CALIFORNIA Magazine: In the prologue of your new book, The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right, you say you are now “perceiving ugly truths about America and about conservatism that other people had long seen but I turned a blind eye to.” What are some of those ugly truths?
Now that a few days have passed, the decision by National Football League owners to fine teams with players who do not “stand and show respect to the flag and the [national] anthem” hardly seems Solomonic; rather than ameliorating tensions, it almost assures another football season marked by player protests, discord both inside and outside the League, and acrid tweets from President Donald Trump.
Posted on May 29, 2018 - 5:04pm
When you check out the table of contents for this iteration of CALIFORNIA you might be surprised by the many entries listed in the feature well. Generally speaking, the well is where we offer up several long-form stories off the theme of the magazine. The number of stories and bylines this time around doesn’t mean we’ve exceeded our usual page count, or eliminated all the other departments. It just means we are offering one very long story and some very short ones.
This —2017—has been the year of liberal vs. conservative free speech arguments—from qualms over t-shirt logos at polling places to violent protests of alt-right speakers. Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally) the Supreme Court has decided to take on four free speech cases this year, all brought by conservative plaintiffs. This decision, according to UC Berkeley lecturer and constitutional law expert William Turner, author of Free Speech: Supreme Court Opinions from the Beginning to the Roberts Court, could provide a huge leg up for politically conservative causes.
Posted on December 13, 2017 - 3:37pm
If the past year has taught us anything about free speech at UC Berkeley, it’s that it comes with a price—and the university has to pay. In February, the damage reaped upon university property by the black bloc protests of Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech cost the university $100,000.
Posted on November 16, 2017 - 5:10pm
Representatives from three of Silicon Valley’s most powerful tech firms—Facebook, Google, and Twitter—trooped up to Capitol Hill last week and told senators they were really, really sorry the Russians hacked their platforms and may even have influenced the recent presidential election. But their contrition wasn’t followed by substantive plans to remedy the situation.
Posted on November 9, 2017 - 3:11pm
UC Berkeley played host to myriad free speech controversies this year—including violent Antifa protests of conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos and a proposed faculty boycott of classes during Free Speech Week—much of it predicated on the assumption that speech is harmful.
Posted on November 6, 2017 - 2:20pm
Former Breitbart commentator Milo Yiannopoulos spoke on the UC Berkeley campus yesterday, but I didn’t get to see it—and neither did most of the hundreds who showed up to see his speech.
In the end, it seems the provocative and flamboyant Yiannopoulos spoke for less than a half hour, without a microphone, sang the national anthem, took a few photos with his fans, then bailed.
Posted on September 26, 2017 - 9:18am
It’s been about two weeks since the media chatter started about student groups’ trying to bring conservative pundit Ben Shapiro to the UC Berkeley campus—and the hullabaloo has an air of déjà vu.
Posted on July 20, 2017 - 4:31pm
After the first of January, the real holiday season for canines starts—that week when discarded Christmas trees are laid next to compost bins, and all the neighborhood dogs take turns anointing them in their own special way.
Is it a simple free speech issue or something far darker and conspiratorial? In either case, Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos is surfing the wave of his notoriety like Laird Hamilton carving down a fifty-foot face at Jaws in Maui.
Posted on February 7, 2017 - 5:11pm
Far-right provocateur and Breitbart News Technology Editor Milo Yiannopoulos has prospered mightily by posting screeds that his many detractors characterize as racist and misogynistic; so popular is his invective with a certain political subset that Simon & Schuster recently handed him a $250,000 book deal .
Posted on January 26, 2017 - 5:29pm
Over the course of the 2016 election, media companies wrestled with increasingly knotty ethical challenges—how to avoid false equivalencies in reporting, what to call a blatant lie, and how to respond professionally (impartially?) to a candidate who routinely called journalists “liars” and “scum”.
Posted on January 18, 2017 - 1:58pm
Science tells us that race is in our heads, not in our genes; it’s all a social construct.
It’s an observation that seems to illuminate everything and nothing at once. It makes it sound so arbitrary and trivial—a trick of the mind. And yet history tells us that race has mattered enormously. And the news emphasizes how much it still matters today in terms of what researchers call “life outcomes”: Your chances of securing a loan, for example; or of getting a good education; or of being shot by the police.
Academics have a First Amendment right to criticize the administration of their own public universities without being subject to any retaliation for doing so, according to a little-noticed decision last week from a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Posted on September 11, 2013 - 6:11pm