Friday, April 18, 2003

How the left treats free speech 

Hugh Hewitt does a great service showing the Left's hypocrisy today in the Weekly Standard. About a week ago two first-year students covered a teach-in for peace at Yale in a FrontPage online article. FrontPage has made a habit of covering left-wing cant on America's campuses. This has annoyed the Left greatly, and attacks on FrontPage are commonplace. So it comes as no surprise that one professor has attacked them in the Yale Daily News.
And when freshmen arrive here primed to attack professors in public, as two did in a recent article in Front Page, an online off-campus publication, I smell something worse than youthful exuberance, a neo-Stalinism wafting up not from SDS of the 1960s but from YCL of the 1930s -- the Young Communist League and its right-wing counterparts.
Ouch. Jim Sleeper then spends many paragraphs pining for the days when SDS engaged in protests with "civility". Hewitt dismisses this piffle by hoisting them on Sleeper on his own petard.
This sort of hypocrisy is difficult to swallow. Sleeper summons up the image of William Sloane Coffin Jr. as the perfect example of gentle activism, and then hammers undergraduates as terrorists.

Notice how the left quickly abandons its own self-professed ideals when confronted with publicity. Where are the Critical Legal Studies scholars to note that the power hierarchy of the university is being employed to silence first-year students? Where are the Women's Studies professors to note that an old white male is using verbal brickbats to silence young women seeking to be heard?

Help will not arrive from the usual suspects. Sleeper and his kind, however, are reminders of how far the campuses have slid into intellectual chaos. The absurd are tenured and the truth-tellers are freshmen. Alumni should take note. Is this where you want to invest your dollars?

My producer contacted Sleeper with an offer to appear on my radio program to discuss his article. "Sorry, I don't do radio interviews," he e-mailed back. What a surprise. Professor Sleeper only tackles freshmen.
This piece is a follow-on to the article we refered to on PowerLine, and they thank Hewitt as well. See also this reply to Sleeper from the Students for Democracy.