Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Another Swing and a Miss

Mark Hyman’s most recent edition of his multi-day commentary is one of the more articulate debunkings of his underlying premise.

Hyman has said and implied any number of times that academia (or at least the humanities and social sciences) are hotbeds of liberalism, with professors attempting to indoctrinate students. But despite his assertion that this is a widespread problem, Hyman has now spent two full commentaries discussing a single professor. Moreover, as we pointed out yesterday, students of this professor have come forward publicly to denounce the charges against her and have made the case that the accusations are themselves the result of aggressive political posturing.

Hyman’s main addition to what has already been said is the charge that this professor sent an email to students in which Cornel West was quoted saying critical things about the Bush administration. So apparently not only is a professor responsible for the comments she or he makes, but for the opinions of any public figure whose words are used within the course they are teaching.

But if evangelical liberalism is so rampant on America’s campuses, wouldn’t you think that Hyman could come up with something better than two consecutive nights going after a single professor, particularly when the charges come from impeached and anonymous sources? If the problem is anywhere close to the scale Hyman suggests it is, there should be blatant examples aplenty. The fact that he takes up two consecutive points to running down a single professor suggests his argumentative skills are anemic, or that the case he is attempting to make is not supported by the facts (let’s note, by the way, that this is not an either/or choice).

Hyman promises to show us how this particular professor is somehow representative of a much larger problem. For his sake, let’s hope that he doesn’t embarrass himself with another redundant attack based on McCarthy-esque anonymous sources and secret reports.

There’s more to say on this. I’ll be out of town for a few days at a conference (one of those places where all us radical liberals congregate to figure out how to destroy America’s youth). Until then, that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 3.78


At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does Hyman go after Academia?

It's a good question.

Aside from the few radical academics out there, university professors are really a pretty tame lot. The tweed and patches crowd. They're not the ACLU, Move On, or other boogeymen of the Republican party.

So, why does Ol Smoothy go after them?

Perhaps because he's bothered that Universities are the last bastion of liberal thought. And by liberal thought, I mean open-mindedness, which is clearly the antithesis of the crowd currently running this country. Bush and Co. are so secretive, unapologetic, arrogant, and blind to countrary points of view. They thrive on the "the ends justify the means" method of ruling. Thus, President Cheney sees nothing wrong with secret meetings with Enron or secret diliberations on codifying torture as national policy.

This is in clear distinction to academia. Professors publish (or perish). For a living, they convert what they do into very public documents. And, at least when they are being good, those in intellectual pursuits are looking for the truth.

So academics will be naturally and philosophically opposed to the sort of regime that has descended on our nation's capitol.

And Mark doesn't like it.

Long ago, the Main Stream Media largely gave up its credentials as journalists to pursue maximum market share. That is, they broadcast junk that they think will sell. That's why, years after Bush and co's selling of a war of convenience, the MSM is getting off its butt. Because polls show it's less popular. So the MSM jumps on the bandwagon.

Even still, all major news outlets (including that terrible liberal NPR) use Cheney-Bush's term for their gulag prisoners: Dee-tain-ees. A much nicer term than "Prisoners locked up without even being charged".

Academics, however, try to stick closer to the facts. That's why, largely, the incredibly silly and embarrassing procedings around Intelligent Design (sic) have been conducted in a respectful and fact-based way by academics, even thoough their opponents are pushing a Trojan Horse down our kids' throats. Sorry, there's a whole lot more evidence saying that the earth is 5 billion years old than it is 5000 years old. In fact, there's NO evidence for the latter.

In short, Hyman attacks academic because it's the last bastion of a truth industry. Not necessarily all that pure (I can site plenty of times when academics seem silly), but one of the last hold-outs in our money-makes-right culture.

At 7:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't Hyman go after some liberal professors pushing an agenda?

Ward Churchill
Erin Buzuvis
Jill Gaulding
Ted Remington

"My teacher came into class the day after the election proclaiming, 'That's it. This is the death of America.' The rest of the class was eager to agree, and twenty minutes of Bush-bashing ensued. At one point, one student asked our teacher whether she should be so vocal, lest any students be conservatives. She then asked us whether any of us were Republicans. Naturally, no one volunteered that information, whereupon our teacher turned to the inquisitive student and said, 'See? No one in here would be stupid enough to vote for Bush.' "

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"My teacher came into class the day after the election proclaiming, 'That's it. This is the death of America."

Sounds to me like they had a fair grasp of what another stolen election, and what another four years of BushCo will mean for the country!

Mike B. in SC

At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add Mike B. in SC to the list.

At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear... uh... Annonymous,

Do you have any evidence to prove that Professors Churchill, Buzuvis, Gaulding, and Remington use class time to promote a particular ideology? I'm going to guess the answer is no, since these are people who have been featured in national news reports and are favorite targets for the conservative media; if a student had come forward and said "Ward Churchill makes us burn American flags instead of write papers," I'm guessing that the energetic character assassins in the Students for Academic Freedom would have spread the word far and wide.

No, there's no evidence to suggest that the people you identified have been inappropriate in the classroom. Their "sins" have involved expressing political opinions that you disagree with outside of the classroom. Now, you should definitely express yourself and argue with them all you want-- it's a free country, after all. And what's more, if someone in your state's government advocated firing you from your job for expressing that opinion, I would rally to your defense, just as I defended Ward Churchill's right to express himself.

Did I agree with Churchill's argument? No. But I certainly don't think the man should be fired for holding an opinion. Instead, I think, it's up to those who disagree with him to offer a counter-argument that points out the flaws in his reasoning and articulates a more thoughtful, logical position. But very few people who disagreed with Churchill tried to do that; instead, they endeavored to get him fired from his job-- a job that, based on the available evidence, he was doing quite well; he was a popular teacher, well published, and was active in his department.

But, of course, I don't understand the logic of anyone who advoates "going after" anyone else. The university is a place for the rigorous, intellectual debate and discussion. You talk about ideas, philosophies, and ideologies, but you don't "go after" individuals. Unless you're not smart enough to debate or your position is inherently wrong. Then, I guess ad hominem attacks and character assassination would be the way to go.


At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Add Mike B. in SC to the list.

If this is the list of people trying to stop the Neo-Fascists running this country from plunging America into the abyss, well then ... Can I be at the top of the list? Huh? Can I? Huh? Huh? Can I please?

Thanks, and keep bustin' Hyman.
Mike B. in SC

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stolen election theme is tired and old. Why don't you just come out and say that liberals want the defeat of the US and meld the world together under the misunderstanding of peace and love. Ha, Mark Hyman is right and you know it deep down inside. Its just that the lib crowd wants to stay cool and hip but is so out of touch with the people. Thank god that President Bush is at the helm -- Gore or Kerry would have sunk this great nation -- and you know it.

At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said....
"Thank god that President Bush is at the helm -- Gore or Kerry would have sunk this great nation -- and you know it."

Anonymous is obviously living with the Neo-Cons in their alternate reality constructed for the sheeple.

Bush and Company sank the ship of state in their first term in a sea of corporate welfare money and tax cuts for the rich.

He has single-handedly trashed and broken the greatest military fighting force in the history of the world and spent hundreds of billions of dollars to turn Iraq into an ally and partner of Iran.

There is not a single aspect of his job as president that he has not bungled and failed at miserably, but what else would you expect from a draft-dodging prep school cheerleader and his band of corporate executive Neo-Fascist chickenhawks.

I have tried really hard to think of anything that these people have done that was good for the people of this country or the world, and the only thing that I could point to was the "DO Not Call List" for telemarketers! That's it!!

The economy is DOA "Walking Dead", America is now the most hated country in the world, he has added millions of people to the poverty rolls, torn up the Constitution and the Bill of Rights into small bits of meaningless paper, established an immoral and illegal national policy of pre-emptive war, destroyed the military, exported all the jobs, left the borders open so illegal imigrants could come in and take any remaining jobs and lower wages here, spent the country into national bankruptcy with deficit spending and trade deficits, borrowed more money from foreign countries than the previous 42 presidents combined, trashed the environment, elevated lying, cronyism and fake religion to an art form, took every opportunity to limit womens reproductive rights, allowed the city of New Orleans and the gulf coast to just disintegrate, and the list just goes on and on and on!!

Other than the telemarketer thing, can anyone think of anything that these idiots have done right? I didn't think so!

These psychopaths and their sycophants have absolutely, completely and probably irreversibly, destroyed this great country in five short (seems like an eternity) years. We will not survive three more!

Mike B. in SC

At 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I mention torture, secrecy, corruption, deception and the dividing the people of the country worse than at any time other than the Civil War?

What's the point, we all know that this is the worst president and administration in the history of the country.

Deja vu, the last time we had this level of incompetency and Republican idiots in control of everything, they brought us the market crash and great depression!

Couple that with having made the country an addict with an ever-increasing need for imported oil, at a time when the world is at, near or passed peak production, and you have the really nasty makings of a perfect storm for world ecomomic disaster.

If these fools are not driven from office very, very soon, I fear the worst for our nation and the world in the very near future!

Thanks, and keep bustin' Hyman.
Mike B. in SC

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Sick-o, I mean, "anonymous"...

Provide evidence for your accusation that Ted Remington promoted a political agenda in his duties at the University of Iowa.

Like Mark Hyman, you dish it out without any facts. Hyman lied about Ted. You've made the accusation... where's your evidence?

Ted's bloggers have treated you with way more respect than you would ever dole out on this site.

So fess up buddy... where's you evidence for your smears?

-or are you just a blowhard?

At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, anon, you just made my point.

Can't that SickoSpin guy actually carry on a conversation?

I haven't seen him actually address anyone's queries. He just spews.

A little scary.

At 1:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The part of Sick-o's "That's it. This is the death of America" story that really speaks volumes to me, is the part that reads "She then asked us whether any of us were Republicans. Naturally, no one volunteered that information".

How cowardly Republicans must be that naturally, none of them were willing to admit their political beliefs. None of them were willing to defend their position on the issues, or they knew that they had no ammunition with which to defend it.

Maybe they knew that Hyman, Hannity, Boortz or Limbaugh spin, just wouldn't cut it in an academic environment, where there actually is someone to answer back with an opposing point of view. Hyman gets by with this every day because he is a quivering conservative coward!

And that's the point!

Thanks, and keep bustin' Hyman.
Mike B. in SC


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