Giuliani wins lifetime ‘Muzzle’ award

Tuesday, April 13, 1999

Mayor Rudy Giul...
Mayor Rudy Giuliani

New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Special Counsel Kenneth Starr took dubious honors in this year’s Jefferson Muzzle Awards, announced today by the
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.

Each year on Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, the center bestows the awards to “those who in the past year have forgotten or disregarded Mr. Jefferson’s admonition that freedom of speech ‘cannot be limited without being lost,’ ” according to the center’s Web site.

Giuliani won “the first Lifetime Muzzle Award” for numerous incidents involving censorship of free speech, the Jefferson Center said. Starr’s award was for subpoenaing bookstore records during the Monica Lewinsky investigation.

A review of all recipients since the Jefferson Muzzles began in 1992, the center said, showed “that the disregard of First Amendment principles is not the byproduct of a particular political outlook but rather that threats to free expression come from all over the political spectrum.”

The 1999 recipients — “the largest group of Jefferson Muzzle Recipients ever” — also included the Louisiana Supreme Court, U.S. Rep. Robert Barr, R-Ga., two school districts, a prosecutor, a university athletic department and WJLA-TV, Washington, D.C.

WJLA was cited for airing a pro-Clinton ad from People for the American Way during the impeachment crisis, but refusing to broadcast a rebuttal ad by a group called American Renewal.