Hey everybody, here’s a sneak peak at something BK is working on for tomorrow morning. Great piece – we think you’ll really like it.
Although it is becoming more clear by the day that the embassy attacks in the middle east last week were not merely the result of an inflammatory movie, but a planned and well-orchestrated attack, the voices seeking to weaken the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are becoming more shrill.
A professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Althea Butler, wrote that the maker of the film should be imprisoned. Hilariously, she even touts her status as a tenured professor to trot out the obligatory, “yes, I support freedom of speech, but…” (There’s always a “but,” isn’t there?) Journalist Mike Barnicle said that the preacher Terry Jones, who had merely promoted the film, should be arrested. Naturally, his fellow journalist Donny Deutsh was quick to agree. Many supposedly liberal celebrities called for the filmmakers to be punished. The White House confirmed that it had requested Youtube to remove the film, which, to their credit, they refused to do.
Perhaps some background of precedent is necessary. No less a constitutional authority than music producer Russell Simmons brought up Oliver Wendall Holmes’ famous observation that, “you can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” as a reason to imprison the filmmaker. Ironically, Simmons has championed himself as a defender of free speech in the past, but seems to have changed his mind. To be fair, he wasn’t the only dopey public figure to make this case.
To use the theater example, falsely yelling “fire” in a theater could conceivably result in an immediate panic, resulting in a very probable, immediate loss of life or serious physical injury.To say this is the same as watching a film on Youtube that makes bad pornography look positively Spielberg-esque is absurd.
See the rest on SOFREP.com, sometime at 4am eastern, Friday, Sep. 21…