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Setting The Record Straight

Campus Watch corrects false allegations made against it.

Response to:

Meet the Professor Who Said, 'To Save Democracy, Trump Must Hang'
by Chauncey Devega
Salon
October 30, 2017

Categories:
False allegations of suppressing free speech
False allegations of attacking critics of America's policy in the Middle East
Misc. Corrections

Original text from Meet the Professor Who Said, 'To Save Democracy, Trump Must Hang':

Excerpt from original article:

Lars Maischak, a history lecturer at California State University, Fresno, provides an object lesson in these debates. Several months ago, Maischak wrote this on Twitter: "To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better." He also asked whether anyone had started "soliciting money and design[ing] drafts for a monument honoring the Trump assassin" and suggested "the execution of two Republicans for each deported immigrant."

Maischak's comments were immediately targeted by websites such as the Daily Caller and Breitbart and subsequently circulated throughout the right-wing echo chamber including Fox News. Right-wing advocacy groups such as Campus Watch have used Maischak's comments to advance their smear campaign against "dangerous" professors who are supposedly indoctrinating students with left-wing ideology.

Maischak has not been dismissed by his university, but he was placed on leave and eventually removed from the classroom and any traditional teaching responsibilities. He has also received hundreds of death threats and other harassing emails and phone calls.

Campus Watch Responds:

Chauncey Devega reveals his intellectual laziness by asserting that Campus Watch smeared a disgraced professor whose name, in fact, does not appear on our site.

In his paean to Lars Maischak, a former lecturer in U.S. history at California State University, Fresno, Devega falsely charges that

Right-wing advocacy groups such as Campus Watch have used Maischak's comments to advance their smear campaign against "dangerous" professors who are supposedly indoctrinating students with left-wing ideology.

Maischak made news in April when Breitbart published his February tweet: "To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and the higher, the better." After an uproar, Cal State Fresno announced in August that he would not teach this fall. Maischak has since become a minor celebrity on the academic left.

Campus Watch's website has a handy search box along the left-hand menu. If one types "Maischak" into it, one gets a page that reads "No Results." For the uninitiated--including pseudo-journalists who can't be bothered to research their topics along with the publications that employ them--such a return indicates the absence of Maischak's name in CW's archives. Given the rarity of his name, this is a sure and certain sign that CW has never written about or posted anything on him.

Why would we? Maischak is a historian of American history. A cursory glance at CW's mission--or a passing acquaintance with organizations that critique higher education--would show that CW deals only with Middle East studies in North American universities. But to discover that, one must nurse his craft rather than his grievances.

Moreover, CW is not a "right-wing advocacy" group, but a project of the Middle East Forum that critiques Middle East studies regardless of the politics involved. We do not advocate anything except the replacement of politicized teaching and writing with rigorous, apolitical work. We combat any ideology, left-wing or otherwise, in pursuit of our mission.

Finally, CW does not "smear" anyone, and to state that we do is itself a smear. It is a curiosity of our times that professors and their cheerleaders charge critics with "smearing" and "censoring" academics when the members of other professions (as we've pointed out several score time before) assume that criticism comes with the job. We rarely hear physicians, attorneys, clergy, businessmen, and others yell for the smelling salts when someone dares to disagree with their work.

Is it asking too much for Devega and his ilk to get their basic facts straight before publishing? If past is prologue--and it usually is--we all know the answer. But fear not: we at CW stand ever vigilant, ready to correct the record again (and again, and again, and again).

Posted by Winfield Myers, director of academic affairs and of Campus Watch, Middle East Forum.

© 2002 - 2017 The Middle East Forum. Campus Watch contact e-mail: campus-watch@meforum.org

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