Campus Leaders Call Conservative Women Unimpressive, Unworthy

by Ben Smith - UNC Chapel Hill on September 5, 2013

Conservative female investigative reporters Katie Pavlich and Ann McElhinney are unimpressive nonacademics whose speaking honorariums are too high and credentials too unremarkable to pay to have them give talks at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill this fall, members of the school’s student government have agreed.

Despite pleas from College Republicans to finance the speeches, which would have cost about $8,000 from UNC’s student programming coffer of $124,000, a majority of student government members voted Tuesday night against funding the campus visits, with several members voicing concerns that Pavlich and McElhinney aren’t worth the price.

On the same night, UNC student government representatives tapped the anarchist group “UNControllables” to receive $4,000 to fly in a social justice crusader/academic from South America to speak on campus, and the feminists group Siren Womyn Empowerment Magazine was allocated $5,100.

Pavlich is news editor for the popular conservative website Townhall.com, as well as the award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up.” As a reporter, she broke the so-called fast and furious scandal, and has also covered the White House, the 2012 presidential election, and Second Amendment and border issues.

McElhinney, co-producer of the feature documentary “FrackNation,” is well-known as a debunker of extreme environmentalist claims. As a filmmaker and investigative journalist, she has produced documentaries for BBC and written for various newspapers covering countries including Indonesia, Romania, Vietnam, Cambodia, Uganda, Madagascar and Uzbekistan. She has appeared on an array of international media organizations including ABC, BBC, CBC (Canada), ABC (Australia), RTE (Ireland) and Fox News, and is a regular guest on talk radio shows and at conferences across America.

Several UNC Chapel Hill student government representatives, however, dismissed the women as lackluster, and said they would serve no educational purpose by visiting the campus and talking to students.

“My concern why I supported removing this is that the educational value – her work has been called  … ‘unreliable as a Wikipedia page,’” ​ vice-chairman of the student congress finance committee Austin Root said regarding McElhinney, citing a two-paragraph review of “FrackNation” in the New York Daily News.

Another member of the finance committee, student Rep. Harrison Touby, took a shot at the women by saying “we’re talking about $5,000 for a lady who made a movie, and $3,000 for a contributor to Fox News. That is a lot of money for two non-academic speakers to come to an academic university to speak.”

“It has nothing to do with political party,” he added. “I couldn’t support even spending $3,000 on a contributor to any news organization; you can get professors, political campaign runners, politicians – you can get them for much less than $3,000. … We’re cutting what we believe to be the cost of a speaker that may not actually be beneficial to the university.”

The amount of their speaking fees and the validity of their biographies became the recurring theme during the contentious meeting, with phrases such as “non-intellectual,” “no value,” and “costs too much” often tossed around.

But at least one student government representative on the finance committee, Chairwoman Brittany Best, defended the conservative female investigative reporters, telling her peers their fees don’t seem exorbitant, adding: “I think we need to caution ourselves … These are well-known speakers in the conservative community and I don’t think this is a large amount to pay for speakers that would bring a lot of interest.”

Best suggested paying for both speakers wouldn’t bankrupt the student congress budget, that after doling out cash to plenty of campus groups already they still had about $90,000 left in the bank.

College Republicans leaders also pitched intellectual diversity to student campus leaders as they pleaded their case.

“What we set out to do is promote intellectual diversity and bring more opinions to this discussion,” said 21-year-old junior Peter McClelland, president of the College Republicans at UNC Chapel Hill.

He went on to cite the university’s student code, which calls on campus leaders to promote a diversity of ideas and opinions with its student-fee-bankrolled budget. The student congress oversees how student government fees collected annually – $39 from each of the university’s 29,000 students – are used.

McClelland, a member of the student Congress who abstained from voting on the issue, said he believes well over 100 students of all stripes would attend each speech – not just College Republicans.

“We are one of the few groups that promotes this opinion, and getting every side is what liberal arts is about,” McClelland said.

In the end, the student Congress voted 21 to 1, with three abstentions, to allocate only $3,000 to College Republicans, $5,000 less than what the group sought. Now College Republicans are scrambling to determine how to continue with their plans to bring in the two guest speakers.

Fix contributor Ben Smith is a student at UNC Chapel Hill.

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  • Pat_in_NC

    We really need to cut the UNC budget.
    How do they have money to fly in socialists and anarchists?

    • UnaffiliatedVoter

      from FORCED to pay student activity FEES !!!

  • James Weaks

    “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” – Ronald Reagan

    • A Smith

      At the risk of disagree with Ronaldus Magnus, I’d say that liberals are just ignorant.

      • nottaughtbylibs

        No disagreement needed, just acknowledge the passing of time and its consequences, Reagan was dealing with the liberals who actually did know so many things that were not so.. Now were dealing with those taught BY those people, and the resulting students from a teacher who knows nothing are in fact ignorant…

      • jukin

        No, leftists are evil. Not naive, not ignorant, not misguided, EVIL. The fruit of their labor proves my point.

        • http://www.tempeteaparty.org Lee Reynolds

          There are two kinds of leftists. Evil ringleaders, and clueless footsoldiers. The latter include your “leftists by default” types who have been brainwashed and befuddled by the near-universal corruption of culture, news, and academia by the left.

    • DD

      Reagan really had a way with words.

  • Jamie Lowe

    Every time I buy a football or basketball ticket or watch their games on TV or buy the team gear I feel like I am supporting their liberal socialist brainwashing. It is enough to make me sick.

    • UnaffiliatedVoter

      UNC Cheater Hill is THE MOST CORRUPT public university in Amerikkka…

      WHY would ANYONE want to support them? They are an embarrassment to our once great state…STRIVE to be SMARTER than these snivelling biotches want you to BE !!!

    • Embarrassed Alum

      I can hardly stomach to tell others that I graduated from UNC-CH.

      UNC-CH is a festering pit of liberalism whose inhabitants feign diversity—so long as you agree with their pathetic positions.

      While there are some reasonable people who work there or graduate from there, fundamentally, the majority of UNC’s denizens are zombie morons who think they are better than others.

  • cooldela1966

    Conservative women are too happy to be happy.

  • sccinnc

    The irony is that my Alma Mater loves to toot its horn over ending the Speaker Ban years ago, but the students holding the purse strings today are effectively banning speakers of differing views. Narrow-minded, intellectually deficient and VERY SAD…

  • Ben Smith

    Robert, as the author of this article, I can honestly say the he has nothing to do with this. Please stop

    • robert

      Do not tell me what to say or do.. Who the f–k do you think you are, a rotten stinking Jew?

  • papertiger0

    ‘unreliable as a Wikipedia page,’ – I bet the twirp claims Wikipedia as a gold plated standard when reading their pages on global warming. Takes all of their claptrap as a matter of faith in those circumstances.

    • BaconLovingInfidel

      Truly pathetic that this “critical analysis” included credulous acceptance of a NY Daily News review as scholarly authority while questioning the value of these women’s expertise.

  • CiceroTheLatest

    Sue the University.

    As conservatives, we have been mind numbing stupid in completely ignoring the Leftist tactic of Lawfare. Here’s an excellent opportunity to turn this around. Sue the hell out of the university.

    And if the lawyer you approach makes any effort to dissuade you based on some notion of “grounds” or “standing,” he’s a half wit who doesn’t understand the concept of “Lawfare.” Fire him and find one with a functioning brain.

  • MichaelKennedy

    UCLA cut the budget of the College Republicans to zero a few years ago. They needed the money for groups such as the radical Hispanic group Aztlan. A conservative radio host named Al Rantel had the college GOP president on his show to raise private donations. As I recall, the group raised a lot of money and went from zero to the most supported group on campus. Maybe they should try that.

    • I_Callahan

      Maybe that will work. But why should the College GOP have to scramble for money when the College Socialists don’t?
      I agree with a poster above – make a giant legal issue out of it until it’s no longer to the college’s advantage to fight it. Get The Fire involved.

      • Belasarius

        I would be willing to contribute to the speakers fund as would a lot of other people. My philosophy would be to go around, over, or through these twits. Second, aggressively highlight their political shenanigans in whatever way necessary. Go all Alinsky on them. They won’t be able to handle that.

  • Abu Nudnik

    Intellectually unworthy and yet, there’s the Siren Womyn Empowerment Magazine who apparently still don’t know that “womb” and “woman” come from completely different roots, the first from Latin and the second from Anglo-Saxon “wifman,” the same word that gives us “wife.” “Womb-man” is a feminist construction invented by, to be generous, “poetic philology.”

  • dan-O

    Just shows once again that:

    modern liberal != Liberal

  • dima1

    robert, before trying to play a conservative on the web, study your subject first.

    • robert

      Drop dead kyke.

    • halcrawford

      Based on robert’s profile, all he does is make pro-Nazi comments. Class A jerk, as you can tell from the lack of intellect in his posts.

  • A Smith

    On behalf of Us People, get lost.

    • robert

      F–koff kyke. I do not take orders from you, you rotten stinking Jew.

  • TMink

    Dear Austin Root, Wikipedia is UNRELIABLE. If you are not aware of that, you are UNRELIABLE as well. Have a nice day.
    Trey

    • PookyBear84037

      I do believe that was his point when he said it was … unreliable. Try re-reading the paragraph.

  • BenTheGuy

    Many studies have shown that Wikipedia is at least as reliable as Britannica. Whomever made that comparison is simply ignorant, and fours not deserve their salary.

  • gitarfan

    “…vice-chairman of the student congress finance committee Austin Root said regarding McElhinney, citing a two-paragraph review of ”FrackNation” in the New York Daily News.” The most liberal daily in New York. This is his reason but it’s not about ideology. The kid has a great future in politics.

  • Brian Cigol

    They’ll be best served being like Rutgers, “The Stae Univarsatity of NJ” (spelling is on purpose,bwaaaarofl) who payed Nicole Snooki Polizzi $32000 to give a campus talk in 2011. I would be honored to see and hear Katie speak.

  • Bill

    They fear a far superior intellectual position and point of view.

  • derfelcadarn

    To true commitment to freedom, liberty and great courage is when you defend the speech of others whose ideas you really effing hate. It is apparent that UNC freedom , liberty adverse and as for courage, zero !

  • http://www.tempeteaparty.org Lee Reynolds

    Is there some reason why the College Republicans can’t fund these speakers themselves? $8,000 is a lot, but it isn’t an insurmountable sum.

    I would suspect that one or both of these speakers would be willing to come for free, or at cost, if they were aware that the leftist students in charge of the activity fee purse strings were trying to block them from coming.

  • Pippi

    After reading some of these comments I can imagine that even those who had wanted these two speakers may be glad it didn’t happen if this is the mental capacity of the followers of people like McElhinney and Pavlich.

  • Dave72

    Why is academia 95 percent liberals? They don’t have what it takes to hold real jobs.
    They envy and hate the real producers who also make twice the money. Wanna bet where Root and Touby wind up? Academia or gummint.

  • shoshannah

    Not a surprise. This is the same university that brought the 1970s Black Panther terrorist Angela Davis to campus and championed her radical and hate-filled cause!

  • Revolution America

    It’s because
    peroxide is neurotoxic.

  • http://socraticrebels.org/ Socrates

    “I learned that very often the most tolerant and narrow-minded people are the ones who congratulate themselves on their tolerance and open-mindedness.” Christopher Hitchens

  • Donald J DaCosta

    This is very much like the global warming, climate change controversy which remains in bitter dispute, its opponents labeled “deniers” and members of the flat earth society, implying the exact opposite of intellectual gravitas.

    By “scientific consensus” sort of like that which once insisted the earth was the center of the universe, the intellectuals behind the AGW dooms day scenario, faced with the damning evidence of their fudging data, morphed from their concern from global warming to climate change. This “intellectual” exercise now allows them to conclude that every perceived anomaly in the weather from extremely hot to extremely cold to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, sunspots, etc. are mounting evidence of the proof of their theory, therefore the dire, desperate, existential need for America to cease and desist from all further efforts to increase fossil fuel production. Any suggestion to the contrary, despite the credibility of the source, must be degraded, ridiculed, ignored as blasphemous or not having any intellectual gravitas. Flat Earthers. Deniers. Not intellectuals.

    Enter Fracking, a newly developed method of extracting oil and natural gas from previously inaccessible deposits. Over roughly the past ten years America has gone from running out of fossil fuels in the next 2 or 3 decades to having these fuels in abundance for at least a century or more. The horror!

    Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer are activists at the forefront of the raging debate over Fracking which is now being used extensively on private lands and creating a growing abundance of oil and especially natural gas and responsible for an economic boom accompanied by low levels of unemployment in a number of areas around the country.

    But deny the participation of Ann and Katie based on their “lack of intellectual gravitas” and keep your young heads firmly buried in the prevailing paradigm. Wind and solar good! Oil, gas, industrial production, economic growth, low unemployment and growing prosperity, bad! G_d forbid you should have to consider an alternate view immersed as you are in an institution that proudly professes its commitment to diversity. Or does this have nothing to do with intellectual gravitas and more to do with the discomfort that accompanies a view diametrically opposed to what is the prevailing paradigm?

  • Larry Rappaport

    Well UNC, we have a no politics protocol in our company. I also know we have grads from your school that are among our 36,000 employees with some being in c-level positions. HR will spread out, as we’ve done many times before, and speak with our people in a very nuanced way as in “Wasn’t what UNC did fantastic, one would be hard pressed to find a single intellectual from the right, no?” This is where we glean accurate information as to our employees. This goes out to all Universities, you don’t tolerate free speech on your campus? We don’t tolerate your alums in our businesses. There’s 6 billion people on this planet and plenty of outstanding talent out there to be subjected to such krap.