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Washington, D.C.: Come Watch Me Debate Political Correctness and Free Speech on Campus!

Washington, D.C. metro area residents and all denizens of the Interwebs! Come out or tune in next Tuesday (February 24) to watch me debate in my first appearance in the Intelligence Squared debate series. Anyone who knows me or has read my writing knows that I’m a huge fan of the series and mention it all the time as a great way to teach people that debate can be thoughtful, meaty, civil, and, heaven forbid, fun. That’s something that can be easily forgotten in an age when it’s all too easy to get in trouble for your opinions or jokes, especially on campus. (Or even for what other people post on Facebook. I’m looking at you, University of Tulsa!)

The topic of the debate will be “Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity On Campus” and I will be arguing for the motion, which should make for an interesting evening since I identify as a liberal and so does my debate partner, Kirsten Powers, a columnist for USA Today and a FOX News contributor. It also may surprise some people that I’m arguing for the motion as I’ve always been very clear that FIRE is a nonpartisan group that employs people from all over the political spectrum and defends people all across the political spectrum. Indeed, FIRE has never hesitated to defend speakers on the far left, right, or anywhere in between. However, at the same time, I’ve never hesitated to make the simple point that, these days at least, you’re more likely to be censored on most campuses by the left rather than the right. Besides, the debate series wanted to pick a topic that wasn’t boring and with which we could actually have some fun.

But if you want to know any more about my argument, and I hope you do, you should come out next Tuesday or watch the event online, just don’t forget to vote! The winner of the debate is whoever inspires the most people to change their mind during the course of the debate.

As I previously mentioned, my debate partner will be Kirsten Powers. The panelists who will be arguing against the motion are Angus Johnston, a historian of student activism and the founder of, along with Jeremy Mayer, an associate professor in the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University.

Members of the press, journalists, and columnists who wish to cover or attend the debate are encouraged to contact Katie Barrows, FIRE’s Communications Coordinator, for press access to the event. She can be reached at

I hope to see you there!

What: Intelligence Squared U.S. debate on whether “Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity on Campus”

When: Tuesday, February 24, 2015; 5 p.m. reception, 6 p.m. debate

Where: Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University, 805 21st St. NW (in the School of Media and Public Affairs, corner of H and 21st NW), Washington, D.C. 20052

Tickets: $30 for adults; $10 for GWU students

Live Stream: Starts at 6 p.m. on the day of the debate on the IQ2US website, under “Live Streaming”

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