Universities have weathered a glut of attacks from the right in recent years. Online blacklists like No Indoctrination and Campus Watch have become commonplace. The former was founded by Luann Wright, who created her website to protest what she saw as the overemphasis of race in her son's writing course at UCSD. The latter was created by Daniel Pipes, an anti-Islamic writer and lecturer who received a political appointment from President Bush earlier this year. Yet another anti-liberal organization, misleadingly named Students for Academic Freedom, has risen to prominence. SFAF wasn't founded by students at all--it is the brainchild of conservative commentator David Horowitz, who has a long history of manipulating college campuses to further his own conservative agenda.* Even the federal government has chimed in with its own blacklist. Lynne Cheney and Joseph Lieberman helped draft a blacklist of over 50 university professors in a report entitled Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America.** The goal of blacklists is simple: To ferret out and intimidate individuals. It is the tactic of bullies and witch-hunters, and it is being repeated in campus newspapers across the country.
At the UW, this drama has played itself out in the pages The Daily. In addition to being rude and brazen, the article in question is just another in a series of attacks against professors at universities across the country. The Daily was wrong to print it in the first place and was doubly wrong in allowing the author to print a rebuttal.
*You may recall Horowitz's anti-reparations ad, which was placed in campus newspapers across the country. This is a common tactic used by sketchy organizations that know that they can't get an ad into a prestigious journal or newspaper. Instead, these organizations place the ad in a campus paper and then use the controversy to create publicity in mainstream journals and publications. This tactic has been used most notable by the Holocaust deniers at the Institute for Historical Review.
**After negative public outcry, this report was sanitized. It is now nearly impossible to find an original copy online.