The Power Line Show, Ep 187: Freedom of the Press in an Era of Fake News, with Zach Wood

Zachary Wood

This episode flips the usual format, with my guest interviewing me for a change. I first took note of Zachary Wood when he was an undergraduate of Williams College. He was the president of a student group called “Uncomfortable Learning,” whose mission was to invite to campus outside speakers with a heterodox perspective (which is code for “conservative” for the most part). Invitees included Charles Murray, Christina Hoff Sommers, David French, John Christy, and others. For this transgression against campus orthodoxy, Zach was dressed down by the president of William College, and further instructed that he should “be careful” about what he wrote in the student newspaper—a story he tells in this article published recently by the National Association of Scholars.

From this experience Zach has understandably became concerned about free speech generally, and freedom of the press in particular, and when Zach told me that he was interested in recording some interviews and conversations with people (starting with me) on free speech and free press issues, but didn’t yet have an online platform ready to launch, I decided to offer him an episode of the Power Line Show to start things rolling and get some practice. As journalism was my first career right out of college back around the time of the Boer War, we thought it would be fun and informative to go through some long-term perspectives on modern media.

Zachary R. Wood is an Assistant Curator at TED, a former columnist and Assistant Opinion Editor at The Guardian, and a former Robert L. Bartley Fellow at The Wall Street Journal. His work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostHuffPostThe NationThe Weekly StandardTimes Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed.  In 2017, he gave Senate testimony opposing the recent string of college speaker disinvitations and in defense of viewpoint diversity. He’s planning to attend law school in the not too distant future.

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