Last month the American Association of University Professors warned that “politically motivated witch hunts” were targeting “academic scientists,” and it accused The College Fix and other conservative outlets of threatening academic freedom.
In a statement titled “Targeted Online Harassment of Faculty,” AAUP didn’t challenge the accuracy of anything we have reported. But it did compare our work to the John Birch Society’s fight against civil rights in the 1960s.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, College Fix founder John J. Miller observes that AAUP has said nothing about the actual violence perpetrated by rioters who recently tried to shut down politically incorrect speakers at UC-Berkeley and New York University:
Yet it has condemned what it apparently regards as a greater threat: students who provide accurate reports on the shouted-down speakers in their auditoriums and the left-wing biases in their classrooms.
He describes our history covering not just campus protests and mandatory left-wing graduation requirements, but also the curious behavior of taxpayer-funded professors in the classroom:
I know exactly what motivates the student reporters behind these stories, because I got my start in journalism by covering classroom shenanigans.
In fact, when Miller was a University of Michigan student writing for The Michigan Review and seeing Nirvana before the band hit it big, the Detroit News called upon him to enroll in and write about a race-and-ethnicity course that was being considered as a graduation requirement:
One instructor said that he aimed to tell students a version of American history that included the dirty bits their high-school teachers had left out. Another explained that only white people can be racist because nonwhite people lack power. In the end the faculty approved the course, which remains a graduation requirement today. But I like to think that my account in the News gave Michiganders a glimpse of what their flagship public university was doing.
Yet the AAUP wants to “silence” certain student journalism because of how cranks may use it, he says:
Students who challenge their teachers are neither harassers nor censors. They’re journalists and whistleblowers, who find the one-sided politics of their professors to be newsworthy.