"The chancellor of the University of Kansas announced Thursday that a journalism professor suspended over a tweet that angrily targeted the National Rifle Association after the Navy Yard shootings will not return to his classroom in 2013," John Milburn of the Associated Press reported yesterday. "[David] Guth will be given nonclassroom assignments, including service and administrative duties, which will be completed away from the Lawrence campus as much as possible. The decision is effective Friday," Milburn added later in his article, noting that KU's administration made the decision out of a concern for guarding against a disruption of the "learning environment" on the Lawrence, Kansas, campus. [h/t my colleague Dan Gainor]
On Thursday, Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters noted that Kansas University journalism professor David Guth, in the wake of Monday's Navy Yard murders, tweeted, "The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you." In an update which now also includes a defense of Guth by a former student, Ken noted that he has placed on administrative leave. Yesterday, I noted that the headline at the Associated Press's national site after Guth's suspension ("KU Professor Takes Heat Over Twitter Comment") avoided mentioning KU's discliplinary action against him. Perhaps in response to my post yesterday, the AP has changed the headline in stories with later time stamps to "KU Professor on Leave After Tweet Directed at NRA." But AP's updates still relay information about certain Kansas legislators' campaign contributions from gun rights groups — as if they're at all relevant.
In the wake of his placement on leave, Guth told AP, in the wire service's words, that "gun rights advocates had orchestrated a social media campaign against him," while asserting in his own words that "my plan is to be the calm in the center of the storm." Part of that "calm" apparently involves keeping others from digging into his Twitter history, because it's gone:
The Associated Press, in story carried at Channel 6 in Lawrence, reported (HT Twitchy) that a Kansas University professor has been "placed on administrative leave" after he issued the following tweet concerning Monday's Navy Yard murders: "The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you." A NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd yesterday, since updated to note his placement on leave, noted that Guth is an avid gun-grabbing advocate and that his Twitter account links to KU.
The AP apparently wants those who peruse its national site to skip their story on Guth. The item's headline belongs in the "this is boring, don't waste your time" wing of the Journalism Hall of Shame:
Update #2 (Sept. 20; 5:43 p.m. EDT): A former student of Prof. Guth's, who says he's a conservative and NRA member, emailed me to object to my characterization of his former instructor. See below the page break for his email, which he assented for me to publish, with his name redacted.
An unrepentant David Guth doubled down on his hateful tweets wishing death and damnation on NRA members and their children, Katherine Timpf of Campus Reform reported this afternoon.* "#NavyYardShooting The blood is on the hands of the #NRA. Next time, let it be YOUR sons and daughters. Shame on you. May God damn you," the Kansas University journalism professor tweeted on Monday afternoon.
Responding to Campus Reform, Guth refused to recant. "Hell no, hell no, I do not regret that Tweet.... I don't take it back one bit," Timpf quoted him as saying. For now, at least, Kansas University is standing by Guth (Twitter handle: @DWGuth):