Industry honors don’t get bigger than this. Every year at their convention in New York City, talk radio’s premiere industry publication, TALKERS Magazine awards the “Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech”, which prior to Burns’ death in 2013 was called the “Freedom of Speech Award”. Burns was the award’s first recipient in 1988 and I’m extremely honored to be its recipient this year of 2022.
TALKERS has stated their prestigious award is given to broadcasters who “have demonstrated through their words, deeds and courage the First Amendment in action, its purpose and how it operates.” Past recipients include Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Sean Hannity, Thom Hartmann, G. Gordon Liddy, Al Franken, Glenn Beck, Matt Drudge, and more. There’s no doubt that the hosts of Free Talk Live, the country’s only syndicated libertarian radio show, are dedicated to freedom, especially the freedom of speech. While I am the founder of the show, all of our co-hosts share the same philosophy. I’m super grateful to the people at TALKERS for this award.
In any normal year, I’d be attending the TALKERS convention in NYC to accept the award in person. This year however, I’m currently on highly restrictive bail conditions as I await trial in the Crypto Six case. Unless I can get the prosecution to agree to let me attend, I’m stuck at home. Thankfully, Mark Edge will be there to accept the award in my stead. Would I have been able to speak, I’d have said something like this:
I’m grateful to Michael, Kevin, and the rest of TALKERS Magazine’s staff for presenting me with the Freedom of Speech Award. Every year we gather here in New York City and gratitude is often expressed that as an industry, we are free to share our opinions on the radio. However, is it really true that we have free speech? Or, is it simply that most talk radio hosts have opinions that are within an acceptable range? (more…)