FLASHBACK: ‘You’re Behaving Like Stalinists’: Watch How Liberal Journo, Lawyer Dealt With Disruptive Students In 1997


Sarah Weaver Social Issues Reporter
Font Size:

Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen and liberal journalist and commentator Michael Kinsley clapped back when a group of students disrupted a debate at Bard College in 1998.

The clip, from a “Firing Line” debate in May of 1998, shows the two responding to a group of college-aged activists screaming at the panel.

“I do think you’re not winning any friends in this audience or in the audience on TV — if this makes it on TV, which I sincerely doubt,” Kinsley says in the video. (RELATED: Black Truck Driver Shown Pleading With Memphis Protesters To Clear The Streets)

“Let me say, there’s nothing we can do to prevent you from wrecking this debate, but you’re not exercising civil liberties in doing so, you’re behaving like Stalinists,” Kinsley said to applause from the audience. “And I’m sure as beneficiaries of a Bard College education you know what a Stalinist is. It’s not a compliment.”

Strossen, a civil liberties activist and a feminist, also weighed in.

“And I would just like to be clear that — I’ll just give a little law professor lecture here — we’re talking about a content neutral time place and manner restriction on speech,” she said. “This is not the right place or the right time to air a different debate.”

“In fact — I’m sorry, when you have your meeting we are not going to disrupt it, I promise you that. I wish you would show us the same courtesy and respect.”