On Wednesday, InsiderHigherEd.com ran a hit piece on the hearings in Pennsylvania and myself in particular. The author Scott Jaschik is a good enough journalist so that the interivew which he did with me (and which someone else might not have done) does serve as a check on the pettiness and maliciousness of the union people who called him to attack me. My reply is at this moment buried in the letters to the editor (which are revealing in themselves). One professor who challenges our student's claim describes how he showed Farentheit 9/11 in class as though it were a text on the origins of the war, without assigning (say) the Spinsanity analysis which showed the film is a tissue of misrepresentations and outright falsehoods. I have asked Jaschik who is the editor of InsideHigherEd to post my reply. For our readers here it is:
From: "David Horowitz"
To: "scott jaschik"
Date: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 7:30 PM
To the editor:
The questions to me which occupy the entire InsideHigherEd report on the academic freedom hearings at Temple took up two minutes of the eight hours or so of testimony. This is no way to report an event that will affect higher education not only in Pennsylvania but throughout the country. Readers interested in the actual issues can find them aired at www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org.
It is misleading to conflate the two stories about classroom incidents in the way your article does. The Farentheit 9/11 story which is described as "central" to my case doesn't appear in my hour presentation or anywhere in anyone's testimony in favor of the Bill. It was brought by a hostile Democrat who got it from a newspaper story that is a year old. In the case of the leftwing student, I merely posted an article he wrote about his case on our website. I would have posted a reply from his professor if the professor had submitted one. The real point of this particular story is that I defend both conservative and leftwing students. So I have no vested interest in inventing stories like the Farenheit 9/11 claim, because my agenda with the Academic Bill of Rights is not to attack "leftwing bias" as my critics claim, but to take politics out of the classroom whether the politics comes from the left or the right.
The AFT's Jamie Horwitz claims that "much of what [Horowitz] has said previously has been exposed to be lies or distortions..." What is his proof that I have ever lied? ("Distortions" is so subjective in politically contentious zones as to be meaningless.) Jamie Horwitz has no evidence or proof that I have ever lied. I guess that makes him a liar by his own standards. His organization is on record lying about the Academic Bill of Rights, as is the entire business meeting of the American Historical Association (not a single member of which has stepped forward to claim the $10,000 reward I offered if they could prove their claim that the Bill would "impose a political standard" on curricula and hirings). Since the Bill can be read by anyone, all 70 of these historians are liars too, by the same standard.
Obviously unless I sit in on the class where these incidents are alleged by students to have taken place or the professor admits that he or she called George Bush a moron or criticized the war in Iraq that was not in a class on the presidency or the war in Iraq, I can't prove that this happened. But these very incidents have been described to me by hundreds of students. Are they all lying? Is that the claim of Jamie Horwitz and his friends?
The fact is that my opponents in Philadelphia had no case to make against our claims, except to throw smoke in the eyes of those not present. with these little sideshows. We will continue. And in the end we will prevail because everyone familiar with today's campuses knows that professors do vent their anger on political issues in their classrooms in ways that are unprofessional and that are also violations of students' academic freedom.