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Weinstein book to be focus of Cronkite Forum

October 15, 2009

Extreme Speech and Democracy, a book that law professor James Weinstein edited with British barrister, Ivan Hare, is the centerpiece of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication's annual National Freedom of Speech Week.

The school will host a discussion on Oct. 22, about extreme speech and democracy featuring Weinstein and David Bodney, a prominent media lawyer at the Phoenix law firm of Steptoe & Johnson. The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Cronkite School, 555 N. Central Ave., in downtown Phoenix.

"We are privileged to host what should be a lively discussion on these issues," said Cronkite Associate Professor Joseph Russomanno, who will moderate the discussion. "The imperative of holding those in power accountable is best achieved through news media that are free to report and citizens who are free to speak. That some speech is 'extreme' comes with the territory, but it raises the question for some whether such speech should be limited by law."

Extreme Speech and Democracy was recently praised as "compendious, thoughtful, (and) learned" in the Entertainment Law Review by Conor Gearty, a professor of human rights at the London School of Economics.

"The topic is both provocative and important, being no less than the future of our liberal culture and the task it faces in accommodating itself to the challenge of extremism without destroying all that is good about itself in the process," writes Gearty.

He singled out a chapter written by Weinstein as "a first class example of comparative scholarship at its best."

To read the full review, click here.

Janie Magruder,
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law