Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Which Side Is Censored More?

John Leo argues, “Most of the speakers disinvited by colleges and universities are on the right, given the politics of our campuses.” I wonder where his evidence is for that claim. It seems clear that the two most frequently disinvited speakers in recent years are Ward Churchill and Bill Ayers. The category of college most likely to disinvite or ban a speaker clearly seems to be the religious college.

It is true that speakers who are heckled, shouted down, or pied are heavily on the right, but certainly heckling is far less repressive than being disinvited. Leo complains that the Minutemen were stopped from speaking at Columbia “all without a peep of protest from the left.” In fact, I have noted that Columbia “has to its eternal shame failed to bring the Minutemen back to campus to speak their views.”(

But cases like this seem to be rarer than the onslaught of disinvited speakers, including the recent efforts to ban Barack Obama from Notre Dame University. It's good to see John Leo defend the free speech rights of liberal speakers, but he ought to provide some evidence before claiming that conservatives face great censorship.

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