Monday, October 15, 2007

Hall of Shame in Review

The big political controversy in the Spring 2007 semester at WMU was the Western Michigan University Faculty Hall of Shame.

This document was compiled by the WMU College Republicans to document the misuse of power for political purposes of faculty members at WMU. It had been on the group's website for some time when someone who read it decided to turn it into a big controversy.

The WMU College Democrats launched a campaign to cover up the abuses committed by some faculty members. They wrote an article for the Western Herald attacking the College Republicans and the Hall of Shame, demanding that it be taken down. They never bothered to contact the College Republicans before publishing their article. Their article was full of errors and misrepresentations. Ironically, the College Democrats did far more to promote the Hall of Shame than the College Republicans ever did, and they have posted it to their website.

The WMU College Republicans issued a response that also appeared in the Herald. The College Democrats never issued a retraction or apology for their article.

The issue continued with an article in the Herald and an absurd editorial in the Herald wildly misrepresenting the Hall of Shame. They posted a poll question allowing students to weigh in on the matter. There were threats to suppress the free speech of the College Republicans through legal action or university policy, but ultimately cooler heads prevailed and no such action was taken.

On their blog, the College Democrats made some very revealing admissions about their efforts.

The President of the College Democrats admitted that he did not know whether the allegations in the Hall of Shame are true:

Did the instructors of these classes misuse their power? We dont know. We’d certainly LIKE to know.
That didn't stop the Democrats from accusing us of "slander" and more. Their President established an interesting standard of proof:

If you can concretely show me that the claims you make in your hall are true, with indisputable documented evidence that teachers were unfair to apposing views, I would be very interested.
So the Democrats demanded "indisputable documented evidence" before faculty can be criticized, but they accuse the College Republicans of slander, etc. while admitting that they don't even know whether this is true! Talk about double standards!

The Democrats' article implied that the Hall of Shame was inaccurate without ever explicitly making that accusation. The author of the Democrats' article made this admission:

Others became obsessed with checking the accuracy of every detail of the Hall, and that missed the larger point. The original point that the College Democrats column made was that people are sick of petty name calling in politics, and that they want a real discussion of the issues.
The Hall of Shame doesn't contain any "name-calling", it contains factual assertions. The author admits that he wants the facts covered up even if they are true. The real purpose of the article was to protect liberal wrongdoing, not promote civility.

Thankfully, they failed.

1 comment: said...

You're not actually expecting consistency from the libs, are you? That would just be silly.

Keep doing what you're doing. Expose the lies. Expose the misuse of power. Expose the double-standards.

And if the CDs had any integrity they'd join you in the effort and hold their liberal profs to an apporpriate standard!