Thursday's HOT MIC
UC Berkeley has reversed itself and announced that conservative author and columnist Ann Coulter can speak on campus.
Except, Coulter won't be able to speak on April 27th as originally planned by College Republicans, but rather on May 2. And she must speak in the middle of the afternoon. And only students can attend. And the location of Coulter's speech won't be announced until the last minute.
And can you believe this bullcrap?
But on Thursday, the university said it had found a venue where it could hold the speech on May 2, instead of the original April 27 date. However, a leader of the college Republican group that originally invited Coulter said the university was placing strict conditions on the event, and he said his group intended to reject the new terms.
Before the reversal was announced, Coulter had vowed to go ahead with an appearance anyway.
That probably would have put security officials on high alert and might have sparked another showdown in struggles over campus safety, student views and ideological openness.
“What are they going to do? Arrest me?” she said late Wednesday on the Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight."
Coulter said she “called their bluff” by agreeing to rules set by the university seeking to prevent violence.
Coulter said in an email to The Washington Post on Wednesday that the university had been trying to force her to cancel her speech by “imposing ridiculous demands” on her but that she still agreed “to all of their silly requirements.” She said she believes that her speech “has been unconstitutionally banned” by the “public, taxpayer-supported UC-Berkeley.”
Coulter said the university insisted that her speech take place in the middle of the day, that only students could attend and that the exact venue wouldn’t be announced until the last minute. She said that she agreed with the conditions but that apparently wasn’t good enough.
Now, Berkeley has reversed itself and will allow Coulter to speak. But it raises serious questions about the university's commitment to free speech. What has changed from yesterday to today about the "potential for violence"? And if they have satisfied themselves that they are doing everything possible to keep people safe, why couldn't they have done this before the firestorm broke over their cancellation of Coulter's talk?
What this has done, of course, is to throw down a gauntlet to the leftists and anarchists who are responsible for all the violence to begin with. Now, they will redouble their efforts to disrupt Coulter's address and create as much mayhem as possible. I fear for the safety of Coulter and her supporters with radical, violent leftists confronting police who are urged to show "restraint."
What good that will do in the face of a violent mob is unclear.