Saturday, April 19, 2008

DCU Sponsors David Horowitz's Islamo-Fascism Awareness Speech

David Horowitz's appearance at Duke prompted fierce opposition from the Chronicle. Such a stance seems to be an extraordinary step for the editorial board, as we cannot remember anything similar for other speakers brought to Duke. The editorial called him an "inflammatory demagogue" and then went on to take shots at the Duke Conservative Union claiming a "preference on the part of Duke Conservative Union for inciting belligerent dispute rather than encouraging intelligent discourse."

Aside from being high on inciting and accusatory language and low on substantiation or information of any sort for that matter, the little information the editorial did attempt to provide was quite inaccurate. It seems rather clear that the Chronicle horribly mischaracterized Horowitz's views on Academic Freedom and inaccurately claimed Horowitz has called for the removal of parts of the Koran.

No other examples come to mind of the Chronicle writing a staff editorial denouncing a campus speaker brought by a student group - or any other group - in such a fashion. It seems to be an infrequent occurrence at most. It is especially odd for the newspaper to dismiss Horowitz as an incendiary demagogue seeking shock value when the same newspaper gave a platform to Shadee Malaklou for an entire year. When asked how the Chronicle - a Duke sanctioned monopoly - could retain the services of such an uniformed and slanderous individual as Malaklou, one of the Chronicle's senior editors answered, "readership." People would read the Chronicle on the day of Malaklou's column simply to see what absurd and outrageous nonsense she had published.
One of Malaklou's surreal choice offerings:

A rape may not have occurred on March 13, but as a woman on Duke’s campus, as a Woman’s Studies major, and as activist for survivors of sexual assault, I assure Mr. Cheshire that these men are not innocent, nor are they upstanding citizens of Duke or Durham law….Nifong might not be in the right legally, but that doesn’t mean he's not doing the right thing.
Moreover, the Chronicle accused Horowitz as someone who seeks to obstruct free speech and censor college professors - which seems completely inaccurate from reading the Academic Bill of Rights - yet the Chronicle refused to print a paid advertisement in advance of Horowitz's speech calling for an end to genocide, calling it incendiary. It is tough to reconcile that stance with the Chronicle's assertion that "unlike the man himself, we trust students' ability to freely form opinions rather than be forced into them, despite the 'dangerous' ideas that we allow to be expressed on our campus."

Worst of all, it should be clear from the video below as it was at the event that it was nothing like the Chronicle's characterization whatsoever. It was informative and there was plenty of constructive dialog. A number of Muslim students showed up with tough questions and challenged Horowitz frequently. He answered them all. Several Muslim students congratulated Horowitz in person after the event and expressed their gratitude to him for coming. Two of them requested his autograph.

The Chronicle then ran a story to which Chronicle Chief Editor David Graham gave the title "Horowitz Sounds Off to Small Crowd." It should be noted that there were closer to 90-100 attendants, nearly double the 50 claimed by the Chronicle (the room held 180 and was at least half full). In fairness to the Duke Conservative Union, who sponsored the event, calling that a "small crowd" completely lacks perspective when it comes to speakers sponsored by student groups, especially around exam time. One cannot help but note the irony that the Chronicle mocks the speech for a low attendance (inaccurately) after publishing an editorial (whose two attempted facts were both dead wrong) ensuring that the entire campus should dismiss the speaker as an inflammatory bigot incapable of reasoned discussion.

DSEDuke was not involved in bringing Horowitz to Duke, but we have agreed to post the video online anyway so that all may judge for themselves whether Horowitz, his speech, or the DCU have been treated fairly by David Graham's Chronicle.

Use Internet Explorer. You cannot view this with Firefox.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Grace Wang Seeks to Set Record Straight

The New York Times and Washington Post have reported on the plight of Grace Wang, and the Times has provided the above photo depicting the viciousness of the confrontation faced by Wang. Attendants of the pro-Tibet vigil have reported to us that the rhetoric directed at her was largely unfit for print.

But Grace Wang's role in the conflicting demonstrations has been widely misunderstood, especially by those in the Chinese blogosphere that have demanded that her life be terminated by any number of creative or ancient means. She was not a party to either side. As she has explained and participants of the vigil have confirmed, she arrived at what had become a chaotic scene and sought to mediate between the two groups and encourage a more peaceful, understanding, and thoughtful demonstration.

She has repeatedly made clear that she does not advocate Tibetan independence to any who will listen. Unfortunately, the pro-China demonstrators seem to have had little interest and drown her out with chants and accusations. She does, however, advocate fair treatment and more freedom for Tibet, much as she advocates more freedom throughout China.

As her message is slowly getting out, Grace tells us that some of the thousands of emails she has received have been supportive - including emails from China - though that portion remains a minority.

[Update 5:49 pm 4/18/08]
WRAL also ran the story last night and have published an article on their website.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Targeted Chinese National Students' China Home Vandalized

Grace Wang, who has recently decided to identify herself publicly, was publicly outed recently by members of the Duke Chinese Scholars and Students Association on their website for attending a pro-Tibet vigil. Her name and her involvement in the vigil have exploded in the Chinese blogosphere and in internet forums, and she has received an onslaught of threatening and harassing phone calls, as have her parents in her home town of Qingdao, China. A video of Wang participating in the vigil was also posted on YouTube, and has received over 640,000 views and counting. The video has since been reposted by many others as well. From the reports we have heard from pro-Tibet participants, the treatment of Wang by the crowd of pro-China protesters consisted primarily of a barrage of profanity and insults.

More recently, as the Chronicle reports, Wang's parents' apartment in China has been vandalized with a bucket of feces poured in front of its door.

Wang has been participating in numerous interviews, one of which we have clipped for your convenience. Here is Wang on PRI's The World.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Motion Denied

Judge Beaty denied Duke's motion to eliminate the website maintained by Bob Bork's D.C. based public relations firm on behalf of the 38 families currently suing Duke University and Durham. Ray Gronberg of the Durham Herald Sun and Dan Galindo of the Winston-Salem Journal report.

This development comes as little surprise given what uninvolved lawyers have predicted, including Duke Law's own Thomas Metzloff. Metzloff has stated that he believes the motion is "future-oriented" to inform the judge of the publicity the case is likely to receive and to ensure that the website does not, at a future date, cross the line in terms of prejudicing a jury. Powerline's Paul Mirengoff noted that "setting up this kind of website, and indeed ones that are much more aggressive, is a common thing for plaintiffs to do these days."

A likely explanation for Duke's motion was offered by one of KC Johnson's more thoughtful commenters - a litigator himself - suggesting that the motion was likely an attempt to gauge the judge's receptiveness to the possibility of limiting discovery. Duke's lawyers may believe - or may know for a fact as Pam Bernard of Duke's General Counsel has been collecting the emails of all university employees involved since early last fall - that discovery in this affair has the potential to become very painful for the Duke University defendants in particular regardless of what it contributes to the legal case. The embarrassment of such publicity alone could potentially be a motivation for Duke to settle simply to keep such information out of the public eye.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Duke Chinese Scholars and Students Association Allegedly Incites Vicious Harassment of Tibet Supporter

The Chronicle published a brief report today, though we expect there is much more to come. We will keep you updated as we learn more. We understand that this young lady has been viciously threatened, as well as her family back home.

Friday, April 4, 2008

2008 Campus Outrage Award: Duke Wins Grand Prize

Duke recently won an unfortunate award for hosting the Sex Workers Art Show as the SWAS continues to make headlines. ISI awarded Duke University the Grand Prize for 2008 for what Larry Moneta apparently called “a hallmark of the intellectual environment [students] will experience at Duke.” The prize money of $1000 for the Grand Prize will go to the New Right Review for Angela Czahor's and David Bitner's pieces on the affair. Congratulations to all involved!

Congratulations go to the runner up, the University of Delaware, for a an extremely valiant effort to outrage every sane person in the nation with their absurd racial training program, which defined "a racist" as a term that "applies to all white people." It is tough to imagine a more worthy adversary.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools Day Chronicle

The Chronicle front page today featured a number of April Fools Day stories. We aren't sure if they are available online, but one of them was quite well done and worth reprinting. Ken Larrey agrees they got his number. Here it is:
Man sues Duke for bracket loss
By Boobs Allison

John Matthews, Trinity '69, is suing the University for emotional damage and conspiracy after the men's basketball team's loss to West Virginia, putting him at the bottom of his NCAA bracket pool.
The suit was announced on in a thread entitled, "What does a bracket disaster look like?"
Readers rated the thread 88-percent juicy.
Suits were rumored last week when John Burnedout, vice president for government affairs and public relations, announced that the University had added literary attorney Atticus Finch to its legal team.
"A lot of people said it couldn't be done, because [Finch] is fictional. And over-qualified. It's really unprecedented," he said. "We're prepared to defend the University vigorously in this matter, by way of seances and memoranda."
Duke's attorneys filed a motion Friday saying that Mathews had broken state bar rules in publicizing his suit and called for JuicyCampus to be shut down.
Burnedout said the details of the University's legal strategy were a secret that many wouldn't understand.
Duke Students for a Moral Duke President Ben T. Jarry, a super-senior, said Duke's motion was actually a thinly-veiled aspect of Laurence "Of Arabia" Vendetta's "secret file" to have a post removed that criticized the West Campus Plaza and veganism.
"I have been told by a number of sources, including members of the Board of Trustees, that Duke is screwed," Jarry said. "Oh wait- can I go off the record? I'm not sure I can say that," he said.
Touche, Boobs Allison.