IN WHICH WILL BE FOUND WHAT IS SET FORTH THEREIN

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A DAY WITHOUT A DAVID

OK -- I have a flight to catch and so had planned to give the Horowitz matter a rest -- but the guy just won't relent for a second -- Today over at Frontpagemag there is a column that purports to be the talk that Horowitz delivered at Duke University on March 7. [check it out now before they see this and change the posted version] The headnote says nothing about the talk having been edited for its appearance at the web site. [And it's not as if the talk needed to be edited because of space concerns, as might be true with a print journal.] And yet, a number of Horowitz's remarks have been omitted in silence. Now, I know that Horowitz is no scholar, and thus may see no reason to alert readers to the fact that he is leaving things out. In general, his practice is to leave out crucial information and to insert false information with no editorial alerts of any kind, but this case is a truly odd one. As you will see if you watch the video of the talk that runs on C-Span's Book TV, he was not reading from a prepared text, so it's not a matter of editing out ad libs. As you'll see from that tape, my earlier report of the Duke talk is accurate. As you'll see from both the tape and the printed version, Horowitz was not attempting to correct his talk or to omit anything that was needlessly offensive. As you'll see from the tape . . . but that's what's so strange about this -- You can see the tape -- Just as Horowitz came to Penn State and waved in the air a copy of the very student newspaper that would show that he was misquoting the university president if anyone cared to read it, he now prints a sanitized version of his talk as if the tape weren't airing nationally so that anyone could see what he had done.

Among his omissions, his several scathing comments about Wahneema Lubiano -- since it's unlikely that he has read Wahneema's work in the interim and changed his mind about her, why the elisions?

And it's not as if he were attempting to correct himself. In the print version you'll see that when attacking Professor George Wolfe of Ball State University, Horowitz gets the campus confused with the man and starts referring to him as "Professor Ball."

It would seem that despite, according to his own claim, having "published nearly twenty books and hundreds of articles over a forty-year period and without questions being raised about the accuracy or integrity of [his] work," David Horowitz has an extreme accuracy problem. Let's not even get started on the integrity question.

Even though it's not true that his accuracy and integrity had never previously been questioned, I'd say that his new-speak "academic freedom" campaign has had this one good effect; more people are paying attention to Horowitz's limitations and his fact-challenged publications.

there is this possibility -- it could be that Horowitz neither prepared nor read the version of his talk posted under his name . . .

2 comments:

cps said...

Just another example of his usual sloppiness which is his general modus operandi when it comes to research and attacking higher ed. Appreciate the analysis—we picked up Heatstrings at Free Exchange on Campus (www.freeexchangeoncampus.org) where we have been covering Horowitz and his misinformation campaign.

Mike Meeropol said...

I saw the C-SPAN version of the speech (the REAL version since it was broadcast in real time!) and one thing omitted from the FRONTPAGE text was the Q & A period.

In it, Horowitz spoke about the History teacher in Colorado, Jay Bennish, who at that time was in danger of losing his job because a student had recorded some of his classroom comments and they had been played on right-wing talk radio prompting howls for the guy's scalp -- including from DAvid Horowitz.

At DUKE, Horowitz explicitly accused Bennish of having agreed with one of his favoriet whipping boys, Ward Churchill, that the victims on 9-11 "were not innocents ... they got what they deserved..."

Nowhere in Bennish's taped portiono of his class did he state that the victims on 9-11 "got what they deserved."

Two days later, at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass (where I teach) Horowitz again accused Bennish of doing a "Ward Churchill dance" but left out the "got what they deserved" part.

When I personally accused him of dishonestly conflating what Bennish said with what Churchill said, he said, "I've heard the tape and if I'm wrong, I've got $500 for you."

Lucky for him he hadn't made the accusation that he made at Duke or I'd be after him all over the country for that money.

Whereever he speaks, folks should ask him about the line, "they got what they deserved...." Ward Churchill was strongly criticized for a statement that seemed to say just that and it is gross for Horowitz to accuse this young teacher of being so insensitive when in fact he said nothing of the sort.

Mike Meeropol
Professor of Economics
Western New England College
Springfield, MA