Joseph Berger's New York Times column on education today doubled as a film review. "Film Portrays Stifling of Speech, but One College's Struggle Reflects a Nuanced Reality" criticized an anti-PC documentary, "Indoctrinate U," by bringing in an incident that occurred at Vassar college that was not even featured in the movie. Berger actually defended Vassar punishing a conservative campus publication by defunding it and shutting it down for a year.
"A new documentary is making the rounds that argues, with vivid examples, that the nation's colleges are squelching freedom of expression and are no longer free marketplaces of ideas.
"The film carries the striking title 'Indoctrinate U,' and was made by Evan Coyne Maloney, who describes himself as a libertarian and is looking for a national distributor.
Just over 12 hours after Monday's NBC Nightly News reported that 50 out of 141 high school seniors visiting the White House presented President Bush with a handwritten letter asking him to "stop the violations of the human rights of... all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants," CNN's "American Morning" had 3 of the 50 students on for an interview. Co-host John Roberts asked the students to recount their experiences writing the letter, obtaining signatures, and handing it to the president, and asked one student, "[I]n response, the president said, ‘we respect human rights,' do you buy that?"
The three students who were interviewed - Mari Oye, Leah Anthony Libresco, and Colin McSwiggen, all recently-graduated high school students, were among the one-third of the Presidential Scholars who signed a letter asking President Bush, among other things, "to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants." Roberts emphasized the apparent intelligence of the three. "And you want to talk about brain power, the collective group that you're seeing there. Mari and Leah going to Yale next year, Colin accepted to MIT." None from the remaining two-thirds who didn't sign the letter made an appearance on "American Morning."
A story on the US News and World Report website reveals that the reason women are paid less in general may have something to do with what they study in college:
The April release of Behind the Pay Gap by the American Association of University Women Education Foundation reported that one year after college graduation, women working full time earn just 80 percent as much as their male counterparts. The report noted that one potential reason for this difference is that female students are clustered in college majors tied to careers that lead to smaller paychecks. Areas such as education, health, and psychology are dominated by women, while men make up the majority of engineering, physical science, and mathematics majors—occupations that typically pay more.
Reporting a new survey on the success of a federal voucher program in the District of Columbia,
New York Times reporter Sam Dillon portrayed the federal program as a failure, albeit
one that makes parents of voucher students feel good on the taxpayers' dime.
Here's how Dillon opened his story (emphasis mine):
Students who participated in the first year of the District of
Columbia’s federally financed school voucher program did not show
significantly higher math or reading achievement, but their parents
were satisfied anyway, viewing the private schools they attended at
taxpayer expense as safer and better than public schools, according to
an Education Department study released yesterday.
Nowhere in his article does Dillon dive into problems that have plagued D.C. public schools that have helped push parents to seize the opportunity to send a child to private school on the public dime.
Instead, Dillon goes to lengths to castigate parents of voucher students as out-of-touch with reality about their child's education:
Tuesday mornings’s Democratic presidential candidates forum, aired live on MSNBC and moderated by Chris Matthews, had a few, to put it mildly, strange moments. Billed as a forum, the event was little more than a union-sponsored soapbox for the three leading Democratic candidates, Senators Clinton and Obama, and former Senator Edwards.
The left-leaning American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, which organized the soapbox, was quick to cheer for the most mundane of liberal catch phrases while descending into boos and hisses at the very mention of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“World News Sunday” on June 17 used Gibson’s very extreme situation to heap more blame on lenders without asking questions about her payment plan, loan consolidation or any other options that could lower her payments. The report also left out key facts such as where Gibson lives, how much debt she has, and what type of loan or loans she has.
..... One of the strangest examples (of "political correctness has crept into the halls of academia") comes from Marquette University in Wisconsin -- where a Dave Barry quip was banned. Last fall, Ph.D. student Stuart Ditsler printed out a short blurb from one of Barry's humor columns and stuck it on his office door. It read, "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." Of course, anybody who has ever heard of Dave Barry would know that he wasn't exactly suggesting insurrection.
The head of Marquette's philosophy department apparently didn't get it. He took down Barry's words and issued a statement that included the words, "while I am a strong supporter of academic freedom. I'm afraid that hallways and office doors are not free-speech zones." Since then, the Marquette philosophy department has stuck to its stance that Barry's words are "patently offensive," despite the fact that lots of other doors had slogans pasted on them.
As is often true in situations such as these, there's a lot more to the story. In this case, a little digging reveals not only a hypocritical academic mindset, but also shows that the next generation of journalists is on track to be even more biased than the current crop.
If this isn't junk science, then nothing meets the requirement to be called such! A new, money wasting university "study" was written about by New Scientist Magazine (on their website newscientist.com) this month that was presented as a "surprising discovery" somehow "proving" that people secretly love to pay taxes. And people wonder why "science" can be so easily scoffed at these days... or why it's so hard to believe what you read.
On top of the bad reporting, this story is more proof of the constant waste of money that is perpetrated by our National Universities. Instead of teaching useful information and conducting meaningful studies, this University is trying to "prove" that people really secretly LOVE paying taxes.
Gee, why do they want that little absurd concept floating out there, do you think? And why is this news outlet propagating this foolishness?
The student loan industry has been too cozy with colleges and universities and has harmed students, at least that’s what the media say.
“For weeks, an investigation of the student loan business has been scrutinizing whether close ties between lenders and colleges have enriched them at the expense of debt-laden students,” explained the May 29 USA Today.
But that investigation has been an anti-industry “crusade” waged by liberal New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and the media have been fighting alongside him.
In the MSM world of NBC, the only "rights" groups are liberal ones. And Supreme Court justices, at least women ones, are there to serve as advocates for their sex.
That was evident from the segment "Today" ran this morning, focusing on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The gist was that with Sandra Day O'Connor gone, it's a lonely struggle for Ginsburg as the high court's sole woman. "Today" portrayed that struggle not between liberals and conservatives, but between conservatives and various "rights" groups.
Campbell Brown introduced the segment.
'TODAY' WEEKEND TODAY CO-HOST CAMPELL BROWN: One thing as clear as the Court moves into its final weeks of the current session, it is much different place with just one female place among nine high court justices."
(14:50 EDT) Video of Tim Russert misspelling "Iraq" at bottom of post.
When California homeschooler Evan O’Dorney, 13, won the National
Spelling Bee on Thursday night, the nation’s press reacted with a yawn.
of focusing on the winner, The New York Times ran a story about an
immigrant from India who lost in the second round of the competition.
That boy, Kunal Sah, 12, who is living in Utah, had hoped a victory
would secure his family’s legal status in the United States. Thus, the
Times managed to use the National Spelling Bee as one more forum for
pushing the plight of immigrants.
Not until the middle of the story
did The Times get around to announcing the winner, noting only his name
and hometown and the fact that the AP reported his victory.
The “Weekly Standard” profiled libertarian-leaning conservative and political commentator turned documentarian Evan Coyne Maloney, whose new documentary about the leftist ideological indoctrination and pervasive political correctness in the US higher education system is called “Indoctrinate U”. Saturday May 19, CSPAN ran a segment about his film on the network’s “Washington Journal”, but CSPAN posts footage of the shows online (when they have it up, I'll post it. His spot is at the two-hour mark). You can see a clip of his film on YouTube as well as the film's website, Indoctrinate-U.com.
“Indoctrinate U” focuses on the pervasive trampling of free speech and thought on college campuses and traces the modern history of free expression on campuses from the ‘60s through today. The doc covers personal stories like “the Kafka-esque nightmare faced by Steve Hinkle, a student at California Polytechnic, whothe school attempted to sanction for placing a flier in the university's multicultural center announcing a speech by conservative African-American author, Mason Weaver.” It also features a professor who “excitedly tells the camera ‘whiteness is a form of racial oppression…treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity’.”
The “Weekly Standard” highlighted what the documentary covers (my emphasis throughout):
If the AP didn’t write about it, it didn’t happen, right? In an article about a topic I blogged earlier in the week here at Newsbusters, the AP also reported it, but with a different angle. The Primary Source, a conservative newspaper at Boston’s Tufts University was charged with harassment and creating a hostile environment on campus by publishing what the paper called political parody; they were found guilty of the charges by a disciplinary panel. The catch is, the AP worded it in a way that only reported half the story and ignored the paper's other harassment complaint that the panel was judging-at the same time-a fact-based satire of Islam.
A 12 year old girl is suing the Chicago Board of Education for negligence, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress after a substitute teacher led her 8th grade class to watch the film Brokeback Mountain with the warning, "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," according to the lawsuit.
The teacher then proceeded to show the 8th grade elementary school class the R rated gay themed film; a film that garnered its rating for sexual content, language and drug use.
According to the suit, a substitute teacher introduced herself as Ms. Buford to Jessica's class at Ashburn Community Elementary School, 8300 S. St. Louis Ave. She then said, "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," the suit claims. Buford then had a student close the door, and started showing the controversial R-rated film, which features two men engaged in sex.
The Volokh Conspiracy reported that yet another college has cracked down on a conservative student paper. The Primary Source, published a fake ad called “Islam-- Arabic Translation: Submission.” It satirized the events of an upcoming Islamic Awareness Week which quoted verses from the Koran and included unpleasant but true statements about Islam and ended with the statement, "If you are a peaceful Muslim who can explain or justify this astonishingly intolerant and inhuman behavior, we'd really like to hear from you!" This earned the students a quick trip before a disciplinary committee facing charges of "harassment and creating a hostile environment." The school ultimately decided not to punish the students, but from now on, TPS must identify who created which content.
Liberally-minded people and liberal institutions may say that they support free speech, but that claim is parsed down to what the definition of “is” is. This is yet another example of “hate speech is not free speech.” Stepping on and even burning the American flag is allowed (as it should be), but stepping on a flag that has the name of Allah written on it, such as a Hamas flag is not. It is fine for atheists to criticize or make fun of Christianity, but they are not allowed to criticize Islam. A liberal calling Condoleeza Rice Bush’s “house n***a” is acceptable, as is using digital blackface, but conservatives who say “tar baby” are hounded. The idea of “hate speech” is rarely applied equally.
Former Clinton adviser and current “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos mercilessly grilled Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards Sunday on a number of issues, including his numerous flip-flops when he was a U.S. senator.
At first glance, one would think that Stephanopoulos must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, or, given that there was a Republican presidential debate Thursday, forgot that Edwards was actually a Democrat.
However, upon reflection, recognizing Stephanopoulos’ ties to the Clintons, maybe this was a calculated attack on a political rival.
If you think this might be a stretch, just take a gander at the following questions asked by ABC’s chief Washington correspondent, and consider the last time you saw him or any other liberal media member grill a Democrat like this (video available here):
It's commencement speech time again at colleges and universities across America. Goshen College is one of the few to have already graduated its class of 2007, and CBS producer Greg Kandra took notice. Kandra plugged a speech by the Rev. Joy Carroll Wallis* at Goshen College:
In the days to come, we'll be reading a lot of snippets from
commencement speeches. 'Tis the season. Some will be hilarious. Some
dreadful. A few will actually say something that make you put down your
morning coffee and think. This speech is one of those.
Print it. Save it. Share it. It's worth it.
So I'm following Kandra's advice. I printed it (should I buy a tree-offset too?) and I'm sharing it with you. Unfortunately it contains the usual liberal platitudes you hear in a college commencement speech. Here's a sample:
Many conservatives don't like Bill O'Reilly. He's an advocate for gun control, amnesty for illegal immigrants, believes in global warming, etc. Still, you have to respect the fact that an entire journalism department just created a "study" which accuses him of being the most vile type of propagandist, going so far as to compare him to a Nazi sympathizer.
You'd think that the Indiana University department has better things to be doing (how about teaching kids about real diversity and fairness in journalism?) than studying a one-hour show on cable, but there it is.
According to the gurus of IU, O'Reilly is eerily similar to Father Charles Coughlin, a Nazi sympathizer during World War II:
"In this study, O'Reilly is a heavier and
less-nuanced user of the propaganda devices than Coughlin," the geniuses tell us.
I think the operative word is "this study." A more objective department might have compared O'Reilly to a myriad of other media figures such as Bill Moyers or Dan Rather who hardly present the news in an objective fashion, all while saying that's exactly what they do. Click past the jump to read an excerpt.
ESPN's Chris Berman likes to say "no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills." He might add "or the Boston Globe." Its editorial of today, A telling admission, heaps of paeans of praise on Marilee Jones, who resigned her position as MIT Dean of Admissions after an investigation revealed that she earned none of the academic degrees she had claimed.
The Globe quickly gets out of the way its acknowledgement that "no doubt, Marilee Jones did the wrong thing." But you'd hardly know it from the rest of editorial:
"I misrepresented my academic degrees when I first applied to MIT 28 years ago," she said in a statement, "and did not have the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since." Admitting to that lack of courage means being brave enough to be oneself, even if one is short on credentials but long on potential.
She deserves credit for her straightforward apology.
This forthright admission stands in contrast to others who have denied, delayed, or justified. Last year, David Edmondson, chief executive of RadioShack, said he planned to stay in his job even after it was revealed that he had not earned two college degrees listed on his resume. Days later he resigned.
Jones has had to face her own messy truth. She has done so in a commendable way.
The Globe comes close to excusing others who tell similar lies:
Since the VT shootings in Blacksburg, Virginia, we have seen all manner of wild-eyed, anti-gunners come out of the woodwork to cynically use this crime as a chance to beat their gun grabbing drums. But, proposing that we send government Stormtroopers to smash down the doors of every home with a gun in it to confiscate their Constitutionally legal firearms is a step I haven't seen in a purportedly responsible newspaper. That is, until the Toledo Blade published a proposal for taking away our right to self-protection that included "Special squads of police" with unlimited powers to confiscate all guns. A hit squad that would traipse about the country invading homes at will and accosting peaceful citizens everywhere.
The author of this tyrannical proposal is Dan Simpson, who is described as "a retired Ambassador" and a "member of the editorial boards of The Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. " He is a former US Ambassador to various African states... which can easily be read to mean one who thinks government knows best, darn the citizen's rights, apparently.
Rod Paige, the first Education Secretary under George W. Bush, has a new book on the dangers of teacher unions, so you wouldn't expect a nice review in The Washington Post. Richard Kahlenberg of the "radical centrist" vogue at the New America Foundation argues that Paige can't find the nuances, and then finds Paige's nuances. First he argued:
Like his old boss, Paige doesn't "do nuance," even when given more than 200 pages to state his case. Granted, teacher unions are by no means perfect. As Paige notes, too often the unions protect incompetent teachers and resist efforts to pay the teacher who works long hours any more than the one who springs for the parking lot the moment the bell rings. But "The War Against Hope" does little to acknowledge the innovative proposals that some teacher unions have backed on those two issues and the positive roles they play in education.
In the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, New York Times columnist Peter Applebome spoke out against the "socially conscious left" that was ready to convict the innocent Duke lacrosse players without evidence. Was fellow Times columnist Selena Roberts listening?
"The rape case that cost three Duke University lacrosse players a year of their lives and much more of their youth finally ended on Wednesday, when North Carolina Attorney General Roy A. Cooper said what many people have long known: all three were totally innocent of the charges against them.
What happened at Virginia Tech today is not a "tragedy" in the way that tragedy is usually defined as being a sudden accident. No, it was a cold-blooded crime. But, the criminal action at Virginia Tech had barely finished before news sources began their meme against guns, those "permissive laws" controlling them and the "easy access" to them. All are common phrases used to attack gun rights and this incident is being used as a platform to launch that line of attack everywhere. It's as if, before the last victim was even cold, every anti-gun advocate in the country hurriedly warmed up their cars to race to their local media source to call for more gun control. The debate over this issue is perfectly reasonable, of course, but that the MSM would use this crime as a springboard for their attacks on guns so soon after this incident had been perpetrated smacks of political opportunism.
CBS News gives us the claim that it is "much too easy to get guns in the state of Virginia." And they assure us this crime happened because "there's no gun registration, no mandatory waiting period to purchase weapons. The only major restriction: a limit of one gun purchase per month." And, the CBS report is echoed all across the news media.
CNN reporter Christine Romans agreed, but then took the conversation a step further smearing drug companies in the process.
“And when you look at sort of the business plan, you look at what some of the allegations are in this – in this industry scandal, you see that these sound like drug companies. ‘Let’s get our representatives into the financial aid office, let’s give gifts, let’s get people owning stock, let’s get them on our boards, so that our student loan can be right up there, preferred student loan for students, whether or not it may be the best fit for students,’” said Romans.
Citing a new study that shows no statistical difference in sexual activity between kids taught abstinence-only sex ed and kids taught about contraceptives, the April 14 Washington Post presented the results as a moral and scientific vindication for critics of abstinence-only education.
In an April 4 blog post to "Couric & Co.," the University of Virginia alumna (Class of 1979) worries that kids these days don't know their way around the library, and hence will be up a creek when they drift into the college library cramming for term papers:
Many kids skip the library altogether and head for the store. Sales of
juvenile books rose 60 percent from 2002 to 2005. It's an encouraging
sign that kids value reading, but many tech-savvy kids never experience
the joy of using the library's shelves as a place to discover new
worlds. And students are arriving in college unable to navigate
libraries with a Dewey decimal system many have never used.
Of course, kids love books, they just need authors that know how to capture their attention. Katie knows this well, having plugged the heck out of Harry Potter novels repeatedly over the years. But it's the last line in the above excerpt that caught my eye about students being unfamiliar with "a Dewey decimal system many have never used."
For today's lesson in bias by labeling, class, turn to today's "Annapolis Notebook" in the March 28 Washington Post.
It's there that reporter Lisa Rein skewed her portrayal of a debate over tuition for illegal aliens in favor of the liberal Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly, with everything from watering down the label "illegal immigrant" to painting Republicans as angry partisans and Democrats as righteously angry protecters of the underprivileged.