If Leonard Pitts understands the threat to free speech, why can’t Terese Berceau?

More self-righteous whining from someone who has made his living off
the First Amendment. But high-quality whining.

You’ve got to see the photograph from the Badger Herald, one of the campus newspapers at the UW-Madison. It summarizes the Left’s war on free speech.

A phalanx of menacing students stand between an invited speaker and his university lecture hall audience this past November. Uniformed police stand immobile. One individual in particular dominates the protestors, a man wearing a skirt, his face contorted in anger. What are they protesting? Free speech. In the 1960s, Mario Savio led the battle against McCarthy-era repression of speech. Now we’ve come full circle.

Ironically, the subject of the speech disrupted on the Madison campus: “Dismantling safe spaces.”

black hoodsToday’s protestors are opposed to free speech. Claiming injury from the spoken word, they will permit only that speech with which they agree.

It is a scene played out at college campuses throughout the country — speakers silenced and in some cases, pummeled. Charles Murray at Middlebury College, the riots attending Milo Yiannopoulos at Berkeley, Ben Shapiro at UW-Madison that bad November day, and Ann Coulter at Berkeley most recently.

Where are our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances? Embarrassed silence. When Wisconsin Republicans proposed legislative guarantees to permit all voices to be heard at the state university system, the Democrat(ic) party’s designated attack dog, One Wisconsin Now, caviled that the law “would create mandatory safe spaces where conservatives, Republicans, racists and sexists can be exempt from criticism.”

Clever that, no? The lumping together of conservatives and Republicans with sexists and racists. Just be glad, One Scot Ross, that you are free to speak such nonsense.

No, not exempt from criticism. Just allowed to speak.

There is hope when a Trump-hating liberal like Leonard Pitts can write:

“A bunch of thugs just established you can bully a public institution in a  relatively small town into disinvite a controversial speaker, which of our other freedoms will they come after next?”

It is disheartening when my State Rep, Terese Berceau, can call the nationwide war on free speech “an artificial, political controversy.” (Quoted here.)

Disheartening that neither The Capital Times nor the State Journal — which make their living off the First Amendment — has taken an official editorial position to defend the free exchange of ideas on a campus that celebrates “sifting and winnowing.”

Instead, their operatives celebrate the pre-dawn, secret speech police raids on the homes of conservative speakers. (Chris Rickert, I’m looking at you. “Self-righteous whining,” indeed!) Or they advocate gelding the First Amendment, as has John Nichols. (No, corporations are not people, Comrade Nichols. But they are made up of people. Like The Capital Times Inc.!)

But at least the State Journal had the courage to run a syndicated column. (Blame Leonard Pitts, not us!)

Today’s assigned reading: “A vigilant defense of free speech” in the Wall Street Journal.

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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16 Responses to If Leonard Pitts understands the threat to free speech, why can’t Terese Berceau?

  1. V.A. Quisling says:

    Having been censored by Lord Blaska, my reply is: ” Whatever ”

    No point to further serious thought or dialogue.


  2. AnonyBob says:

    Oh, Dave, lighten up on Terese. Her quote shows she doesn’t think it’s the GOP legislature’s job to micromanage the UW by establishing its disciplinary procedures by statute. And I agree. Was she siding with the disrupters? No. It also may surprise you to learn that plenty of us liberal lefties completely agree with the Pitts column.


    • David Blaska says:

      So UW administration is assuring free speech on campus? How are they doing that? By telling campus police to stand down? By allowing plaid skirt guy and his antifa wannabees to disrupt speeches? This keeps happening, oh Annoying One. Were any of the disrupters disciplined in any way? Pls share your inside information.


      • AnonyBob says:

        It sounds like plaid skirt guy interrupted the speech, made his point, then left and Shapiro finished having his free speech and went to Q&A. You’re suggesting UW police should’ve started cracking heads? We saw how well that worked in the 60’s. Declining to escalate the situation seems like it was wise. Good thing you’re not in charge.


  3. David Blaska says:

    Yeah, what’s the rule, Bob? Ten minutes of disruption? Five? Twenty? Then what happens? (if anything). UW-Madison has been flirting with speech codes and leftist intimidation since at least 1984 when a UN ambassador was harassed off the speaking roster. http://ls.wisc.edu/news/donald-downs-retirement/ I’d feel much better if you spoke out for free and unfettered speech at the UW but I hold out more hope for One Scot Ross.


    • David Blaska says:

      Annoying Bob? Buehler? Annoying Bob? Buehler?


      • AnonyBob says:

        Relax, I do have a life and it doesn’t revolve around you and your blogge of misconceptions.
        My original point, which you ignored, was that you mischaracterized Berceau’s quote, which you did. Which is typical when you’re trying to make a point about those awful lib’ruls. Now you want me to go tit for tat on how UW police operate? Forget it. I admire their restraint, it was and is the mature way for them to conduct themselves. (Hint.) I also told you I agreed with the Pitts column. Whaddya want? I don’t have my own blog to share my thoughtful and well-considered opinions with the world. I have your comments section for that.


  4. BatmanLives says:

    If the spineless UW Admins would simply enforce their own rules&regs the proposed free speech legislation would not arise. The University blather that erupts when questioned about the legislation hits all the right notes but rings hollow because it is complete fabrication.
    See link provided in David’s OP (‘Quoted here’). There is no restriction of the ‘heckler’s veto’ which translates into no support for free exchange of ideas on campuses throughout the country.
    This is enormously dangerous to the fabric of our society.
    Think about it; the people in charge are being payed well (tax dollars + mommy/daddy) to undermine our democracy through fascist indoctrination of the student population. Jane Q. public is unwittingly financing the first stages of the destruction of our most basic fundamental right…

    ‘Stand down’ is the dominant theme when conservative speakers are scheduled and the result is increased hospital admissions and property damage. There isn’t a better example of how profoundly misguided University Admins and Mayors can be than in UC-Berkeley when Milo Y. recently tried to fulfill his speaking engagement. The fools/pawns in power decided that a severely vandalized campus bldg., burned cars, individuals beaten senseless, young women pepper sprayed in the face, attendees spit on, heckled, etc. was an acceptable price to pay for the suppression of an alternative perspective.
    Watch vids from links provided on aforementioned subject matter.

    Milo Y. on the riot at UC-Berkeley because the lil-feller simply was invited to speak-

    Ben Shapiro recently here at UW-Madison. Ben begins his lecture at the 20 min. mark and the regressive emotional infants begin their obstruction at the 23:57 min. mark.


  5. David Blaska says:

    Annoying Bob, you don’t need your own blog to answer the question. You’ve got mine! How much time do the disrupters get? 5 minutes? 20 minutes? 8 minutes? Terese Berceau said the anti-speech campaign was “an artificial, political controversy.” You said you agree. Google free speech/campus and see how artificial. As for political, I think you’ve proved that point.


    • AnonyBob says:

      I agree the GOP legislature should be doing other things besides micromanaging the UW. They’ve done more than enough damage already to that now sadly declining institution. Campus free speech issues do not require the heavy hand of (conservative GOP) legislative remedy. Did the UW prevent anyone from speaking? No, no one’s first amendment rights were violated. Were some students rude, disruptive and obnoxious? Yes, but don’t get the vapors over it. Quit acting like it’s Berkeley. Just keep those “deep thinkers” at the other end of State St. out of it.


  6. Dan B. says:

    Shapiro spoke at length, did he not? He collected his fee and his audience left having heard every word he prepared, no?


  7. madisonexpat says:

    Hey ABob, how many years did you work for the “deep thinkers” at the non UW end of State St.? Did any of it affect you?
    Dan B. Ask the attendees what effect the hecklers had on them? I bet it was akin to voters seeing people waving Mexican flags to protest candidate Trump. Pure gold.


  8. AnonyBob says:

    25 years. It’s a safe bet I didn’t work for the GOP. I did get to watch them up close and personal, though, and yes it affected me. They were, and are, appalling.


  9. Madison Expat says:


    Good. Be appalled whenever you aren’t outraged. Good to have an option.


  10. Batman says:

    Current campus culture; the least diverse place in America.
    Pull the funding, whoever you are.



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