Free-Floating Hostility

Friday, April 08, 2005


Spectator Wins

When it comes to putting out a balanced story, apparently you can rely on the Columbia Spectator to do a better job than the The New York Times, or so says the Columbia Journalism Review. This makes me happy, seeing the Spec outduel the Times on a story in the CU neighborhood. This happens about once on a year on a story of real consequence, such as the naming of new Univerisity President.

Of course, FFH first reported this story back in November.

Did the New York Sun ever correct itself when it reported:
In an effort to manage favorable coverage of its investigation into the complaints, the university disclosed a summary of the committee's report only to the Columbia Spectator, the campus newspaper, and the New York Times. Those newspapers, sources indicated to the New York Sun last night, made an agreement with the central administration that they would not speak to the students who made the complaints against the professors.

I hope so, because I'm on a diet and the irony of a right-wing publication cooking the truth to fit the right's traditional narrative of left-wing college newspapers committing and covering up all manner of ideological sin would just be too delicious.

In terms of substance, I hate this story. I know that at Columbia there is exists a set of people who are already in training to join the right-win ideology industry. Of course, it's my belief that members of the ideology industry on any side should have brown recluse spiders glued to their bodies. Professors intimidating students and ejecting them from classes for taking a certain position is clearly a violation of the university's mission. But can you really craft a policy to ensure total academic freedom? All ideas are not created equal.

There are lots of people that believe in Creationism, despite the lack of scientific evidence. There is a body of "scholarship," surrounding Holocaust denial. And you'd be hard-pressed to argue that pure socialism has much of a track record as form of government. I mean, how exactly should a history professor react when a student stands up and says the Allies won WWII because God smote the Germans for subscribing to Nazism, an anti-Christian ideology? I don't have an answer for that.

1 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Prof. Trixie at April 08, 2005 4:57 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Just to note that my reward for flying Jet Blue for six hours is that Michael stole my examples of Creationism and Holocaust denial as ideas that would not be tolerated at a University under the rubric of free speech. I want footnoting.

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