free speech

In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, police and prosecutors are trying to determine what constitutes a credible threat. In a video posted to YouTube called "School Shooter," a local rapper insulted police and referred to recent mass casualty events. Now he's facing a legal battle and a potential long prison sentence.

But many local attorneys argue that police and prosecutors are overstepping, and infringing on protected speech. Who's right? Our guests:

  • Mark Foti, chair of the Monroe County Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, and former public defender
  • Chris Thomas, partner with Nixon Peabody
  • David Andreatta, columnist for the Democrat & Chronicle

Cornell University is launching a new First Amendment Clinic, which will examine real cases that involve free speech and freedom of the press. The clinic will also conduct research regarding recent free speech issues. Our guests discuss the current state of the First Amendment and how it's approached in politics, journalism, and social media. In studio:

  • Scott Malouf, attorney whose practice is focused on the intersection of social media and the law
  • Jack Rosenberry, journalism professor at St. John Fisher College

We have a discussion about a racist tweet written by a student at MCC. The student doesn't represent MCC, its student body, or its faculty, but he is part of the MCC community. 

The tweet raises a number of questions: What is free speech and what isn't? What is the responsibility of MCC or other institutions that have faced similar issues? If such issues are matters of free speech, do institutions have any power to act? Should they? Our guests weigh in. In studio:

  • Anne M. Kress, president of MCC
  • Lloyd Holmes, vice president of student services and chief diversity officer at MCC
  • Demario Brantley, sociology professor and Latin American Academy Fellow at MCC
  • Daniel Skerritt, president of the MCC Student Events and Governance Association 

Are college campuses infantilizing students by teaching them to shut out any speech they don't like? A growing number of academics -- from the right, yes, but also from the political left -- say yes.

RIT is hosting a symposium this week that focuses on the value of free speech for everyone on campus. And while RIT's Joseph Fornieri acknowledges that his own views lean left, he is a staunch defender of the value of hearing all points of view.

We discuss recent incidents on campuses, as well as the debate over who should be welcome to speak. Our guests:

  • Alan Charles Kors, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and co-founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
  • Joe Fornieri, professor of political science and director of RIT’s Center for Statesmanship, Law and Liberty
  • Richard Feldman, professor of philosophy, and dean of the College of Arts, Sciences & Engineering at the University of Rochester
  • David Primo, associate professor of political science and business administration, and associate department chair and director of graduate studies at the University of Rochester