Look For Union Libel · 28 March 2006

By David Horowitz--03/28/06

A spokesgroup for unions called the International Labor Communications Association has issued a condemnation of the Academic Bill of Rights reminiscent of the 1930s and reflecting the incipient Stalinism in the general campaign against the academic freedom movement by teacher unions, the al-Jazeera website, the Saddam Hussein website uruk.net, the Nation, Counterpunch.org and similar groups.

A sample of the bald-faced inventions contained in the union press release:

"In statements reminiscent of the McCarthy era, Horowitz charges campuses are 'politically correct' and he demands the firing of what he calls 'left-wing' profesors and that colleges teach what he calls competing views. Such threats chill free speech on campuses, say the unions, and other coalition members."

Every statement in these sentences is false.

1. I have never demanded the firing of any professor for expressing leftwing views. Ever. In fact, the very first clause of the Academic Bill of Rights states in prose easily understandable to non-union members the exact opposite: "No faculty shall be hired or fired or denied promotion or tenure on the basis of his or her political or religious beliefs."

2. The Academic Bill of Rights, as anyone who has read it knows, is strictly viewpoint neutral. It doesn't refer to "left-wing professors." It doesn't use terms like "left-wing."

3. My book, The Professors, says the exact opposite of what the union statement claims I say: "This book is not intended as a text about leftwing bias in the university and does not propose that a leftwing perspective on academic faculties is a problem in itself. Every individual, whether conservative or liberal, has a perspective and therefore a bias. Professors have every right to interpret the subjects they teach according to their individual points of view. That is the essence of academic freedom."

According to the ILCA statement "The [American Federation of Teachers] ...said the legislation 'would provide for government monitoring of curriculum, including reading materials in the classrom, to ensure that Right-Wing ideas are given more prominence, monitoring of faculty hiring to ensure more conservatives are hired and tampering with longstanding procedures' that protect college professors from 'unsubstantiated' accusations of bias."

Every claim in this statement is false.

Every statement about what the Academic Bill of Rights would require is a pure invention by the American Federation of Teachers.

There is no provision for "government monitoring of curriculum" in the Academic Bill of Rights, nor in any legislation proposed in any remote way related to the Academic Bill of Rights. All such legislation in fact is in the form of resolutions not statutes and nowhere is any provision suggested that would involve government monitoring of curricula.

Nor is there any provision for monitoring reading materials in the classroom.

Nor is there a single phrase about ensuring that "Right-Wing ideas" are given more prominence. Nor is there any provision about monitoring faculty hiring to ensure more conservatives are hired. The Academic Bill of Rights, in fact, requires the opposite: "No faculty shall be hired or fired or denied promotion or tenure on the basis of his or her political or religious beliefs."

Nor is there any provision in any legislation that could be construed as "tampering with long-standing proceedures" of any kind.

Finally, the statement quotes the American Federation of Teachers as saying: "Students from working families 'would be negatively affected by replacing academic professionalism with political ideology."

Of course the entire academic freedom campaign is an attempt to do just the opposite: to replace the political ideology that has been introduced into college (and high school) classrooms by members of the teacher unions and other faculty with academic professionalism. Here is an excerpt from my testimony to the Appropriations Committee of the Kansas House of Representatives:

"The long-term remedy for the political corruption of our institutions of higher learning is the restoration of academic values and standards, such as the academic freedom policies of the Kansas Board of Regents. This remedy might be summed up as the restoration of academic professionalism."

The readiness of the American Federation of Teachers to present the exact opposite of the truth in order to further its political agendas is an accurate reflection of the intellectual corruption taking place in our universities through the activities of its members.

Visit: www.dangprofs.com

"Liberal" Bigotry

Of course the left barely knows how to conduct a political debate without resort to defamation. One of the Neville Chamberlains among university presidents, a nasty bigot named James Freedman died last week. Like every mortal he deserves a rest. Unfortunately, the ever partisan New York Times chose the occasion of his obit to repeat his libels against the Darthmouth Reivew -- an episode I well remember since Peter Collier and I organized a "teach-in" to defend the students under attack.


Karen Arenson's Wednesday obituary for James Freedman, former president of Dartmouth College, took TimesWatch back to the campus PC wars of the early 1990s. "Prejudice and Bigotry in the Conservative Dartmouth Review"

Political warhorses of a certain age will recall the ideological controversy over The Dartmouth Review, which dared to be a conservative newspaper on a politically correct Ivy league campus and was persecuted by radical professors and an intolerant campus administration.

Arenson lauds Freedman and casts the conservative-intolerant administrator Freedman as a freedom-fighter:: "James O. Freedman, a former president of Dartmouth College and the University of Iowa and a forceful voice against anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance on college campuses, died yesterday at his home in Cambridge, Mass….Mr. Freedman was a strong advocate for a liberal education in an increasingly career-oriented world, but he gained his widest attention for speaking out against strains of prejudice and bigotry in the academic world."

She assumes Freedman's paranoid take on The Dartmouth Review to be factually accurate: "In one widely publicized episode, in 1988, he condemned The Dartmouth Review, a conservative student newspaper, for ridiculing blacks, gay men and lesbians, women and Jews. In a column and a front-page cartoon, the paper had portrayed Mr. Freedman, who was Jewish, with a Hitler mustache and wearing a Nazi uniform and had likened the effects of his campus policies to the Holocaust. Mr. Freedman defended The Review's right to publish, but he declared, 'Racism, sexism and other forms of ignorance and disrespect have no place at Dartmouth.'"

A less hagiographic view of Freedman comes from Dartmouth English professor and columnist Jeffrey Hart, and quotes the president's slandering of the university's conservative paper.

As Hart explains, after someone planted a Hitler quote in the Review in 1990, the administration hurriedly organized an anti-hate rally targeting the paper.

"At this Rally Against Hate, all sorts of wild things were said by Mr. Freedman, historian Arthur Hertzberg, and many others. Most notable, perhaps, was the following statement by Mr. Freedman, which was later printed and distributed by the College information service, and which he himself often described, I'm not joking, as his 'Gettysburg Address.'

"'For ten years, The Dartmouth Review has attacked blacks because they are blacks, women because they are women, homosexuals because they are homosexuals, and Jews because they are Jews.' Every word of this 'Gettysburg Address' except the first three is false, and can be shown to be so from the text of the newspaper, not to say the composition of its staff. The current editor of the Review, standing by as Mr. Freedman bellowed through his amplifier, was Kevin Pritchett, who is black. Two previous editors-in-chief came from the Indian subcontinent, one of them being Dinesh D'Souza, who now has published two important best-sellers on education and on race. The first president of the Review had been Nathan Levinson, and the Review had had many Jewish staffers and editors."