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Commentary By Jason L. Riley

The Chautauqua Institution Isn’t What It Used to Be

Culture Culture & Society

Once a haven for open inquiry and civil debate, the New York resort has become predictably woke.

Condemnation of the Aug. 12 knife attack on author Salman Rushdie has been accompanied by shock at where it occurred. The Chautauqua Institution, a summer resort in upstate New York, has hosted lectures since the late 1800s and has a well-earned reputation as a place of open inquiry and civil debate.

Following the stabbing, Gov. Kathy Hochul said of the institution: “This place doesn’t just value dialogue and freedom of speech, freedom of thought—this place exists because of those values.” That may have been true at one time, but times change. Four days before Mr. Rushdie was attacked on stage, I spoke at the Chautauqua Institution. I wasn’t invited by the institution’s leadership, however. Instead, I was hosted by a splinter group called Advocates for Balance at Chautauqua, or ABC, which seeks to “achieve a balance of speakers in a mutually civil and respectful environment consistent with the mission of Chautauqua,” according to the invitation.

Continue reading the entire piece here at The Wall Street Journal (paywall)


Jason L. Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and a Fox News commentator. He is the author of the recent book “The Black Boom.”

This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal