DARE: Ben Shapiro spoke at Berkeley as protesters gathered outside
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Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro speaks at UC Berkeley as the administrators, organizers of the event and accompanying protests, and police combine to allow speech and counter-speech to be safely heard on campus. (See PEN America statement here.) Harvard’s Kennedy School rescinds invitation to leaker Chelsea Manning to be a visiting Fellow after former CIA official also named protests and current CIA director cancels separate speech; former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer and campaign manager Corey Lewandowski stay on the list. The president takes to Twitter to attack ESPN, following on his press secretary’s call that a sports anchor Jemele Hill be fired for her criticism of the president. (Read PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel’s new look at the chilling effect of harsh private punishment for speech). Politico finds that Facebook has been enabling advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of an audience segment that identifies as interested in violently anti-Semitic topics. The necessity of local weather reporting evidenced during recent hurricanes raised in challenge to conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group to vastly expand market reach with takeover of Tribune Media. -Dru Menaker, Chief Operating Officer
The most pressing threats and notable goings-on in free expression today
Ben Shapiro spoke at Berkeley as protesters gathered outside
Officials hoped to avoid the kind of violence that erupted on campus when right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos came to speak in February. That event prompted questions about whether UC Berkeley, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s, could host different ideas on its famously liberal campus.
Harvard Withdraws Fellowship Invitation To Chelsea Manning
Dean Douglas Elmendorf said the school did not intend to honor Manning in any way or to endorse any of her words or deeds. Elmendorf states, “I apologize to her and to the many concerned people from whom I have heard today for not recognizing upfront the full implications of our original invitation.”
Sports is a hub for protests against racism. ESPN shouldn’t silence Jemele Hill.
Sports editor Dave Zirin writes: “The effort to silence these particular voices has a connection beyond Trump’s thin skin or the seething anger he seems to reserve for black and female critics. Sports has become a central space where the realities of racism are discussed with an overwhelmingly white audience.”
Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’
Traditionally, tech companies have contended it’s not their role to censor the internet or to discourage legitimate political expression. In the wake of the violent protests in Charlottesville by right-wing groups that included self-described Nazis, Facebook and other tech companies vowed to strengthen their monitoring of hate speech.
Sinclair-Tribune Merger Opponent Argues That Storm Coverage Will Suffer
“The proposed merger puts local weather anchors and reporters across the country at risk of being fired due to Sinclair’s record of eliminating veteran weather anchors, reporters and resources used by newsrooms to report live and on the ground during weather events,” the Coalition to Save Local Media said in their statement.
Portrait of the Artist in Putin’s Russia *PEN Case List
The prosecution contends that Mr. Serebrennikov failed to mount his production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” for which his theater received state culture funds. Russian officials have said that if an artist receives state funding, then he must only do what is in the state’s interest.
NEW YORK TIMES
The brutal deaths of anti-corruption activists in India
Before he was killed, Bhupendra Vira had been investigating a local property scam; he said the records he uncovered implicated his landlord, Abbas Razzak Khan, and local authorities. An officer investigating the case said police think Vira was killed because of the complaints he made to authorities in his right-to-information requests.
Journalist Faces Defamation Probe for Comparing Indonesia’s Treatment of West Papua with Myanmar’s Rohingya
Journalist and documentary filmmaker Dandhy Dwi Laksono wrote on Facebook that if Myanmar’s government is being criticized for its treatment of ethnic Rohingya, the Indonesian government should similarly be held liable for suppressing the independence movement on the Indonesian island of West Papua.
French journalist detained on Iraqi border released by Turkey
“We are pleased to announce the release of journalist #LoupBureau. He will be expelled from Turkey shortly,” lawyer Martin Pradel said via Twitter.
Saudi Arabia Detains Critics as New Crown Prince Consolidates Power
The detainees include prominent Islamic clerics, academics, a poet, an economist, a journalist, the head of a youth organization, at least two women and one prince, a son of a former king. Those arrested have been held incommunicado, and it is not clear if they have been formally charged with crimes.
NEW YORK TIMES
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