Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'd rather be Superfly 

I mean, some guys get great nicknames. Take Jim Paine, the proprietor of PirateBallerina. He's been covering the Ward Churchill story non-stop for months, and now the Denver Post features him. They get Churchill to call Paine "a self-appointed executioner" for his willingness to dig up material about the professor. They also get one of the professors Paine ran off the investigating committee to whine about journalism. Joshua Sharf points out that's funny, given it comes from a journalism prof.
If there was a record to be set straight, I'm pretty sure Johansen would have been given plenty of ink to do it. And you'd think that of all people, a professor of journalism would know how to get his side of the story into the papers. If he were really that upset, and really concerned with the integrity of the place, he could have made his case while still on the committee, or ridden it out.
But that doesn't fit academia, Joshua. Resolution requires allowing someone to decide if you're right or wrong. Since it's all about criticism and deconstruction, there's no interest in truth, since that means nothing to them. And, Sharf continues, the problem stems from tenure:
Most of us without tenure consider oursevles to be "on the outside" of academia. Only light distorted by the thick glass separating college and the real world could persuade Johansen that he was on the outside looking in. After all, much of academia grandfathered out its critical faculties long ago, preferring orthodox, uncritical ones.