I will only make a brief comment on this, because I don’t think it is really worth more than that.
In Berkeley, where I live, Richard Dawkins was invited to give a talk about his new book, Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist. The sponsors of his talk, KPFA, a progressive radio station, decided to cancel the talk because of “abusive speech” by Richard Dawkins. This story has hit some of those frozen peach buttons, with Jerry Coyne declaring it “a terrible blow for free speech”.
The one and only time I ever saw Dawkins speak was at the very same venue, talking about another book he wrote, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. There are many things I find objectionable about Dawkins, but I am personally able to separate that from his science writing, which seems fine. So I don’t really agree with KPFA.
But geez, by turning this into a free speech issue, you’re making me take the opposite side! Obviously, the KPFA, being the sponsors of the talk, has a right to cancel their own talk. In fact, it would practically be a violation of KPFA’s free speech, if they were forced to sponsor a talk from someone they didn’t like. Also, doesn’t sponsoring talks cost them money or something?
People are always thinking of these issues in terms of the speaker’s free speech, but if anything, it’s about the inviters’ free speech. If speakers have a right to platforms, where are all my speaker invitations, and why isn’t anyone standing up for my free speech?