Getting it Wrong about Columbia

The Chronicle for Higher Education continues the disappointing trend of getting it wrong about the results of the investigation into the controversy at Columbia. Jennifer Jacobson writes,

The issue exploded at Columbia University last fall, after a student documentary accused professors in the Middle East studies department of intimidating pro-Israel students. Although the university found no evidence that faculty members had made anti-Semitic statements, the allegations sparked headlines in New York newspapers and prompted a member of Congress to call on the university to fire an assistant professor.

The investigation used the term “anti-Semitism” as a red herring to cover-up the fact that professors abused their power as professors to intimidate students as students. That they were Jews was irrelevant–what was relevant was that they were students with different political views than their professors, and they were selectively silenced and humiliated based upon those politics alone. The New York Times even appreciated that in its editorial–a big step considering how unethical it was in dealing with the affair for the most part. So why can’t reporters do a little homework and stop repeating falsehoods?

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