I have just returned from the contentious four-day National Assn. of Radio Talk Show Hosts convention in Houston, where G. Gordon Liddy was given the Freedom of Speech Award; former Soviet journalist Vladimir Posner taught us a lesson in American history; Gov. Pete Wilson carefully campaigned for president; Missouri Congressman and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt angered the assembled hosts by telling them to boycott the award ceremony, and feminist lawyer Gloria Allred shouted "shame" during the Liddy dinner.
In the week before we reflect on and celebrate the birth of our nation, a majority of my talk show colleagues made a cynical decision to present the award to Liddy in order to attract national press coverage. Did the professional talkers inadvertently and bravely defend public utterance no matter how hateful? Or did they trivialize the meaning of free speech? The question remains: Are words weapons? If so, can they be banned?
Youngsters are invited to bring their already read Goosebump books to exchange with other kids at the Goosebump Swap Meet at 6:45 tonight, Adventures for Kids, 3457 Telegraph Road, Ventura.
Sojourner Kincaide-Rolle will read her poetry at 8 tonight in Cafe Voltaire, 34 N. Palm St., Ventura.