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Guy Benson


Rantz: Gonzaga said no, Ben Shapiro is showing up anyway


Despite Gonzaga University’s decision to bar a planned Ben Shapiro speech, the KTTH host is showing up anyway.

The announcement was made by the Young America’s Foundation, which handles Shapiro’s speeches, though a date is to be determined and the plans are a bit murky. There are options for the event, which include an alternate venue near campus that can better handle the school’s bogus security concerns. YAF did not respond yet to our media request.

Shapiro, who hosts a KTTH show from 6-7 p.m. weeknights, has pushed back at the excuse Gonzaga gave to bar his speech.

College Republicans at Gonzaga University in Spokane said that college officials denied their request to have Shapiro speak there next spring. The reason? His speeches sometimes draw protests from activists and Gonzaga didn’t want to deal with the security.

“Given Mr. Shapiro’s popularity, in evaluating what has occurred on other campuses, the University felt it would not be able to provide a suitable venue, as well as the concomitant level of security, necessary to appropriately host him,” Gonzaga said in a statement.

Progressives students have previously protested a small percentage of Shapiro’s campus speeches.

The university continued, in part, saying “Mr. Shapiro’s appearances have drawn protests that include inappropriate behavior, as well as divisive and hateful speech, which is offensive to many people regardless of their age, politics or beliefs.”

Of course, the private school is legally allowed this kind of attitude towards speech, but it doesn’t make it right. Indeed, they’ve just weaponized the heckler’s veto, which tells hypersensitive students to simply threaten a protest if they’d like to see a speech cancelled.

“But by the same token, if you are worried about your student body being exposed to interesting ideas because people are going to protest, all this does is create an incentive for people to protest and make trouble,” Shapiro previously told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH. “That works both ways. If the new rule is that they will bar anyone from coming to campus who draws protests, why wouldn’t right wingers go out and protest Angela Davis who spoke there within the last five years – who was an honest-to-God former terrorist who was on the FBI’s most wanted list.”

If a college is a place where you’re supposed to learn, you need to be more open to hearing viewpoints you disagree with. Our marketplace of ideas only thrives when you allow for the free expression of ideas — from brilliant ones that make you think, to odious ones that offend your sensibilities. Only then can you fully form your own viewpoints and better understand the positions of those you disagree with. Maybe the arguments will sway you to be better informed? Maybe they’ll make you a stronger supporter of a position you already take.

Shapiro is YAF’s most requested campus speaker. He will also speak at George Washington University, University of Alabama, and the University of Alabama as part of his Spring semester college speaking tour.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday mornings from 6-9 a.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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