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Hysteria Against Academic Freedom By: Mike Rosen
Rocky Mountain News | Tuesday, February 03, 2004


If you can't defeat someone's arguments with an honest rebuttal, then misstate and exaggerate those arguments and debate a straw man. That was the underhanded tactic employed by Gail Schoettler in a recent Denver Post column personally attacking David Horowtiz.

Schoettler, an apologist for the leftist status quo, opposes an Academic Bill of Rights, which Horowitz and others have proposed to encourage pluralism of views and curricula on college campuses, protect students from ideological proselytizers masquerading as professors, and to protect faculty members from discrimination based on their beliefs.

Schoettler lamely brands Horowitz a hypocrite for accepting speaking fees for college lectures "while claiming that people of his political persuasion were never allowed to speak on our so-called 'leftist' college campuses" (emphasis added). The woman is hallucinating.

First, it is absolutely incontrovertible that leftist (not "so-called" leftist) professors dominate the liberal arts and humanities. They even admit it, proudly, explaining that this field of endeavor attracts enlightened liberals, like themselves, while greedy conservatives lust for filthy lucre in the world of business.

Second, Horowitz hasn't said that conservatives are never allowed to speak on college campuses, just that leftist speakers dominate. And they do. You can look it up.

Leftist speakers far outnumber conservatives at Metro State and the University of Colorado, for example. Have you ever seen the list of participants at the annual World Affairs Conference at CU-Boulder? It's summer camp for lefties.

Schoettler wildly claims that Horowitz is "opposed to the whole concept of freedom of speech, unless it's his own." She goes on to accuse him of "attacking the core of higher education - open and free discussion of ideas and access to knowledge, not just propaganda." Now, the woman is hysterical! I defy her to produce any evidence to support that charge. Horowitz has long defended free speech on campus. He just wants a fair hearing for all sides. Leftist propaganda is the current order of the day, and political correctness runs amuck. The absence of free and open expression is precisely the problem that Horowitz is seeking to redress.

Schoettler and her ilk defend the status quo because it supports their biases. Has she even read the text of the Academic Bill of Rights? All viewpoints are protected.

Schoettler's diatribe goes on to attack Colorado Senate President John Andrews, as well, for the recent hearings he held at which students were invited to give personal testimony about unfair political treatment at the hands of faculty members.

Schoettler complained that only conservative students were heard. Perhaps that's because leftist students have no beef. It's hard to accuse right-wing professors of bias when you have to launch a manhunt to even find one. If there are valid complaints of conservative bias at Colorado public colleges, I'd love to hear them.

Schoettler ought to urge her Democrat friends in the state legislature to hold their own hearings at which a young Marxist student can complain that his economics professor had the gall to defend the unjust law of supply and demand.

Circling the wagons to protect their ideological stronghold, the tenured left and their political shills like Gail Schoettler first claim that there's no merit to charges of political bias and academic abuse. Then, when you offer first-hand student testimony, they say, "Well, these are only anecdotes." But how else can you present tangible evidence? Since leftist department heads and like-minded or timid administrators, trustees and regents are apparently unconcerned about this issue, there haven't been any official studies or investigations. So all we have are anecdotes - and plenty of them.

Keep in mind these "anecdotes" are the personal accounts of our sons and daughters who have had the courage to come forward. These are the kids we've spent our lives rearing, hoping to persuade them that our values are worthwhile. We've invested our hearts, our souls and our time in their development, our tax dollars in the public universities they attend, and our hard-earned savings in their tuition, room and board.

And now, we're paying the salaries of left-wing college professors to trash everything we believe in. Are we crazy? It's high time we did something about this.


Mike Rosen hosts a radio show on 850 KOA in Denver and writes a regular column for the Rocky Mountain News.


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