What happened to freedom of speech?

There may be a tendency to dismiss the incidents as harmless, if annoying, college pranks, but in the last two weeks three conservative commentators speaking on college campuses have had their speeches physically disrupted.

Most recently, David Horowitz, a critic of leftist political correctness in academia, was struck in the face with a pie at Butler University. Last week, William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, was also hit with a pie, coincidentally at another Indiana campus, Earlham College. And veteran conservative Pat Buchanan had salad dressing flung in his face at Western Michigan University.

Attempts to suppress speech – and that’s what these are – have a way of escalating. It’s conservatives now but it could easily be somebody else later, and the chosen means could be something nastier than pies or salad dressing. The sheer rudeness and immaturity of the acts aside, they are a chilling phenomenon.

(Contact Dale McFeatters at McFeattersD(at)SHNS.com.