Campus Watch in the Media
New Republic Rebuttal
by Robert David (KC) Johnson
Needed correctives to the strange take on the Columbia story from the Times come in the most recent New Republic and Village Voice.
TNR correctly notes (scroll down) that "a university with ideologically uniform appointments on a subject as controversial as Middle Eastern history and politics itself threatens scholarly standards and intellectual liberty. And it is those who bludgeon students into silence or conformity who are the true little dictators of the moment."
The journal also calls into question the continued presence on the investigating committee of Dean Lisa Anderson, dissertation advisor to one of the central figures in the case, Prof. Joseph Massad, and someone who has deemed pro-Israel students questioning professors' comments in publications such as Campus Watch as a threat to academic freedom.
In the Voice, meanwhile, Nat Hentoff has little trouble disposing of the NYCLU's contention that academic fredom means that students can challenged biased in-class presentations of professors only when the biased professor gives the students express permission to do so. Perhaps, Hentoff notes, this bizarre theory of academic discourse explains why NYCLU officials refused repeated opportunities to screen the David Project film before writing their letter. Certainly wouldn't want to let a few inconvenient facts get in the way of an intellectually indefensible argument.Note: Postings in "Campus Watch in the Media" do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch.
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