Boom goes the dynamite.
At least that’s how it seemed as economist Robert Reich battled conservative commentator Ann Coulter on Sunday’s rendition of ABC This Week.
Coulter, who was recently banned from speaking at the University of California, Berkeley over supposed security threats, discussed free speech and how she believes it doesn’t exist on college campuses in modern America.
Host Jonathan Karl posited that it may, in fact, be due to the current war President Donald Trump is waging on the media. With Trump frequently accusing the media of spreading “fake news,” the lines between free speech and blatant spewing of misinformation easily become skewed.
But Coulter tried her utmost to refrain from talking about the president, instead saying:
‘Universities ought to be places where I am not the only conservative most students will hear in four years of college. This whole incident shows the radical insulated left on the college campuses. And the entire left wing, including President Barack Obama and Bill Maher, are on the other side. And what useless institutions our universities are. The lefties are on the side of the thugs. They’ve taken over the universities. I don’t think anyone learns anything at college anymore. It’s a four year vacation. And I think that’s what people ought to be looking at because the taxpayers are supporting these universities.’
Although Reich wasn’t having any of it.
He quickly brought the conversation back to President Trump and his numerous attacks on the mainstream media. Trump has suggested widening libels laws, which Reich vehemently opposes. Reich shot back, saying:
‘The libel laws should not be widened. We really do need a free press. One thing that concerns me about the present administration is the willingness of the administration to not only talk about widening the libel laws and also criminal laws — flag burning — but even the president of the United States, last night, using a rally in Harrisburg to summon his supporters and criticize the press once again. This is dangerous. I mean, if we believe in the First Amendment, we believe in a free and independent press.’
Widening the libel laws would give the president the legal grounds upon which to sue media outlets such as The Washington Post or The New York Times, should they publish claims he disagrees with.
Coulter was banned from speaking at UC Berkeley after she called the campus of nearly 40,000 students a “radical thuggish institution.”
Many students believed Coulter’s speech was a publicity stunted set in place to portray the primarily left-wing school as intolerant of free speech.
Watch Reich and Coulter duke it out in the clip below, via YouTube:
Feature Image is a screengrab via YouTube.