Should a person be fired for their off-hours comments?

Two high profile exits this week raise debate about free speech

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Published November 30, 2018 4:00PM (EST)

Marc Lamont Hill (Getty/Bennett Raglin)
Marc Lamont Hill (Getty/Bennett Raglin)

Salon introduces questions of the day, where we invite you to lead the conversation.

After making an ill-advised joke about the notorious butter scene in "Last Tango In Paris" to mark the demise of director  Bernardo Bertolucci, critic David Edelstein faced a social media backlash — and was fired this week by NPR. Just a few days later, CNN canned Marc Lamont Hill after he gave a pro Palestine speech at the UN  — including a phrase that some say is an anti-Israel  dog whistle. What's the line between  free speech and a fireable offense? And are these recent actions a justifiable correction of unacceptable behavior, or an extreme reaction?

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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