Campus Free Speech

'Georgetown Will Need to Step In' If Students Don't Agree to Destroy Video Footage of Sommers Event

Footage includes protesters who did not consent to be recorded, admin says



A Georgetown University administrator has a deeply troubling message for the campus's College Republicans: scrub video footage of the recent Christina Hoff Sommers talk, or else.

The hour-long video shows Sommers—a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and individualist-feminist—giving her classically liberal take on gender issues while several left-leaning students hold signs accusing her of being a rape apologist.

According to Lauren Gagliardi, an assistant director of student services at Georgetown, the protesters did not consent to appear on camera, and so the College Republicans and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute (which sponsored Sommers' talk) have a responsibility to edit them out of the video. In an email to the group obtained by The Washington Examiner and published at Legal Insurrection, Gagliardi promised consequences if her demand was not met swiftly:

What was the response from Clare Boothe Luce about the video? I see that is still up online. Please let me know asap as an edited version needs to be released without students who did not give permission to be taped.

If they are unwilling or unresponsive to the request, Georgetown will need to step in. Let me know!

As a private university, Georgetown administrators might theoretically have the right to make ridiculous demands of student and punish them for not complying. But that doesn't mean they should. And while it makes sense to respect the privacy of other students, no one attending the Sommers talk—a public lecture—as a protester should have reasonably expected to remain anonymous. As Laurel Conrad wrote at LI:

But it stretches credulity that Georgetown and its students would not understand that the lecture was a public event. The video camera was in plain view, and audience members themselves appear to be taking video and photos. It could not shock any student that he or she was on camera.

Still, it's hardly surprising that a university would decide its students deserve protection from the consequences of their actions.

More from Reason on students triggered by Sommers here.

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  1. They should edit it by putting those troll comic faces over the faces of the harpys.

    1. Totally what I was thinking – use the reason “Nanny-of-the-month” scold face….

      1. That or Melody “Twitter have me PTSD” Hensley’s lovely visage.

        1. ^gave

          I’m seriously thinking about switching away from Swype, but I hate thumb typing. Anyone using something different?

          1. Swype on my old phone was great and I rarely had any issues with it. Swype on my new phone fucking sucks.

            1. I don’t know if I’m losing my patience more quickly or demanding more of the thing as I grow more proficient. Either way it’s quite, um, triggering. Did I use that right? Is that what kids are saying these days?

              1. I find autocorrect to be a highly triggering microaggression. It’s racist, saying I cant spell “was” with a “z”. Something needs to be done.

          2. This thing called a “computer” and a “keyboard”.

    2. I hope no one publicly shames these brave warriors for their beliefs!

    3. Not them (College Republicans, Clare Booth Luce), Root Boy. Just leave the unedited video up and the broader internet will take care of that. Which is, of course, what they (the feminists) fear the most.

    4. Very clever cover up tactic. Heil hitler!

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  2. If they didn’t want to be seen holding up silly signs, there was an easy way to avoid that.

    1. By staying in the brony and bubbles safe rooms.

      1. If you don’t want to be seen holding up silly signs, then don’t hold up silly signs!

        1. It’s my right to have it both ways, you patriarchal oppressor.

          1. That’s it – you tell him what’s on your mind, Loretta.

          2. I do wonder if this is some kind of millennial thing, where if you grow up using child protected internets–you come to imagine that you should be free to express yourself without anyone else seeing what you wrote on your silly sign.

            Growing up, no one was allowed to see my Facebook posts–so why should anyone be allowed to see my silly sign?



              LARGE BUMPS!!! (KitH reference…)

        2. If you like being a censorious asshole with the benefit of internet anonymity, you can keep being a censorious asshole with the benefit of internet anonymity?period.

          1. (But only if we deem that you anonymity or assholishness was a “real” anonymity or assholishness)

          2. Well played.

  3. Tolerance.

    1. Diversity

      1. Inclusiveness.

        1. Respect


            1. Titties!

              1. Slammer wins. My far my favorite.

  4. But it stretches credulity that Georgetown and its students would not understand that the lecture was a public event.

    Meh, those kids have been spoiled asses for their whole lives, with every infantile outburst being rewarded. So why would they think that this event would be any different.

  5. What the hell kind of right are they asserting here?

    The right to speak in public without being heard?

    The right to demonstrate without being seen?

    If they had made some kind of effort to conceal their own identities, I might understand.

    1. The right to say inflammatory things without being challenged.

    2. What the hell kind of right are they asserting here?

      *cough*The RIGHT to be Forgotten…*cough*

    3. Technically not in public since Georgetown is a private college. But I also believe you lose some of your right to claim you’re private if you allow public access.

  6. Where’s Doug Henning when we need him. He could make them disappear….

    “It’s an ILLUSION!!!”

    1. David Copperfield could disappear them to his private island and show them a good time.

      1. You see, this is the kind of rape culture that this Sommers women encourages!

  7. I doubt it’s a privacy issue, since they intentionally did this in public. If they tried to use the footage to hawk some good or service, there might be an issue if they didn’t post any warnings, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

    1. Come on Pro Lib, they’re clearly trying to use the footage to sell rape.

        1. Illustrious Georgetown graduate Sandra Fluke is on it.

    2. As evidenced by the conduct of some at Oberlin, most of them would probably readily identify and slander members of the College Republicans with anonymous flyers. But they want their privacy when appearing in public.

  8. If these Gtown students want to fight the power and refuse to comply, I can dig it. Yet, wouldn’t it be comically easy to leak the raw video onto the vast interwebz while simultaneously saluting Frau Gagliardi (no author could invent a more perfect name!) & blurring the grumpyfaces exactly as ordered?

    I may be giving too much credit, or I may not have had enough coffee, but perhaps that’s what Gagliardi’s superiors hope to achieve.

    1. the video is on youtube.

    2. Why not superimpose ape faces (or butts) over the protesters’ real faces? Or maybe cow heads?

      I’m sure that would be frowned on as well?

  9. Ken,

    I think it tells us quite a bit about the heartfelt, dedicated, and principled stance they were proud to demonstrate to the world – anonymously.


  10. I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s no expectation of privacy at a public speech where you’re staging a public protest.

    1. *Gagliardi”s assistant in poor disguise seen feverishly sawing away at base of Irish’s limb*

    2. …and where your own side is also filming, and you’re all standing in front of dozens of cameras.

      1. It’s OK if their own side films them, just not those PATRIARCHICAL CIS-GENDERED HETERO SHITLORDZ of the college RETHUGLIKKKANZ. Their cameras are imbued with their EVUL and will steel your soul, you see.

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      Large bumps?

    2. What are bicoins? Are they worth more than bitcoins?

      1. It’s LGBTQA+ internet money.

      2. It’s not his job to educate you about bicoins, shitlord.

  12. The College Republicans should humbly and remorsefully comply by taking the video down–after having distributed copies to the Dartmouth Review, the Brown Spectator, the Virginia Advocate, and other Collegiate Network members, so those publications can post the video to their own websites.

    1. No, they should forcefully and remorselessly tell her to go fuck herself. They should cite case law and tell her if she makes even the slightest move at a form of retribution that they will sue the university until it is destitute.

      The days of placating shitheads like Gagliardi are past. Its time to stand up and exert one’s rights on campus to be crude, vulgar or do anything a student desires so long as it doesn’t infringe on someone else’s right to do the same.

      1. Seamus, sloopy… why not both?

        Tell her to fuck off, or else. When she sends a nasty-gram in reply, distribute the footage and the nasty-gram off to the four corners and wish her luck in getting everyone to goose-step.

        1. Seamus, sloopy… why not both?

          Because I like the idea of pretending to comply, putting on a great show of sincerity, and then when the video pops up like Mao’s Hundred Flowers blooming, looking Gagliardi straight in the eye with a butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth expression and saying, “Oh, gosh, I guess I forgot about that copy I sent to my friend at Dartmouth. Gee, it’s a shame that I have no way to get the toothpaste back into that tube. I am so sorry.” Which is really just another way of telling her to fuck off.

        2. I see from JW’s post below that “They don’t own the video. The CBL Society does.” That would mean that the CRs don’t even have to follow my suggestion, but can just tell the university, “Gosh, there’s nothing we can do. It’s totally out of our hands. Good luck getting the Claire Booth Luce Policy Institute, an organization that you have no control over and which has a perfect legal right to display that video, to edit it to comply with your irrational preferences.”

      2. Not sure under what grounds they could sue, private college and all. And the college can still kick them out.

        1. They don’t own the video. The CBL Society does.

          So, yes, they can please kindly go fuck themselves in the most friendly way possible.

          1. But it appears that Georgetown is asserting ownership on the grounds that it was taken on their property. I don’t expect that to hold up. Georgertown is just trying to cover their asses and intimidate one group of students.

  13. The church where I teach a financial planning class has a sign in the foyer, right next to the doors to the sanctuary stating that “By attending our services, you acknowledge that you are aware that you may appear in our visual media or promotions material.” Even God has to get permission to photograph you, apparently. We are lost!! If the end isn’t nigh, I don’t want to know what the end will be like.

    1. Maybe in the future G-Town will have to post a similar flier at all public speakers:

      “Warning: this is a public event that may or may not be videotaped. If you plan on staging some kind of idiotic protest because the speaker offends your delicate snowflake sensibilities and you can’t handle the embarassment of making an ass of yourself on video, then don’t make an ass of yourself on video. Thank You.”

    2. The church is run by God? Presumably that means that that church really is the one true church. That was a lucky find.

      1. They all are. That’s one of the perks of omnipresence.

  14. Like consent, public appearances can be revoked at any time, even after the fact.

    1. [golf clap]

    2. BAM.

      Excellent, Fisty.

  15. I thank the FSM that I went to college during a much saner time – and it was only 15-20 years ago.

    1. I graduated 20 years ago. It may as well have been 100 or a thousand seeing how dramatically college campuses have changed in such a short time.

      We are raising a nation of pussies that want to use force to impose their views and will on others. They’re all a bunch of little fucking fascists that, ironically, cry out for the “oppressed” and at the same time beg the government to oppress those with differing views. Its sickening.

      1. I graduated 10 years ago next month. I am pretty sure I would not make it the full four years if I had to go back now.

        1. I wrote for the school newspaper for one semester. I was a proto-libertarian at the time, but even then I wrote columns supportive of guns and smokers rights. I wonder if I’d last a whole semester on today’s campus.

        2. I also graduated 10 years ago next month. I read these sorts of stories now on Reason and other places, and I always wonder “Has college changed so radically in the short time since I graduated?” I wasn’t politically active in college, but I think I would have noticed if people in my classes were constantly shrieking about micro-aggressions and such.

          1. Exactly. There was a tiny fringe of radicals who were largely ignored by everyone else. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

  16. I wonder why the little snowflakes are embarrassed by being recorded? Are they not glorious Social Justice Warriors fighting for The Cause? I’d think they’d be proud.

    1. I don’t think they’re embarrassed. I think they see this as a way to manipulate the law in an attempt to silence others.

      IOW, they refuse to tolerate intolerance. And the sooner you cis-hetero normative shitlords get on board the better off you’ll be.

      1. I confess I was being snarky. In truth I don’t think they’re capable of shame, and as someone else said here on another thread they aren’t subject to cognitive dissonance because they have no cognitive function.

        But I’d like to ask them that question, just to see what they’d say.

      2. @ sloopyinTEXAS

        Agreed. The College Republicans committed the sin of sponsoring a speaker that challenges their “Rape Culture” agenda. For that they must be punished. This is pure political brow-beating masquerading as protecting privacy rights. It seems that progressive politics and intellectual honesty are mutually exclusive of one another.

  17. These rape hustlers are pathetic.

  18. leak the video to some sort of news outlet, for the sake of posterity, then scrub it.
    Make sure they put a copy on youtube first.

    1. It’s already on YouTube. These people are such fools.

  19. Don’t any of these kids have any balls? Post the fucking thing on Youtube and any other public site that will let you upload videos and tell Georgetown and the SJWs to go fuck themselves. It was a public event and the filming was done openly. Those idiots consented to being filmed by virtue of being there. They have absolutely no case to say they didn’t. Once the video is out there will be nothing anyone could do to make it private again. And if Georgetown tries to punish them, call FIRE and file a lawsuit.

    1. It’s a private school, so I assume they could kick the kids out without much fear of legal repercussions, unless they have some policy that says they won’t do that.

      1. Oh no they couldn’t. By virtue of taking federal student aid, they are subject to Department of Education regulations and must respect Students’ basic freedoms. Moreover, I would bet anything they have a student handbook that states students can’t be thrown out or punished for exercising their basic rights. The handbook creates a contractual obligation. FIRE sues private schools over speech codes and such all of the time.

        1. The DoE would side with campus Republicans over rape culture activists?

          1. They don’t get a vote. The regulations are already written. FIRE just sues to have a court enforce them.

            1. Fair enough. I though you meant they’d step in voluntarily.

      2. It’s a private school, so I assume they could kick the kids out without much fear of legal repercussions, unless they have some policy that says they won’t do that.

        If a baker can’t not sell a gay wedding cake, then I’ll be god damned if an SJW institute for higher propagandizing has a right to use free association as cudgel against opponents of the social justice nazis.

    2. It’s already on Youtube, which is what makes this so delicious. There are pictures and videos of this all over the internet so they’re literally trying to censor something that’s already been posted everywhere.

      1. Then why are we having this debate? Give the school the video and let them do their worst. The real one is already public. So, who cares if Georgetown wants to make an edited one to save the feelings of the poor SJWs?

        1. Georgetown is trying to get them to pull it down from Youtube, as if that ship hasn’t sailed.

          1. Give the video to a non-student, agree to take it down, then have the non student put it up on their channel. There would be nothing Georgetown could do about that.

            1. It’s already in the hands of a non-student, the Claire Booth Luce Policy Institute, which is not a student group or a GU-affiliated one. Even if the College Republicans were to ask the Luce Institute to edit the video, the Luce Institute has every right to laugh in their face and keep it up unedited. Gagliardi’s dark mutterings about how “Georgetown will need to step in” if the Institute doesn’t edit it is just blowing smoke. There’s really nothing she can do that would have any effect, unless she were to offer a $10,000 donation if they take the video down.

              1. So were those Oklahoma SAE frat rats singing their racist song in public? I get confused.

        2. Then why are we having this debate?

          Because Georgetown is banking on their bullying working. In theory, the students could take down their version of the video, and via DMCA takedowns legally compel everyone else to do the same.

          And if they refuse, well … “you can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride.”

          1. That is when you tell them to fuck off. If the video is public and other people are putting it online, it is not your responsibility to assert your copyright to stop them. These kids need to get some balls.

            1. Since the video is still up on youtube, *and* the students group has published the letter demanding its editing, I suspect that what we are seeing is precisely that.

              Although I prefer to refer people to the reply in Arkell vs Pressdam. 🙂

  20. It’s 10:02 AM, and Georgetown still sucks.

    That is all.

  21. Someday I’ll get a hat-tip!

    1. It is just another case of them discriminating against you because they are threatened by your awesomeness Niki.

      1. True, John, true. I guess I can deal with that.

  22. Somebody needs to tell that scolding twunt “They came to our public even with the express intent to disrupt it by their behavior. That constitutes permission.”

    1. They actually weren’t particularly disruptive if you watch the video. It wasn’t like Oberlin. They came and just held up their signs and yada yada. Sommers actually got a nice round of applause at the end.

  23. As a private university, Georgetown administrators might theoretically have the right to make ridiculous demands of student and punish them for not complying.

    Is the video hosted on Georgetown servers? If not, I would naively guess that the only way they could make this demand is if posting the video somehow violates the code of conduct the students agreed to. And this just absurd.

    But then I take a look around…

    1. Free association for universities that promote SJW activism, slavery for everyone else.

    2. The code of conduct at universities today is you do what we fucking tell you to! Don’t you know the notion of rule of law was invented by the patriarchy?

  24. no one attending the Sommers talk?a public lecture?as a protester should have reasonably expected to remain anonymous

    And that’s an understatement. The whole point of protesting is to get publicity. Claiming you wanted privacy later is just lying.

    1. That is really the most absurd thing about all of this. If they were just sitting in the audience and someone had a camera on them, I could understand the complaint. But they were deliberately trying to be seen and noticed. That’s what protesting is. Ridiculous. You simply don’t have a right not to be photographed when you are in public.

  25. And the people all said “sit down! Sit down, you’re rockin’ the boat!”

    1. Wow, I never knew Don Henley did show tunes. I don’t quite see him as Nicely Nicely.

  26. Try the new, improved Censorship with twice the insidiousness as plain old Censorship.

    1. Censorship 2.0 – Like old censorship but everywhere, instantaneously.

  27. “Georgetown administrator unilaterally commits school to multimillion dollar settlement”

    If I were on the Board of Trustees, I’d have already torn a strip off the President’s hide and be going back for seconds.

  28. Hold on, the protesters don’t want to be seen? Doesn’t that kinda defeat the point of a protest?

    1. Hold on, the protesters don’t want to be seen? Doesn’t that kinda defeat the point of a protest?

      The point isn’t about being seen/unseen, it’s about controlling the message.

      Adults will see this as petty kids with placards being stupid. Fellow students will, varyingly, see it as brave or stupid, and those who protested can, from the convenience of anonymity, rise to accept the claims of bravery and shirk the ridicule of it’s stupidity.

  29. The words “left”, “lunatic”, and “liar” all begin with the letter “L”. Coincidence? Sometimes I wonder.

    The campus Left was toxic to political discussion 30 years ago when I was on campus. From everything I’ve read since then, it’s only gotten worse. This story is just one more example of the intellectual dishonesty that permeates the Left on and off campus. Sheesh.

  30. the protesters did not consent to appear on camera

    If they think they need to grant permission to be on camera then they should never set foot in public again.

    That said I think I have a compromise: just blur their faces but leave their idiotic signs visible. That way people can still see what these morons were doing without identifying them. If that’s still not good enough, then the point isn’t that they didn’t give permission, but that they were caught on camera doing something stupid and they know it.

    1. No. The point of the exercise is to call them out. Just as the SJW’s called out by name the “rape deniers” who sponsored Summer’s talk (perhaps at another school).

    2. Blur their faces . . .

      By putting their names over their faces.

      1. I think young protesters are realizing, social media is forever. And suddenly, the government isn’t hiring, so what are these clowns going to do to pay off their loans.

        Probably take years for the behaviors to change, though.

  31. So Georgetown is now on my list of colleges that can go fuck themselves (if they weren’t already after the Sandra Fluke debacle).

  32. What makes this all the more absurd is the fact that this was an intentional display of ostentatious moral preening and social signalling. Those people went specifically to be seen by their peers in all their morally superior glory. Now, they have second thoughts?

  33. Typical. Robby is a rape-apologist apologist.


  34. Uh, isn’t the point of protesting to be in public view? Why the fuck else would you do it?

    If you don’t want to be on video when you appear at public events, you probably shouldn’t go out of your way to make a spectacle of yourself.

    I hope the video is already on Youtube.

  35. I skimmed through the youtube video and I didn’t see shit other than occasional scared-face college kids waving their hands and being inarticulate. No “protestors” visible, that is.

    I actually stopped and watch some of the Q&A section, and gods… these kids are fucking morons

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  38. I’m quite sure that Georgetown Univ has no rule that would support their decision, but
    legally, they don’t have a leg to stand on. Any person in a public place can be captured on fiilm or video and there is no requirement that they give their consent. Georgetown is looking like a third rate small town college.

  39. An ugly bit of bullying.

  40. I’m wondering whether Georgetown operates its own set of cameras without the permission of those filmed?

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