May 8, 2012
Noting that there were legitimate problems to address about the plight facing the black community today, [Naomi Schaefer Riley] argued that they were not being addressed in black studies departments. Instead, she argued, all they wanted to do is engage in arguments that blame everything on the white man.
The result of Riley’s article — again, her opinion — was an avalanche of protest to the Chronicle’s letters section. Next week, the editors told readers that they received “thousands” of protests. That means, of course, that Riley hit a real sore spot. In a note to its readers, editor Liz McMillen announced that “article that did not conform to the journalistic standards and civil tone that you expect from us,” and that Riley’s piece did not meet the “basic editorial standards for reporting and fairness in opinion articles. As a result, we have asked Ms. Riley to leave the Brainstorm blog.”
In other words, an expression of opinion — that cited chapter and verse to back up her argument, led the editors of the Chronicle to fire Riley from her post as one of a group of distinguished bloggers on academic issues.
Earlier, McMillen had asked readers to submit their views about Riley’s position. It was, she then had said, “informed opinion.” Now, having been trounced upon by the mob of politically correct leftists and the civil rights establishment, McMillen has backed down, apologized to the mob, and unceremoniously fired Riley. She has, in effect, allowed the organized mob of leftist academics to dictate to The Chronicle of Higher Education’s editors what is to be allowed on its pages, and what is to be forbidden.
Read the whole thing.
RELATED: Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard on the “Mob on the Quad.”
MORE: Victor Davis Hanson: “Writing an opinion can get your fired, but assuming a false identity does not?”