October 1, 2007

STUART TAYLOR looks at free speech and double standards on campus. Excerpt:

The silencing of Summers was easy to miss. The Washington Post did not report it. The New York Times gave it three sentences. The Los Angeles Times ignored it, except for one nonstaff op-ed.

By contrast, the briefly martyred Chemerinsky — who was hired, fired (based on conservative complaints about his political views), and rehired (thanks in part to free-speech conservative support) as founding dean of a new law school at UC Irvine — inspired 17 articles and editorials in the Los Angeles Times, two articles and an outraged editorial in The New York Times, and one article in The Washington Post.

The notion that Summers stands for “gender” — let alone “racial” — prejudice is a fantasy espoused by loopy radicals and people ignorant of what he actually said about women and certain sciences. (For more, see my 2/5/05 and 2/26/05 NJ columns.) But loopy radicals dominate political discourse on many a campus, and they despise intellectual diversity.

These episodes, and enough others to fill volumes, expose the double standard that many academics and journalists apply to free-speech controversies. Such people passionately champion the freedoms of liberals such as Chemerinsky and “dialogue” with America-haters such as Ahmadinejad. But they downplay, ignore, and in some cases support censorship of conservative and even centrist speakers.

Read the whole thing.