New “Counterspeak” Premieres on YouTube Tonight

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A new installment of Counterspeak, the monthly podcast of the American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) will premiere tonight, March 4, on YouTube at 8:00ET/7:00CT. The episode is also available for download now on BookWebSpotify, and iTunes.

Counterspeak is co-hosted by ABA Content Director Sydney Jarrard and David Grogan, director of ABFE. Beginning in May, episodes of Counterspeak will premiere on YouTube a week prior to launching on Spotify, iTunes, and other podcast players. Grogan explained that, by subscribing on YouTube, “You are actually supporting ABFE’s mission to protect the right to read. If we reach a minimum threshold of subscribers, ABFE will be eligible for financial support via YouTube advertising programs, so every subscription counts.”

In this month’s episode, Jarrard speaks with Patrick Eddington, a research fellow in homeland security and civil liberties at the Cato Institute. Jarrard and Eddington discuss Eddington’s ongoing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) project. The project is trying to determine the extent to which FBI domestic surveillance is collecting national security or intelligence records on such domestic organizations as media outlets, organizations dedicated to the Bill of Rights, and immigration policy groups. One such organization is the Campaign for Liberty, a political organization founded by Congressman Ron Paul.

In researching this project, Eddington has received 23 “neither confirm nor deny” responses from the Department of Justice. He explains the meaning and history of these so-called “Glomar” responses. Further, Eddington describes the problematic relationship between the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), an independent board charged with reviewing and analyzing actions the executive branch takes regarding terrorism, and the agencies and departments it reviews. PCLOB must submit its reports to those agencies and departments for review, a process that can essentially amount to censorship.

Each month, Counterspeak features interviews with experts on the First Amendment and free speech, as well as discussions on relevant current events. Listeners can contact the Counterspeak podcast team at

To make sure you never miss a new episode, subscribe to Counterspeak on YouTube and follow Counterspeak on Twitter @CounterspeakPod.