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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Dare You

From a journalism student at the University of Oregon (via Instapundit):

When I began examining the political affiliation of faculty at the University of Oregon, the lone conservative professor I spoke with cautioned that I would "make a lot of people unhappy."

Though I mostly brushed off his warning – assuming that academia would be interested in such discourse – I was careful to frame my research for a column for the school newspaper diplomatically.

The University of Oregon (UO), where I study journalism, invested millions annually in a diversity program that explicitly included "political affiliation" as a component. Yet, out of the 111 registered Oregon voters in the departments of journalism, law, political science, economics, and sociology, there were only two registered Republicans.

A number of conservative students told me they felt Republican ideas were frequently caricatured and rarely presented fairly....

What I didn't realize is that journalism that examined the dominance of liberal ideas on campus would be addressed with hostility....

Read the whole article, including the verbal attacks on this student from two faculty members.

Let me suggest a related and more disconcerting problem. The lack of intellectual diversity among students, and the need felt by some liberal students to act as the thought police. These politically-correct cops on the beat spend their days looking for a conservative student or faculty member to ridicule. While these enforcers may view themselves as intellectuals, in fact they seek an anti-intellectual homogenization of the student body. And they are too narrow-minded to appreciate the destructive nature of their actions.


  1. Liberals react with such vitriol towards those with conservative viewpoints to the extent that you'd think conservatives were trying to promote burning babies. There is no reasoning with liberals.

  2. Yawn. Liberals on campus, yet again. So?

    What do y'all free market conservatives suggest we do? Take a campus like Oregon--a generally liberal state to begin with, went 57-40 for Obama. OU, a liberal campus to begin with. Professors, a liberal cohort to begin with...and do what, exactly? I suppose you could urge your readers to shoot a few.

    I'm with the critic: if you need such a comfortable environment to do your studies, then go somewhere else. There are lots of schools where republicans outnumber democrats; those schools tend to be proud of the fact. Sure, they tend also to be crappy, or god-soaked, or just plain dumb, but hey--that's the market.

    The market is on your side, man.

    Here's my bit of teaching to this young man: stop being such a pussy. If you're the only conservative on that paper, you're in the catbird seat. Don't worry that your minority status casts doubt on your assumptions; truth isn't relevant to conservative journalism. Balance only, balance. That's the key.

    Stay conservative--the perfect career move. It will be easy to get published at Oregon, because you have no competition, and you'll have a lot of eager readers who are spoiling to attack you: a perfect learning environment for a journalist, as long as the journalist isn't a wimp. That's every writer's dream, if they have ideas, can write and don't wet themselves and run screeching to their blog-nanny when somebody challenges them.

    Then, when you're done with college, you can enter the workforce where conservative writers are the majority and corporate conservative media outlets dominate.* Where ethics are a liability and sucking up to sources is standard practice. You don't need reporting skills; nobody bothers with that anymore. Now, you just place yourself at the center of every story with weary irony, as if you wanted to be objective but a hundred tenured liberal professors marched in and surrounded you and it's just self-defense. I think you're ready now! It's clear that the journalistic values you demonstrate--a preference for commentary over reporting, a sense of outraged grievance, a sense of entitlement to surroundings that make you comfortable, an instinctual double-standard, a powerful expectation of privilege, and a tendency to weasel-words--will make you an ideal candidate. Go forth!

    * Yes, I said it and it's true, despite all your whinging.

  3. It's so strange that a university in a blue state has a majority of liberal professors. What could possibly cause that phenomenon?

    With the same logic you could ask why is it that Germany hires so many germans.

  4. Wait, is it liberal, ideologically misinformed mindset? or liberal ideologically, ...no, wait, that doesn't work. Is the mindset liberal, or misinformed, or both? Which came first? Isn't a mindset ideological by definition? epitome--representative of a class--but misinformed, I think I get that, and ideological too, but in a liberal way. No, that doesn't work. Forget it.

  5. So Reign..So what happened to DIVERSITY and tolerance? Is it impossible then that they go OUT of the state so that liberal could actually LIVE by the "ideals" they spout, rather than appearing just to live by an ideology?
    No good explanation of that in your poor excuse as to why the conservative viewpoint is sadly lacking even at universities in red states?

  6. So Reign are you from Oregon? Do you live there? I do.

    Writing it off as a "blue state" is nonsense. It's an eclectic state with a lot of different viewpoints-- some of them very conservative. The U of O does not reflect Oregon in general, and barely reflects Eugene (the city U of O is located in) in particular.

    Not that any of this makes any difference. Gotta agree with Noelie's logic regarding colleges in red states. The problem is not geographic, but social and ideological. Real diversity of thought (and not just political) is being actively stifled by the university elites. It's not a secret on college campuses.

  7. U of O isn't called "Berkeley North" for nothing.

    The problem isn't the comparative number of conservatives or liberals on that campus, but the hostility with which any expression of conservative thought is greeted. Diversity simply means that a lot of different kinds of people opted to go there. It's neither a good thing nor a bad thing in itself. But that sort of persecution (and I use the term deliberately) is a disgrace to either side.

  8. Okay.. let's take this from a different angle.

    Where is this abundance of conservative professors looking for jobs? Where is the proof that conservatives are being discriminated against? Maybe the reason their are more liberal professors is because more liberals want to be professors. If thats the case, and there is no evidence it's not, then the colleges are doing nothing wrong. They're just hiring from the pool of workers.

    As for the comments made by liberal professors, Dan Lawton writes about a total of three professors. The opinions of three professors hardly reflects the opinion of an entire college campus. Furthermore, Mr. Lawton offers no proof that his claims are true.

    "One of my conservative professors lashed out at me calling me a nazi." See, it's that easy to lie when their is no burden of proof

  9. It's amazing how anti-intellectual so-called "intellectuals" are. There is virtually no intellectualism whatsoever in academia today. True intellectualism starts with a fervent curiosity, which is the enemy of a closed and locked mind. Locked minds rule academia.

  10. I'll clarify-

    Your mindset is misinformed, warped, manipulated by your ideology. An ideology which drives you to false conclusions, hyperbole and stereotypes. This seems to be, at least in my own opinon, a consequence of hyper liberalism.

    Hyper liberalism, being a political thought stretched to such extremes, that any disagreement is automatically reduced to a characature vs being honestly and thoughtfully addressed.

    The irony is by doing so, you violate a fundamental tenet of liberalism which worships diversity of thought and opinion.

  11. I'm getting all itchy from the embrace of your straw men, Dark. Hyper? I always went for "hypo."

    Still awaiting the clarification. I don't feel driven, nor stretched, and I'm certainly not worshipping. I'm calling you a dumbass because you think (by proxy, through this blogger, and through him to a callow and sensitive journalism grad student's secondary whinge, and through that to the same guy's primary whinge) that the ratio of liberals to conservatives is evidence of ideology, misinformation, warping, hyperbole, and stereotypes. Or evidence of anything other than that the free market favors bearded, birkenstock-wearing, bike-riding professors at liberal states like Oregon, which as I said went eclectically for Obama by an eclectic, winner-take-all 17 points.

    That ratio, I say, is evidence of nothing except perhaps the conservatives' paucity of ideas, and unwillingness to bring those ideas to college campuses. I tried to offer logic, and examples, and suggestions that come right out of the traditional notion of journalism. You didn't read that far, perhaps from lip fatigue. I have not caricatured the disagreement; I've caricatured you, and the 'journalist' who can't or won't do any journalism, the blogger who hangs it up as evidence that there are lots of democrats at Oregon, and the threaders who nod and say 'amen'. It's also a criticism of these expressed conservative notions of journalism, of which I feel fairly informed, unwarped, and unideoligical. May be wrong, of course, but I feel pretty credentialed,experienced, and (more and more) superior, as I said, to you, a dumbass.

    There is one claim that runs from the original piece through to your 'clarification:' that liberals worship diversity of thought and opinion. That's a jaundiced expression of the notion, but for the sake of argument, let's stipulate it. In the former post I pointed out that even worshipping of diversity of thought and opinion does not seem to support strong measures to desegregate Oregon along voter registration lines any more than it might support desegrating along the same lines the State of Oklahoma. People pretty much get to choose where they live, how they vote, what kind of jobs they go for, and where they choose to spend their tuition dollars. Conservatives should be the last folks to demand a National Office of Evenity, or a Handicapper General to make sure everybody is finally equal.

    So, clarify away. Is outsized majorities of liberal professors in a university the same kind of problem as a school system segregated by race? Do you propose solving one problem and ignoring the other? Should the quivering outrage expressed here be applied equally to all universities, including perhaps Liberty U, or Cornell? And why stop at voter registration? I personally am offended by teachers who aren't well-dressed young women with shapely breasts. Can we do something about that?

    Or is the original issue just a gibe at liberals? I'm cool with that, by the way; gibe away, cause y'all suck at it. But the original issue, remember, was raised by a journalist-in-training and inflicted on us by a lawyer-teacher-blogger. He didn't attribute his poor journalistic capacities to liberal domination of his grad school. He revealed no facts, quoted no sources; only told a sad tale of toiling at a spreadsheet, a very un-journalistic complaint. He just whined about liberals. So I said, and I'll say it again: he's a pussy for doing that, and gibed at him.

    voila. clarity.

  12. PS Glenn has your number right here:


    Nobody's listening? Victory!


  13. Higher Education is as empty a phrase as transparency has become. Our language surely has been gutted and is a reflection of the poor collective ability to use reason and logic combined with the corrupting influence of political correctness. You can bet many of these liberal professors has slammed the very groups of people they profess to defend. When they are in the privacy of their safe groups, that is.

    I think this journalism student has learned a very important lesson not typically found in academia today, and he discovered it by himself, like people used to do who are truly worthy of a higher education.

  14. When "David" gets over his witty bad self, maybe he can clarify this statement...

    That ratio, I say, is evidence of nothing except perhaps the conservatives' paucity of ideas, and unwillingness to bring those ideas to college campuses.

    Maybe it is as simple as..."Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach". Seems quite plausible and probable to me. David?