Sunday, September 6, 2009

TV Review: Shouting Fire - Stories From the Edge of Free Speech

TV Review: Shouting Fire - Stories From the Edge of Free Speech
This Independence Day 2009, let’s commemorate the fact that our First Amendment is for all Americans and worth fighting for!
Review in Video — by Christine Lakatos — on Jul 03, 2009


The HBO documentary Shouting Fire: Stories From the Edge of Free Speech, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Liz Garbus, aired on June 29 and is scheduled to broadcast throughout July. Garbus chronicles four main stories while highlighting the era of McCarthyism as well as other pivotal times in our nation’s history when the First Amendment was put to the test and articulates that since 9/11, it is under attack again.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Garbus’ focal point is her ongoing interview with and commentary by her father, “legendary” attorney Martin Garbus. Interwoven are commentaries from David Horowitz (American conservative writer and activist), Daniel Pipes (commentary and analysis on radical Islam and the Middle East), Kenneth Starr (former U.S. Solicitor General who led the inquiry into President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica L. Lewinsky), Joan Wallach Scott (professor and consultant to the American Association of University Professors), Leslie Cagan (co-founder of United for Peace and Justice and a leader in the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism), and others, each articulating their views on particular cases in support of the First Amendment.

Garbus' cases are intriguing; however, the documentary seems more concerned that “academic freedom is under attack today” than it is concerned with freedom of speech in general. It has a very political overtone, takes a leftward lean, lacks detail in some of the stories, and seems to be complimentary instead of confrontational toward its edgy examples......

Shouting Fire was is well done, thought-provoking, and it does come to some profound conclusions; free speech is not “free” but is worth fighting for, is critical to a democracy, and 9/11 has impacted the civil liberties of all Americans. However, this documentary leaves more penetrating questions than it answers (at least debates), surrounding one of our greatest, yet most complex, constitutional rights........

In the words of Collin Powell, "Free speech is intended to protect the controversial and even outrageous word and not just comforting platitudes too mundane to need protection."

These are just the highlights, to read the entire article go to, and read many other great articles and reviews!

Happy 4th of July to all my blogger friends!

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