The 2007 Muzzle Awards


Boston Phoenix media reporter Dan Kennedy hands out the 2007 Muzzle Awards, an exposition of attacks on speech "inspired by noted civil-liberties lawyer and Phoenix contributor Harvey Silvergate." Though New England-specific, Kennedy and his panel of civil libertarians manage to work in a few national names, like Massachusetts carpetbagger Mitt Romney ("Mitt Romney will say or do anything if he thinks it will help him become president," says Kennedy) and potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Sample:

Here's what Gingrich said last November during a speech at the Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Awards dinner, in Manchester, New Hampshire, at which he conjured up the image of a nuclear attack: "My view is that either before we lose a city, or if we are truly stupid after we lose a city, we will adopt rules of engagement that we use every technology we can find to break up their capacity to use the Internet, to break up their capacity to use free speech, and to go after people who want to kill us, to stop them from recruiting people before they get to reach out and convince young people to destroy their lives while destroying us."

Kennedy and Co. include an outrageous tale from Rhode Island College—the attempted muzzling of a campus pro-Choice group—though this story from our smallest state should have also made the list (It might be of too recent vintage).

Full story here.