Spectator Being Careful With MEALAC

How does one define media bias? I tend to take the statistical definition, and see how much deviation two averages have from one another. When doing so with articles and letters published by the Spectator on the Columbia abuse scandal, I am left to conclude only one thing: that the same James Romoser who wrote an email last year to the Spec’s editorial board that he encourages them to “try to be very careful about how we deal with [MEALAC]” is, well, being careful in dealing with MEALAC by silencing the voices of those who dare criticize them.
Where’s the data? Well, first there is an article printed today, which remarkably cannot be found on the Spectator’s website. The article, by Adam Sacarny, is entitled “Shedding Light on MEALAC,” and is basically re-print of his post on the weblog BlogSac.
Seeing as how this would be called plagiarism by any respectable news-source because there is no indication to the reader that large portions of the article were “borrowed” from another published source, and seeing as how the Spectator had a number of possible columns to choose from–I know of four, two written by the students in the film, Liz Shrier and Noah Liben, one by Bari Weiss, and another by the David Project–I can only conclude one thing: The Spectator was searching for a negative column to print and didn’t care to check if the author had published the same exact words earlier.
I can make this assertion because the number of anti-film letters and articles by far outweigh anything they’ve printed by students who think the film brings up a serious problem. I do not count Columns by columnists, as I do not count editorials, because both are written by staffers and, while they certainly show the way the issue is perceived, they are not as telling as the submissions printed. So, taking the submissions as our indicator of bias, we can see that to the two letters advocating a positive viewing of the film–Greg Schill’s and Elana Jaffe/Davida Brook’s–there are one, two, three, four…and today’s five, which I would like to link, but cannot. Oh, but since it is plagiarism, here is the original version for you to judge it’s opinion.
Five to two. And if we were to include Sara Sebrow’s excellent column, and then give every item a weight based on it’s word-length (to make it simple, op-ed will be weighted as 3 and letters as 1), we get a discrepancy of 11-to-5. Still a clear case of imbalance.
If the Spectator was truly an independent paper and a watchdog of the community, it would work quickly to correct this imbalance by running Liz Shrier’s rebuttal of Prof. Saliba’s lies, and try to show a balanced picture of the situation from now on. Now is not the time to be careful–it is time to act with Justice.


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