On December 6 at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., Reason's Nick Gillespie and Danish journalist Flemming Rose discussed "Free Speech in the Age of Trump." That conversation, moderated by Kat Murti, is the newest Reason Podcast (subscribe at iTunes).
In 2005 while working at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Rose commissioned and published what became known as the "Mohammed cartoons," a dozen images of Islam's founder. Rose quickly became the target of death threats from Islamic radicals and jihadists and at least 150 people by his count have been killed in violence related to demonstrations against the cartoons. Earlier this year, Rose was awarded The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty, given every two years by Cato, who has also hired Rose to work as an analyst based in his home country. Rose is the author of, most recently, The Tyranny of Silence, now out in paperback from Cato. (In 2014, in response to death threats against cartoonist Molly Norris, Reason held its own "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" competition.)
Rose talked about the response to the Mohammed cartoons and what he sees as a failure on the part of many countries to uphold Enlightenment values of open inquiry and peaceful toleration of dissent. Gillespie described last year's attempt by a federal prosecutor to subpoena Reason.com for information about blog commenters who joked about attacking the judge in The Silk Road trial of Ross Ulbricht.
With a president who has pledged to "open up" the country's libel laws while shutting down parts of the internet, what are the prospects for a free and flourishing marketplace of ideas in Donald Trump's America? Throw in the ongoing idiocy of political correctness on college campuses and coporate HR departments, and it turns out that there's plenty to worry about.