|Erwin Knoll (1931-1994)|
"Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge" ~Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy
A few days ago, I linked to a video I made from a 1988 radio broadcast by the late Erwin Knoll. If you listened to that recording through conservative eardrums, you probably bristled a bit at Knoll's take on the topic. Knoll personified the sort of Madison liberal I knew well growing up Wisconsin. But in fact, I once met Erwin Knoll, and we probably nodded heads over something at the time.
Knoll used to come into the tiny grocery store where I worked during college. The store was just around the corner from the former offices of The Progressive on W. Gorham St. He used to come in to buy snacks and whatnot. I remember his colleague Howard Morland better -- I used to sell him his smokes -- he was the guy who wrote the piece "The H-Bomb Secret, How We Got It -- Why We're Telling It" -- a story which landed them both in a 1st Amendment lawsuit in which they prevailed. They didn't tell me what they were up to at the time, even though this was 1979.
Why the praise for Knoll? He stood adamantly opposed to squelching anti-abortion views of contrarian progressives. This enraged some of his readers. Said one: "I'm always intrigued at how few people understand that free speech encompasses a little more than the speech you like." link
[added: Young Hegelian links to The Progressive article about abortion which Knoll published in 1980]