May 19, 2016
In discussions about free speech issues, you’ll often hear people say something to the effect of, “I disapprove of what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
The quote is typically misattributed to the French Enlightenment thinker Voltaire. But proper crediting aside, the sentiment it expresses accurately reflects how many free speech advocates go about their work—including Glenn Greenwald.
Greenwald is best known as one of the journalists who coordinated the 2013 National Security Agency revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden. But before he became an award-winning journalist, he was a lawyer. And not just any lawyer: a First Amendment lawyer who, as a gay man of Jewish descent, defended the First Amendment rights of Neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
This episode kicks off a two-part series on the topic of “defending my enemy” that will explore why people who vehemently oppose certain ideas nonetheless staunchly defend the right of others to express them.
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