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November 07, 2005

Academic McCarthyism

Professor "Rats Out" Conservative PhD Candidate; Finds The Candidate's Expression of Views To Be "Contrary To the Spirit Of Free Inquiry," Which Means, It Seems, Absolutely Kow-Towing to the Leftist/Marxist Academic Party Line

Pretty disgraceful:

For those of you who haven’t been following the story as it makes its way around the blogosphere, Info-Theory’s Paul Deignan, a PhD student, was the victim of a “retaliatory” attack by a professor who didn’t appreciate Paul’s insinuating himself into a blog thread on the leftwing academic blog, Bitch PhD [this being a leftwing site, the administrator has removed the exchange in question; Paul saved it here]. Evidently, Paul’s attempt to debate civilly was regarded as beyond the pale. Notes the good professor in a comment on Paul’s blog, “Your behavior is highly unprofessional. If the shoe was on the other foot—if I were disruptive and unprofessional on a right wing site, I’d expect to be called on it. But I don’t troll conservative academic sites. It would be unprofessional to disrupt their discussions and contrary to the spirit of free enquiry—liberal values you seem to be unfamiliar with” [my emphasis].

In the world of the academy (in the humanities, in particular), anything that doesn’t echo established leftist orthodoxies is considered an “attack”—and not surprisingly, this professor took Paul’s criticisms as “contrary to the spirit of free enquiry” (which, sadly, has been twisted to mean “freedom from criticism"). To remedy this, the professor took it upon himself to call Paul’s faculty dissertation advisor (at a different school) to let him know—as a professional courtesy, you see—of Paul’s alleged poor form (which a review of the evidence will show consisted of nothing more than his arguing his positions quite civilly). This, after calling Paul both “a lunatic” and “homely” in an email.

Such is an absolutely unconscionable misuse of power. Further, it as an intentional effort to ruin Paul’s academic career. And because it was done explicitly to punish Paul for his social and political views on the legality of abortion (all of this took place in the context of a debate over Alito’s nomination), it is intellectual McCarthyism at its most baldfaced and cowardly.

"Lunatic." "Homely." I see the sort of civility and airy intellectual give-and-take this Guardian Against the Corruption of Innocent Liberal Minds is cultivating.

Naked Testicle Spiderman has the douchebag's email address, in case you want to say hello. And contact information for his boss, too, in case you'd like to weigh in.

Keep the stuff to the boss reasonable and profanity free.

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posted by Ace at 03:23 PM

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