But Rushdie doesn’t have much sympathy for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker apparently behind Innocence. “He’s done something malicious, and that’s a very different thing from writing a serious novel,” the writer told Today‘s Matt Lauer this morning. “He’s clearly set out to provoke, and he’s obviously unleashed a much bigger reaction than he hoped for. I mean, one of the problems with defending free speech is you often have to defend people that you find to be outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting.”