The Daily Caller’s breaking news and media editor, Amber Athey, spoke about the importance of hearing opposing viewpoints and preserving our constitutional rights, in an early morning appearance with Heather Childers on Fox & Friends First.
Athey talked about the controversy surrounding her imminent speech, scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday night at American University. The event is entitled “Your Due Process: #MeToo,” and will delve into the importance of maintaining fair treatment in the judicial process during the age of #MeToo.
“I specifically chose the name of the speech to be a bit jarring because I think due process is such an important issue in this current era of the #MeToo movement and of course the Kavanaugh hearings that took place a couple weeks ago,” Athey said.
“And the whole point of my speech is to talk about how we balance the support for survivors of sexual assault with making sure that innocent people don’t get railroaded in the process. And unfortunately, in today’s culture, it seems that a mere allegation is enough to ruin someone’s life, regardless of the credibility or merits of the allegation,” Athey continued.
“You would think this would be uncontroversial, but apparently just the invitation has sparked protests and safe spaces across the campus.”
As reported Saturday by The Daily Caller, the response on Facebook to Athey’s scheduled speech from some progressive students has included threats to “f**king crash this bulls**t,” “tear this down,” and to report the student group, Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), which invited Athey, as “a campus hate group.”
The American University Student Government (AUSG) Women’s Initiative accused Athey’s event of “promoting the disempowerment and invalidation of survivors in sharing their stories,” and is preparing to provide a “safe space” in its office for the duration of Athey’s speech.
“The concept of this is so ridiculous,” Athey said. “It is basically comparing an opposing viewpoint to a physical assault that students need protection from. And it’s sad to think college campuses have gone from a place where dissent was encouraged and people would challenge their own ideas, and now they actually hide from that.” (RELATED: Trump: Due Process, Common Sense On Trial With Kavanaugh)
When asked if the AUSG WI’s response to her speech is appropriate, Athey said, “Of course not. This event has nothing to do with disempowering survivors or trying to silence them. This is about making sure the rights of the accused and the accusers are protected. That is the point of due process, and if these students are so upset over something that is literally written in the Fifth Amendment of our Constitution, I fear for this future generation of leaders.”
“Unfortunately, this is par for the course on college campuses now,” Athey continued. “We’ve seen the same thing conservative speakers like Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulos back in the day. And it’s just really sad, because I graduated from college a couple of years ago and when I was in school, I always tried to attend events of speakers that I disagreed with, because it made my own views stronger, and sometimes even changed my mind.”
“And now,” she added, “instead of listening to those arguments, students would actually rather silence speakers, and prevent anyone else from hearing what they have to say.”