Snowflake U: An interview with Sharyl Attkisson


Cole Thomas, Editor

It is an epidemic that is sweeping through public American college campuses: the safe space project. Public Universities have put a muzzle on free speech,and most students and faculty are eating it up like Trump on a McDonald’s run. But this is American politics. Those who are fighting back are doing it with authority, whether that be the occasional conservative news brief or a right-winged student body.

Sharyl Attkisson, a former investigative correspondent for CBS News and current host of Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, is no stranger to this epidemic. The Full Measure segment on “Snowflake Syndrome”, which ran last August, saw Attkisson bring to light the issues many college campuses have been experiencing. In an interview with the Miter, Attkisson went further in depth on her beliefs on the matter.


Mrs. Attkisson, I appreciate you taking a few minutes to discuss the safe space epidemic with me. First and foremost, what are your thoughts on the matter?

“My initial thought is that some campuses are rampant with conflict, but most are not a part of the phenomenon. A lot of students look at the news and confidently say ‘My campus isn’t like that’. I did a report on a student at the University of Nevada- Reno and how he was caught protesting in Charlottesville. Contrary to most Universities, the school defended him because he was exercising his freedom of speech.”

“To answer your question though, I think it’s a huge issue. I’m not sure people are being taught the notion of why America is different, which is our right to freedom of speech. Higher education is leading us into a direction of free speech being censored. People consider words to be a form of violence. I consider all of this as to be a part of a broader movement to control opinion. It makes people afraid to use their voice.

“What young people don’t understand is that hate speech is protected under the constitution. You never want the government to tell you what is good opinion.”


How are these “safe spaces” not in direct violation of the first amendment?

“Well, there have been laws established that schools have some say regarding freedom of speech.To me, if you’re at a public University, it is a front to say speech is limited unless you are disrupting. If you’re not causing an issue, I can’t understand why people aren’t allowed to express their mind.”


At Georgetown University in our nation’s capital, there is a free speech project. Essentially, the project suggests that the “crisis” is more than out of proportion. Sanford J. Unger, the leader of the project, has suggested that there is little to no evidence that conservatives are being targeted on college campuses. Mrs. Attkisson, your thoughts on this?

“I have seen news reports of conservatives being targeted, which should never happen. This sounds like an unfair assessment of the situation from a liberal biased University.

I have spoken at many Universities. My most recent speech was at Chapman University in California. There, two professors tried to prevent me from speaking because they read propaganda on the internet that I was conservative. Now a days, speakers are only welcomed if they are from the left. It used to be if your in the middle, your fine. But now if you are more moderate, you are considered right wing. You must be strictly from the left.”


It is not as if Republicans aren’t fighting back. Louisiana, a very red state, passed SB364, a bill protecting freedom of speech on public college campuses in their state. What do you believe it says about America that a state must pass a bill protecting the amendments of the Constitution?

“I think it is a dangerous time, and the efforts to control thought and speech are proving successful through the media and news. If people can’t get outside their own belief system and continue to control information, it will prevent Americans from knowing all aspects, which will hurt you. College students have learned to look at one layer behind propaganda, but you have to look 2 layers deep to find the truth. Media literacy is just people trying to control the information that gets to you to get you to believe what they do. There is also the anti-fake news efforts, which, again, are powerful people trying to limit information.”


Can you see more (republican) states passing bills similar to this?


“I guess so, but it’s sad that the constitution has to be defended by bills.”