1:03 PM, May 9, 2012 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Since I wrote about Naomi Schaefer Riley being fired by the Chronicle of Higher Education yesterday, the story has moved along somewhat.
For starters, Naomi published a short essay about the affair in the Wall Street Journal. It’s worth reading in full, but to give you a flavor:
The reaction to my blog post ranged from puerile to vitriolic. The graduate students I mentioned and the senior faculty who advise them at Northwestern University accused me (in guest blogs posted by the Chronicle editors) of bigotry and cowardice. The former wrote that "in a bid to not be 'out-niggered' [their word] by her right-wing cohort, Riley found some black women graduate students to beat up on." (I confess I don't actually know what that means.) One fellow blogger (and hundreds of commenters) called my post "racist."
Gina Barreca, a teacher of English and feminist theory at the University of Connecticut, composed a poem mocking me. (It begins "A certain white chick—Schaefer Riley/ decided to do something wily.") MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry spewed a four-minute rant about my post, invoking the memory of Trayvon Martin and accusing me of "small-mindedness." . . .
In a note that reads like a confession at a re-education camp, the Chronicle's editor, Liz McMillen announced her decision on Monday to fire me: "We've heard you," she tells my critics. "And we have taken to heart what you said. We now agree that Ms. Riley's blog posting did not meet The Chronicle's basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles."
When I asked Ms. McMillen whether the poem by fellow blogger Ms. Barreca, for instance, lived up to such standards, she said they were "reviewing" the other content on the site. So far, however, that blogger has not been fired.
But of course not. James Taranto, also at the Journal, has piled on as well. (I mean that in a good way. Who doesn’t love watching Taranto come flying off the top turnbuckle?)
And blogger Jeryl Bier has an interesting post about the Chronicle. One of the Chronicle’s other bloggers is Middlebury professor Laurie Essig. Here’s Bier examining one of Essig’s recent posts:
Ms. Essig wrote a blog post on May 7th entitled “Amendment 1, Protecting the ‘Caucasian Race’ and a Whole Lot of Stupid,” a critique of the anti-gay marriage amendment up for a vote today, May 8th, in North Carolina. Based on a single source, a Huffington Post article (“scholarship”), Ms. Essig assails the citizens of North Carolina with rather colorful charges of not only racism, but even throws eugenics into the mix.
But it’s not just that. Essig then writes the following:
According to a report in the Huffington Post, the wife of the state senator who wrote the bill, Jodie Brunstetter, said
The reason my husband wrote Amendment 1 was because the Caucasian race is diminishing and we need to uh, reproduce.
That’s an extraordinary quote. But Professor Essig, who seems to have relied only on a single source for this quote, missed the fact that the Huffington Post quickly walked it back. Here’s the update the Huffington Post published:
2:22 PM, May 8, 2012 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
Late last night, in a shameful example of editorial cowardice, the Chronicle of Higher Education fired Naomi Schaefer Riley. Naomi is a good friend of mine, a sometimes contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD, and a fine writer. And the story of what happened to her is highly instructive.
History unfolds beneath the Ivory Tower.Dec 19, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 14 • By JAMES BOWMAN
Mary Ann Glendon begins her chapter on Rousseau by recounting the story of Napoleon’s visit to the grave of that worthy on the estate of the Marquis René Louis de Girardin at Ermenonville and saying, “It would have been better for the peace of France if this man had never lived.” When the marquis sensibly pointed out that, without the impetus given by Rousseau’s writings to the French Revolution, Napoleon himself would not have existed, at least not as Napoleon, the first consul replied that only the future
10:09 AM, Nov 29, 2011 • By THERESA CIVANTOS
A care package drive for deployed U.S. troops is receiving national notice after a professor at Suffolk University Law School criticized the operation.
He picked the right fight. Sep 19, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 01 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
If you want a glimpse of the way Rick Perry operates as an executive and a politician, consider the issue of higher education reform in Texas, which no one in Texas knew was an issue until Perry decided to make it one.
4:00 PM, Feb 25, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The Washington Post has a review up of the new book by Andrew Ferguson, Senior Editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD. The new book, Crazy U, tells the story of Ferguson's struggles getting his son through the college admissions process.
Ferguson's regular readers are unlikely to be surprised by this, but the Post's nonfiction editor gave Crazy U a rave review:
3:15 PM, Feb 20, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
A shocking story in the New York Post today. At a hearing about whether ROTC should return to Columbia University now that Don't Ask Don't Tell has been repealed, students openly mocked a disabled Iraq war veteran arguing in favor of the program:
"Racist!" some students yelled at Anthony Maschek, a Columbia freshman and former Army staff sergeant awarded the Purple Heart after being shot 11 times in a firefight in northern Iraq in February 2008. Others hissed and booed the veteran.
Maschek, 28, had bravely stepped up to the mike Tuesday at the meeting to issue an impassioned challenge to fellow students on their perceptions of the military.
The University of California system is racked by student protests over tuition hikes, while administrators monkey around with admissions.10:37 AM, Apr 6, 2010 • By BILL WHALEN
Its stated purpose may be higher education, but for the storied University of California system recent times have brought with them the lowest of lows.
Twice in the past six months, California’s leading public universities up and down the Golden State have endured raucous protests over a planned 32% increase in student fees that would help offset a $637 million budget cut to the university system. Once in effect, it’ll send resident undergraduate fees past the $10,000 mark for the first time in state history (by comparison, in-state tuition at the University of Virginia runs around $9,850). One such dust-up, last December in Berkeley at the campus home of UC Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, resulted in broken windows, lights and planters, lit torches tossed at police cars, and eight arrests.
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