Friday, April 08, 2005

 

NY Times comes out against academic freedom

There isn't much I can say about the horrendous NYTimes editorial yesterday that hasn't already been laid down by the good professor, Juan Cole (who encourages all to unsubscribe from the NYTimes).

The one thing I will add is that the mainstream press (such as the NYTimes), which tries to take an "objective" and detached view of the matter (as opposed to the gutter press like the NY Sun, which doesn't even pretend), continues to fall back on the "failure" of the Columbia administration to deal with the "problem" before it became a public matter involving outside pressure groups, etc. The problem with that narrative is that the existing Columbia structure for filing complaints against teachers didn't fail. IT WASN'T USED! Not a single on of the students that alleged intimidation in "Columbia Unbecoming" had gone through the regular channels of filing a complaint. It's not a situation where complaints were ignored. Where they were made to "go away." There were no complaints in the first place. The lesson learned here is that there is no need to go through the standard channels (especially if the substance of your complaint is a bit lacking) - a campaign orchestrated by outside pressure groups and the right-wing media is ultimately much more effective. I would guess that the Columbia administration thinks they saved their own asses on this one, but if others learn the same lesson, I don't think they'll be feeling quite so good about themselves.

Comments:
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Redux, I'd say. And the anti-evolution gang's been using this tactic for quite a while, too. Make a big stinko story about something that didn't actually happen, but by the time that fact is clarified, the story is already embedded in Mr. and Mrs. Front Porch's minds the way the wingers want it to be remembered.

Aunt Deb
 
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