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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Apparently Free Speech Is Not for Everyone

I'm going to stray into politics today but it's only because this free speech issue involves a new book and a controversial writer. I find what happened at one Beverly Hills bookstore last night disturbing, especially considering the way that an Ottawa university did the same thing to another conservative speaker just a few days ago. Free speech is apparently not for everyone - just those who shout the loudest and make the biggest fools of themselves (and, yes, I find this kind of behavior disgusting when it comes from either side of political spectrum).

I find this Examiner.com account of the incident embarrassing for the writer who posted it:

Karl Rove was forced to leave his book signing last night after being shouted down by anti-war protesters.

Rove was in Beverly Hills, California promoting his controversial book Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight. Approximately 100 people had paid $40 each to hear Rove speak and then get their copies signed.
[...]
The Former White House chief of staff was berated with comments during his talk that ranged from being called a liar to a war criminal to one woman claiming “The only comfort I take is that you're going to rot in hell."
Stevens-Young pretends to be posting a news piece up to the point where she tries to get cute. I assume she thinks she's preaching to the choir when she says:
Rowe reacted with some sophomoric responses including calling one person a “lunatic” and then ironically stating “they don't believe in First Amendment rights for anyone but themselves.” When it was obvious there were a lot of people who disagreed with him, Rowe ran away before signing any books. Maybe he went to see a movie: Green Zone would have been a good choice.
I don't know why I expected a news item when I decided to click on this link, probably because the article's headline was hidden:
Karl Rove called a war criminal, flees before signing books
Somehow, I doubt that Karl Rove did much fleeing from a bunch of bookstore protesters.

I've never heard of Examiner.com, or Kristy Stevens-Young, the woman who seems to believe that free speech is a one-way street and that she's managing the toll booth, but someone should tell her that she's making a fool of herself. Don't be surprised if she shouts you down, though.
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