So what? I've been meaning to post on this ever since I read Arthur's essay on breaking the rules. Being a jerk isn't illegal and although I think he blew it to some extent with his confrontational manner and embellishing with unnecessary asides, Meyer did ask an important question to which we still don't have an answer.
I agree with Avedon on this point.
But it's important that people understand that it's completely uninteresting that Meyer was being obnoxious, because that's how people will always see you when you're challenging power - and that's what the First Amendment is for. Remember? You don't need a law to protect speech that everybody agrees with.
Andrew Meyer refused to be shut out. Good on him. Bad on the rest of you who don't understand how necessary that is to a free democracy.
Meyer's only mistake was in asking it so belligerently that the focus came to rest on his behavior rather than the content of his question. If he had presented more calmly, perhaps it wouldn't have been as easy for the campus cops to justify their brutal over-reaction. But nonetheless, it was a courageous act of civil disobedience and he deserves to be lauded more than criticized for it.
We could use a lot more non-violent rule-breaking like this. If more people were willing to take the same chance, maybe we would get an answer to his perfectly legitimate question.