Posts Tagged ‘Academia-Gate’

Last week, I was enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee while perusing my local New Jersey newspapers online.  That moment of serenity promptly evaporated when I was jolted by a headline that read, “Stop the Vitriol of the Right? A Lesson From the ACORN Tragedy.”

What?  This wasn’t the Huffington Post or Media Matters, it was my local NJ online news site.  After reading it, I initially dismissed the post, shrugging it off as an asinine tirade by the author, John Atlas, who also lives here in NJ and is a very active supporter of ACORN and hostile to any views that aren’t on the far left.  While I almost expected the lecture about promoting civility in the wake of the Tucson tragedy, it was the ugliness of his rant against the right and the stretch he made to connect it all to ACORN that befuddled me.  Nearly a week later, that post was still on my mind.

Then came the left’s latest meme against free speech, and this bizarre charade of hoisting Frances Fox Piven as their newest martyr.  Ah, now it made sense.

To start with, Atlas’ post was certainly interestingly timed. Just last month, he was making the rounds promoting his new book, “Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America’s Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group.” In this interview below, he ends by saying,

“We need organizations that are going to give voice to the poor so that our democratic system works better, and that is the biggest tragedy. And to the extent that Breitbart and his gang undermine that effort, I think that’s a disaster.”

(Part 1 of the video is here.  Take notice of who’s conducting the interview, by the way.  That would be IndictBreitbart.org, the campaign run by Velvet Revolution. We wrote about them and their co-founders, one of whom is a convicted domestic terrorist.  The irony speaks for itself.)

Then of course, there is Tucson.

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[original post 7/21/2010]

In November of 2007, with support from George Soros’ Open Society Institute, Live from the New York Public Library presented the conference, “There You Go Again: Orwell Comes to America.”  The conference brought together noted journalists, linguists, political consultants and others to discuss the practice of deceptive political speech in the arena of public discourse today, or as the conference referred to it, “propaganda and the new face of American politics.”

The title itself was a blend of the quote made famous by Ronald Reagan in his 1980 presidential debate retort to Jimmy Carter, and George Orwell’s writings and their application to media in politics today.

George Soros presented a session at the conference that in hindsight draws some striking parallels to what we have been witnessing in politics and the media today.  When viewed consecutively in their entirety, the three videos in which Soros makes his presentation are compelling and bring clarity to where so much of the rhetoric on the left has been bred over the years.

It starts with Soros’ description of how propaganda has taken root in American politics and replaced truth with strategic deception.  Yet, considering the blatant manipulation of the truth in so many of today’s news stories, it reads more like a psy-ops manual for the left-wing media, labor unions and community organizers of today:

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[original post 6/13/2010]

And so we begin to hear some feedback from the liberal side, including direct comments from one prominent member of the “Cry Wolf” project.  On the Inside Higher Ed website Friday, founder and editor Scott Jaschik addresses Big Journalism’s Academia-Gate series in his post, “Who Is Crying Wolf?”

Some prominent liberal academics are soliciting short essays from faculty members and graduate students to document a pattern in American history of major social advances being opposed by conservatives who “cry wolf” about the impact of proposed reforms. The campaign — known as the “Cry Wolf Project” — hasn’t been officially announced. But conservative bloggers obtained some of the solicitations of essays and published them this week, along with considerable criticism.

A series of posts on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism Web site have called the program “Academia-Gate” and suggested that the effort is inappropriately political. The creators of Cry Wolf, meanwhile, say that what they are doing is awfully similar to the ways that right-leaning scholars have used academic work to advance their causes over the years.

gray_wolf

Jaschik acquaints readers with the members of the “Cry Wolf” project coordinators and the details of the request for proposals.  He then goes on to cite from a couple of BigJournalism’s posts in the series:

One post on Big Journalism noted that those involved in the project are sympathetic to organized labor, and that many influential academics are serving on the advisory board. “This is what our higher education system has become – a publicly funded amplifier of progressive ideology,” says the post by Patrick Courrielche. “If this Cry Wolf program were just limited to a few faculty members at a limited number of universities, it would be of little concern. But the project reaches into some of the most prestigious public and private schools of higher learning in the U.S., including MIT, Yale, Harvard, USC, Columbia, Rutgers, UC Santa Barbara, University of Pennsylvania, and President Obama’s alma mater — Occidental College.”

Liberty Chick, the blogger who started calling Cry Wolf “Academia-Gate,” described her concerns this way: “What’s far more dangerous is that the ideological academic, in his capacity as a professor, actually possesses the power to control. The power to influence students’ minds, to mold the students’ way of thinking to embrace their own power-hungry desires and believe in it as ’social justice’ — this is a frightening weapon. Via union solidarity, this weapon is shared with the mobilizers, the janitors and cafeteria workers who agitate the students with various demands against the university after ideologically minded professors have indoctrinated them to hear every grievance as a call for ’social justice.’

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