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.

1 comment:

Gary Packwood said...

I would imagine there are legions of attorneys chasing after those associated with the Chronicle asking some hard questions about hostile work environment harassment the Chronicle sanctioned and enabled when they published the Listening Statement posted by the Gang of 88 inflammatory demagogues at Duke along with the incendiary writing of Shadee Malaklou.

Perhaps the editorial board of the Chronicle decided to deflect the heat they are experiencing by charging the Duke Conservative Union for "inciting belligerent dispute rather than encouraging intelligent discourse."

It won't work.

Trying to offer up David Horowitz as a sacrifice only gives the Chronicle status as Gang member number 89.