It’s about six days before FBI director James Comey was scheduled to speak at this years SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. Comey was scheduled to speak with Newseum CEO Jeffrey Hebst about the much debated email controversy that plagued Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. As Comey was responsible for overseeing the highly publicized investigation, it was set to be one of the bigger discussions being held at SXSW this year. To great disappointment, Comey announced that he will be pulling out of his prior obligation due to “scheduling conflicts keeping him in Washington D.C.,” as reported by Paste Magazine.
The fill in the empty slot that Comey left, FBI General Counsel James Baker has agreed to talk about the FBI/Apple battles, the Edward Snowden leaks and First Amendment rights. He will be discussing these topics with Hebst still on March 13, the same time Comey was slotted. Herbst was quoted in a statement saying that, “While Director Comey is now unable to attend, we’re still really excited that this important conversation will take place.” There is no official word on whether or not any discussion will take place on the current leaks or the alleged Russian hacking scandal. However, in a statement by SXSW they explained that “the nation’s top law enforcement agency has been at the center of international news,” which makes the topics significant talking points.
The Newseum is exactly what their name entails. It is an interactive museum that covers the evolution of both kinds of communication used in news, print and electronic, from the earliest days of the United States to the technologies that we have available today and what will be possible in the future. They are promoters of free expression and the five freedoms covered in the First Amendment rights of the United States Constitution.