One disappointment was my failure to challenge to the host Peter Lavelle when he claimed that the Russian press do not feel pressurised to say anything bad about Vladimir Putin. I claimed that ‘political correctness’ was used in many countries to enforce the political orthodoxy of the ruling elites, including in Russia. Peter retorted that though there were states where that happens, he (working in Russia) was not living in one. On reflection, instead of shaking my head in disbelief (never effective on a split screen TV programme) I should have asserted that many Russian journalists would disagree with him.
I would also have liked more time to engage Robert Shibley on the censure of Christian groups on campus. Very often I think that freedom of (Christian) religion is used as an excuse for unfettered homophobia, and the ‘political correctness’ that responds is really just healthy counter-speech. Having said that, I think the discussion we had did go beyond the shrill superficiality of most debates on this subject. Take a look at the comments on the YouTube page for the clip – almost universally vile and stupid.