Letter To WSJ Editor: White House Speech and Bullying.

The following Letter to the editor by Michael Meyers appeared in the Wall Street Journal, you can read the letter online on the Wall Street Journal’s Website.

To the Editor:

Preeminent First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams’s (Letters, Sept. 27) defense of President Obama’s free speech and right to condemn the “anti-Muslim” film, “Innocence of Muslims,” as not being a government effort at censorship ignores the import of the White House’s request of YouTube/Google to “review” whether the 14-minute trailer of the film violated YouTube’s “terms of use.” Why else would the White House have done this if it didn’t want the film banished from YouTube? Subsequently, Google blocked the short film’s availability on YouTube in Libya and Egypt and other nations with heavy Muslim populations.

Deeply concerning to the guardians of American freedom was the specter of the filmmaker being questioned by the feds as to whether his posting the film on YouTube constituted a violation of the conditions of his probation (on check fraud charges), which had prohibited him from using computers and the Internet. Moreover, free-speech advocates were alarmed by the phone call that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made to an American pastor urging the pastor (known for his own anti-Muslim views) to withdraw his support for the film.

Such pressures from government officials on private citizens and on communications companies is much more than our government officials expressing their own viewpoint or separating the government of the U.S. from the hateful message of a despicable, ignorant and disputatious film.

Michael Meyers


N.Y. Civil Rights Coalition

New York