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A tale of two speeches

Bloomington Herald-Times, February 3, 2008

To the editor:

It is silly to think that a public speech in a public building could be “off the record,” especially when the speaker is a former national security adviser to the president. The lecture several weeks earlier by former deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott certainly was not “off the record.” Both the Herald-Times and the Indiana Daily Student acted properly.

This reminds me of my experience when I went to hear Congressman Baron Hill speak on the Indiana University campus in the fall of 2006. As I approached the room where Hill was to speak, I was stopped by an event organizer asked if I was Scott Tibbs and if I was a student. The answers to those two questions were “yes” and “not any more,” so I was informed that I would not be allowed to attend the speech.

Hill was giving a speech on the campus of a public university that was announced on the front page of the IDS, which is the second-largest newspaper in Monroe County and is distributed throughout downtown. Hill’s supporters acted to prevent registered voters in his district from even attending and listening to his speech. What is Hill afraid of? Where is Baron?

Scott Tibbs.