Does a free society tolerate, even encourage, a robust exchange of ideas?

Mark Steyn on Free Speech at the IPA from Institute of Public Affairs on Vimeo.

Rupert Murdoch’s Andrew Bolt a free speech champion? I fear so. See here, here and here.

Of course, it doesn’t help that Bolt made so many mistakes in his piece against Aboriginal Australians, seemingly designed to denigrate them.

Should Western societies be willing to tolerate, if not endorse, racial bigotry, so long as violence isn’t advocated? Should we be able to offend people, of whatever persuasion?