“Scapegoating Free Speech”

Hans Bader on the curious insistence on blaming the Benghazi attack on a YouTube video [CEI] Greg Lukianoff responds to Eric Posner on blasphemy laws [HuffPo, earlier] “Uh oh. The Atlantic gets in the game of trolling the First Amendment.” [Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry on this by Garrett Epps, earlier on Epps]

P.S. Ken at Popehat rates the President’s U.N. speech mostly good, with a few lapses. “It’s time for Canada to repeal its prohibition on blasphemous libel.” [Derek From, Canadian Constitution Foundation Justice Report] And in the “Pastitsios” affair, advocates of free speech in Greece are protesting the blasphemy arrest of a 27 year old man over his website, which makes fun of a well-known deceased Orthodox monk. [BoingBoing]


  • The two groups that should be most for free speech, reporters and academics, refuse to defend free speech. Are they too stupid to realize that support for free speech is in their best interest, or do they think that it will only be people like Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and people on the right of the political spectrum who will be silenced? What goes around comes around.

  • As far as blaming the video for the riots – there seems to actually be an unconscious racism at work. I saw this same thing when people commented on the Paris riots a few years ago. If you blame the video for the violence, then what you are essentially saying is that Arabs and Muslims “just can’t help it”; as if they are children who can’t understand the consequences of their actions, so enlightened Western people need to be the adults in the room. This is incredibly patronizing, not to mention very racist. Arabs know what they are doing, the same as white people do.

  • […] on Eric Posner here and here; on Jeremy Waldron here, here, and here; on Peter Spiro here; Volokh on Spiro and Harold Koh here. […]