media, banned protests, and shut down social media access. So, do Russians know the truth about the war in Ukraine?

Ksenia Turkova is a journalist from Russia who currently works for Voice of America. Before coming to the United States she worked for a number of Russian news outlets, including some that were shut down by the Russian government. She also spent time as a radio host in Ukraine.

On today’s episode of “So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast,” Turkova shares her reporting on Russian censorship and the war in Ukraine, as well as some of her firsthand experiences as a reporter in the country.

Transcript: https://www.thefire.org/so-to-speak-podcast-transcript-what-russians-dont-know-about-the-war-in-ukraine/

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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast
Ep. 155 The John Roberts Supreme Court 

Mar 10, 2022

​​“No chief justice in our history has had as much influence on the law of freedom of expression as John Roberts,” according to Ronald K.L. Collins and David L. Hudson Jr.

​​“No chief justice in our history has had as much influence on the law of freedom of expression as John Roberts,” according to Ronald K.L. Collins and David L. Hudson Jr.

They are the authors of a new Brooklyn Law Review article, “The Roberts Court—Its First Amendment Free Expression Jurisprudence: 2005–2021.”

On today’s episode of “So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast,” Collins and Hudson review 58 First Amendment rulings that have been issued since John Roberts became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Collins is a First Amendment scholar, author, and editor of First Amendment News. Hudson is the Justice Robert H. Jackson legal fellow at FIRE and a professor at Belmont University College of Law. 

Transcript: https://www.thefire.org/so-to-speak-podcast-transcript-the-john-roberts-supreme-court/

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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast
Ep. 154 Sarah Palin v. New York Times 

Feb 22, 2022

On today’s episode of “So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast,” we are joined by Robert Corn-Revere and David Hudson to discuss Sarah Palin v. New York Times, a defamation case that has captured national attention. Corn-Revere is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and the author of the new book, “The Mind of the Censor and the Eye of the Beholder.” Hudson is the Justice Robert H. Jackson legal fellow at FIRE and a professor at Belmont University College of Law. 

On today’s episode of “So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast,” we are joined by Robert Corn-Revere and David Hudson to discuss Sarah Palin v. New York Times, a defamation case that has captured national attention. Corn-Revere is a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and the author of the new book, “The Mind of the Censor and the Eye of the Beholder.” Hudson is the Justice Robert H. Jackson legal fellow at FIRE and a professor at Belmont University College of Law. 

Transcript: https://www.thefire.org/so-to-speak-podcast-transcript-sarah-palin-v-new-york-times/

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So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast
Ep. 153 Elitist vs. egalitarian free speech (live recording, Q&A) 

Feb 04, 2022

The panelists discuss how lessons from free speech movements throughout world history can help explain today’s divisions over the value of free speech, and how conflicts between egalitarian and elitist schools of free speech thought are still with us in the digital age.

On today’s episode, we feature a live recording of “So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast” with Jacob Mchangama, author of “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media,” in conversation with FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff, Sarah McLaughlin, host Nico Perrino, and NYU professor Stephen D. Solomon.

The panelists discuss how lessons from free speech movements throughout world history can help explain today’s divisions over the value of free speech, and how conflicts between egalitarian and elitist schools of free speech thought are still with us in the digital age.

This recording was a co-sponsored event with First Amendment Watch at New York University.

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