Add Russell Simmons to the list of entertainment industry figures rethinking the meaning of freedom of speech in the wake of anti-American protests coinciding with the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Did we say anti-American? Never mind the burning flags; White House press secretary Jay Carney assured the nation that a single YouTube video is the sole target of Islamic rage. Plenty, including Bette Midler and Anthea Butler, are anxious to see the filmmakers jailed in order to appease the mobs.
Occupy Wall Street supporter Simmons, who grew his Def Jam record label by signing controversial acts such as the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy, is now thinking of the Islamic world as a crowded theater that needs policing. And with the feds interviewing Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and pressuring YouTube to review the video, it looks like Simmons might be close to finding a willing speech cop.
One complicating factor?