Tuesday, January 24, 2006

UCLA update

The story about McCarthyism has continued to get wide coverage on CBS News, NPR and many other local media outlets. Unfortunately, much of this coverage, including the news on these two sources, has been of a very low quality. CBS had very little research on background and very few hard questions to ask the players in this drama such as UCLAprofs.com creator Andrew Jones and his ideological model David Horowitz. They did not even get any good commentary from the UCLAprofs.com Advisory Board members who quit. NPR was similarly lacking in its discussion of the Republican Party role in this attack.

I wrote an letter to the LA Times based on the analysis of my last Blog update. While my column was not published, they did run a letter from targeted UCLA professor Saree Makdisi ("Witch Hunt at UCLA"). Makdisi has the best analysis I have seen yet. Pointing out that the purpose of this attack and those seen in Senate Bill SB6 (crafted by UCLAprofs.com Advisory Board member State Senator Bob Morrow),
The intention is presumably to force "liberal" faculty to teach "conservative" materials, as though a university education functions according to the same degraded logic as the Bill O'Reilly show. But the bill could also force a professor teaching the Holocaust to teach the views of Holocaust deniers ("dissenting sources").

She also more concretely discusses the link between Horowitz and Jones saying
Horowitz last week criticized Jones, whom he said he'd once fired for pressuring students to file false reports about their professors.
This not only casts suspicion on Jones' integrity, but it demonstrate who is paying Jones salary if "donations do not" cover it as a quote of Jones in the LA Times suggests.

The LA Times will be running a follow up story because of the resignations and continued interest. It remains to be seen of Makdisi or Aunt Ellen will be given a substantive opportunity to comment.

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