A US senator from Massachusetts who wants the federal government to monitor so-called hate speech on television, radio, and the Internet. A local official in Rhode Island who disparages complaints about an unconstitutional law prohibiting anonymous political speech as “absolute nonsense.” A Maine official who pleads with legislators to reinstate a ban on releasing 911 calls, even though such calls are public records in most states.
The Muzzle Awards are intended to single out the dramatic and the petty, the epic and the absurd. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech and of the press. Yet as these examples show, the battle to maintain those freedoms must be fought every day.
Launched in 1998, the Muzzles’ home was the late, great Boston Phoenix, which ceased publication in 2013. This is the second year they have been hosted by WGBH News.